(British) anthropological tourism in Slovenia 1932–2007

  • Marija Anterić Centre for European Protected Area Research
  • Richard Clarke University of London
Keywords: Le Play Society, anthropological tourism, area studies, protected landscapes, Solčavsko


For three quarters of a century, Central and Eastern Europe has been the target for British ‘anthropological’ area studies conducted by adult amateur as well as university groups, with Slovenia as a particular focus. Two earlier studies of Solčavsko, in 1932 and 1970– 71 based on the Le Play Society’s analytical troika ‘Place, Work and Folk’ (which prefigured the normative ‘environment, economy and society’ of present-day sustainability discourse) have provided a historical background to recent (2004–07) joint Ljubljana-London university fieldwork in the area. The ethos of this early anthropological tourism emphasised mutuality (surveys were to be participatory, undertaken with rather than of local peoples) and diversity (the variety of ways that the relationships between environment, economy and society were manifest in different places). The ethos is perhaps best manifest in the elaboration of management strategies and governance structures for European protected landscapes (as exemplified by the proposed new Kamniško-Savinjske Alpe regional park). The issue of tourism and sustainability provides a link between past, present and future.