In the late 1950s and early 1960s, both socialist Romania and Franco’s Spain became tourist destinations for the foreign tourists in search of sun and recreation. While in Romania tourists arrived via officially controlled channels, such as ONT-Carpathians, in Spain private domestic and, later, foreign tour operators opened the way. But despite the different geographical locations and economic systems, the two countries became cosmopolitan places where foreigners, domestic tourists, and local population mixed in varying degrees. This presentation will delve into this process and examine how interactions between foreign tourists on the one hand and tourist workers and domestic tourists on the other reshaped leisure spaces in socialist Romania and Franco’s Spain the 1960s and the 1970s.
Adelina Stefan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Contemporary and Digital History at the University of Luxembourg. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Pittsburgh, USA. She currently works on a book project entitled: Vacationing in the Cold War: Foreign Tourists to Socialist Romania and Francoist Spain, 1960s-1970s. This examines how international tourism brought about a bottom-up liberalization in the two dictatorships, as it altered ordinary people’s lifestyles and material culture. Her most recent publication are: “Postcards Transfer across the Iron Curtain: Foreign Tourists and Transcultural Exchanges in Socialist Romania during the 1960s and 1980s“ in the International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity (HCM), special issue on “Photo Transfer in Cold War Europe” and “Foreign Tourists and the Shadow Economy in Socialist Romania in the 1960s-1980s” in Christian Noack, Sune Bechmann Pedersen (eds.), Tourism and Travel During the Cold War: Negotiating Tourist Experiences Across the Iron Curtain (Routledge, 2019).
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