Consumer specialization and the Romantic transformation of the British Grand Tour of Europe
This paper posits that significant changes in 19th century British recreational travel patterns resulted from a change in the manner in which tourists used entertaining stimuli in order to attain pleasure. Consumers no longer merely viewed arousing stimuli, but attempted to use them to produce emotional states of being which they could partially modify to intensify pleasurable feelings (Damasio, Looking for Spinoza: Joy, sorrow, and the feeling brain, William Heinemann, 2003). The impetus for this modification stemmed from an increasing awareness that emotional responses could be to some degree self-cultivated, as embodied in the Romantic ethos that become popular at the time via the emergence of the paperback novel and magazine industry (Campbell, The romantic ethic and the spirit of modern consumerism, Blackwell, 1987). By learning how to manipulate and modify mental images in a way that may not necessarily correspond with objective reality, Romantic tourists learned to elicit pleasure through engaging of their imagination. Such a change in the mode of pleasure seeking had important long run economic consequences for tourist regions throughout the European continent.
Journal of Bioeconomics