Kopachynska G.V., Kotsan N.N., Mazurets R.R., Voznyuk E.V. Sentimental tourism as one of the newest ways of enhancement and development of Ukrainian-Polish relations

Выпуск журнала: 

УДК 327:379.8[(477.82):(438)]




Kopachynska G.V., Kotsan N.N., Mazurets R.R., Voznyuk E.V.

The article deals with different theoretical approaches to the categorization of the «sentimental tourism». It characterizes the main features of the sentimental tourism organization in the Volyn region as well as its influence on the enhancement of foreign relations between Ukraine and the Republic of Poland. The paper defines the historical places of polish nationality representatives settled in Volyn before the resettlement period after WWII along territory of modern Poland and the burial places of foreign citizens in the area. These places are identified as basic resources for the development of sentimental tourism in the region and as promising areas for investment and international cooperation of both countries. The authors describe the current legal framework of cooperation between Ukraine and Poland on this issue.

Keywords: sentimental tourism, international relations, domestic policy, bilateral relations, international cooperation, tourism industry, state regions, borderline, tourism potential, migration.





Копачинская Г.В., Коцан Н.Н., Мазурец Р.Р., Вознюк Е.В.

В статье проанализированы различные теоретические подходы к определению категории «сентиментальный туризм». Охарактеризованы особенности организации сентиментального туризма в Волынской области и его влияние на углубление двусторонних международных отношений Украины и Республики Польша. Определены исторические места проживания представителей польской национальности на Волыни до переселения в период после Второй мировой войны на территорию современной Польши и места захоронений иностранных граждан на территории области. Это необходимо для развития сентиментального туризма в регионе и перспективных сферы инвестирования и международного сотрудничества обоих государств. Охарактеризована современная нормативно-правовая база сотрудничества Украины и Республики Польша по данному вопросу.

Ключевые слова: сентиментальный туризм, международные отношения, внутренняя политика, двусторонние отношения, международное сотрудничество, туристическая отрасль, регионы государства, пограничный, туристический потенциал, переселение.


Current international relations are developing rapidly in different directions and integrating into specific and new areas of the state activity and affect the formation and stability of the domestic policy, as well as strengthening of the foreign policy. Active development of any areas of state activity increases revenue, creation of jobs, infrastructure development, construction of new tourist facilities, strengthening protection and reconstruction of existing historical and cultural monuments, conservation, cultural convergence of different peoples, etc. As we can see, lately tourism has become an important source of budget revenues in many countries and today it is one of the most promising sectors of the national economy. Development of the tourism industry and enhancing its impact on economic and political growth of nations become one of the priorities of world economy.

In general, Ukraine has the potential to actively develop the tourism industry as it is well endowed with the necessary resources and characterized by favorable conditions for its development. All regions of our country are unique in the tourist sense since every region possesses its own natural, social and economic specifics. Therefore, profound study of tourism in general and the specifics of its operation in the regions would considerably intensify the tourism industry in Ukraine and develop essentially innovative ways of international cooperation. 

Volyn region is a border region and is characterized by low industrial cultivation and has significant tourism potential and favorable conditions for the development of not only tourism, but also specific international relations of both countries. This shapes certain specificity of its operation in the region as an independent branch of the economy and provides new prospects for the development of its new types, foreign consumers and investors. One of these areas is a sentimental tourism, which is a new type of tourism as well as international activity in Volyn.

In geography of tourism and international relations theory the notion of sentimental tourism and its impact on the state is still not clearly justified, and that is why the research of this particular type of state activity is relevant and has broad prospects.

In modern Ukrainian scientific works a unified approach to the definition of sentimental tourism cannot be traced. It’s often being identified with other types of tourism or another term for its definition is being chosen, putting in it the content of the category “sentimental tourism”. Direct research in the given direction was conducted and published in the works by S.P. Kuzyk [11], I.G. Smirnov [21] and others. A.V. Barlukova [1], A.I. Vuytsyk [7], L.V. Zaburanna [9], V.F. Kyfyak [10], O.A. Starovojtenko [22] and others also dedicated their works to the given issue.

The aim of the work is to analyze the prerequisites for the development of sentimental tourism in Volyn and its impact on the deepening and intensification of international relations of Ukraine and the Republic of Poland.

To achieve the aim it is necessary to solve a number of issues:

– to analyze different theoretical approaches to the definition of “sentimental tourism”;

– to suggest the definition of “sentimental tourism” that would most accurately reflect its content and relevance to international relations; 

– to characterize the features of sentimental tourism organization in Volyn region and study its impact for the further development of international relations of both countries;

– to identify the most promising ways to develop sentimental tourism in Volyn, that are necessary for improving current international relations between Ukraine and the Republic of Poland.

In modern works of Ukrainian scientists the place of sentimental tourism in the structure of the tourism industry is still not clearly justified and in the theory of international relations a clear single definition of this phenomenon has not been formulated yet. Therefore, in our opinion, one should consider different approaches to the sentimental tourism as a scientific definition and its place in the studied system of cooperation.

In the scientific publications of Ukrainian scientists the sentimental tourism or how it is also called nostalgic tourism is generally characterized as one of the most promising types of tourism in Ukraine and is defined as visiting the historical homeland, places of ancestors’ origin, or places where tourist or his\her family once emigrated. A. Vuytsyk distinguishes two main types of nostalgic tourism depending on the purpose of the trip: a) travel for family visits; b) visiting places with which the history of the people or the life of their ancestors is related to. However in practice, these two types of trips are often combined and intertwined, giving us the reason to believe that this definition does not fully reflect the essence of the phenomenon of sentimental tourism [7, с. 9].

Another factor that complicates the situation with a clear definition of sentimental tourism is the fact that today unfortunately there is no single generally recognized classification of tourism. So, while speaking about the sentimental (nostalgic) tourism, some authors use different terms, such as “ethnographic”, “ethnic”, “profound” or “native”; others believe in emerging of a new kind of tourism, thus isolating ethnographic and ethnic forms of tourism as independent; and others consider nostalgic tourism as a kind of cultural and a particular direction of ecotourism. Most authors use the term “ethnic tourism”, putting in this concept the main characteristics of nostalgic (sentimental) tourism. The most common characteristics of ethnic tourism are summarized in table: 

Definition of the concept of ethnic tourism

Having analyzed the above definitions we consider ethnic tourism and sentimental tourism to be different categories and individual types of tourism activities. By the majority of researchers the ethnic tourism is defined as visits to places of historical habitat of different nations and acquaintance with the culture and traditions of other nations, whereas the sentimental tourism involves the emergence of a specific feelings associated with a visit to their historical homeland or places associated with habitation of ancestors and is fully supervised and encouraged by the state.

In our opinion, sentimental tourism is a modern independent type of tourism that has its own intense and undeniable impact on the development of the country and its foreign policy in particular. Because, firstly, it is spread throughout the world as opportunities to explore the unique and original, traditional life and culture of people (even more so if nostalgia is an additional stimulus) exist in different parts of the world, which quite often integrates people and strengthens international cooperation. Secondly, sentimental tourism is marked by the tendency to continuous development, due to processes of modern globalization. Thirdly, interest in sentimental tourism is growing, which is confirmed by the increasing number of tourists, those who wish to know the features of the original peoples’ lives as well as those returning to their tribal or ethnic roots.

Sentimental or nostalgic tourism has a number of important social and political functions. Among other things, it promotes a sense of national identity, helps to preserve the cultural, social and landscape-environmental identity, contributes to the strengthening and further preservation of international relations, maintains diversity of the modern world, supports the revival of local cuisine, local conventional methods of manufacturing household items and crafts [1, с. 107].

O.G. Butuzov includes into this generalized notion the ethnographic, anthropological, ethnic and nostalgic tourism [5, с. 12]. Researcher believes that ethnic tourism should be considered as a subspecies of ethno cultural and cultural tourism aimed at studying modal, standard, mass forms of ethnic life and their influence on the development of the state. 

Ethno cultural tourism is a combination of various forms of tourist activity caused by the desire of the tourists to join the studying of different ethnic and cultural phenomena. Ethno cultural tourism provides opportunities for active appeal to local and regional aspects of manifestation of ethnic culture, with learning of traditions of missing ethnic groups for fixing and promotion of life experience, special features of ideology and environmental management of small ethnic groups. Ethno cultural tourism also contributes to familiarity, identify, study and comparison of national characters, mentality and archetypes.

Some researchers believe that the spread of both cultural and ethnocultural tourism in the world today is connected with the diversification of tourist demand, including the need for greater innovation, more specialized search of the unique tourism experience, involvement to everyday life of the representatives of visited culture, living intercultural communication, participation in special humanitarian programs supporting cultural diversity and so on.

Among the other factors the emergence of new non-traditional types of cultural tourism takes place thanks to postmodern mood in society. This explains the surge of interest in energy and sensually charged types of cultural tourism such as “gloomy”, “burial”, “mysterious”, “tourism of the slums”, “nostalgic”, “retrospective”, “heritage tourism”, “photographic”, “cinematic” (filming locations of famous historical movies), “gourmet”, “peripheral”, “research”, “volunteer”, “cosmic”, “ethical”, “virtual” and so on. New impulse to the development of cultural tourism is generated by the modern globalized world, the globalization of culture and population, the loss of individuals’ identity, social groups, migrants, identity transformation of entire ethnic groups and peoples [16, с. 176-177].

While exploring the concept of international tourism, A.V. Moshniaha indicates that it contains concepts that reflect general cultural and universal humanities values of tourism, such as “cultural heritage”, “authenticity», “identity», “ethics of tourism». Similar concepts are explicitly (outwardly, open) and implicitly (internally) axiologicaly charged, and carry a powerful charge of humanistic values and evaluations that are an integral part of international relations of different parts of the world [17, с. 149].

Modern trend in cultural tourism and intercultural communication, along with the emergence of the value of charged types of cultural trips have been noted by the experts is the inclusion in tourism activities practices such kinds which carry a recognition of the value of intercultural communication. Thus, the concept of “cross-cultural tourism» emphasizes international cooperation in cultural meanings and motivations that lie in mutual understanding, mutual enrichment in the process of cultural exchange. Even as the concept of “tourism reconciliation» contains valuable connotations of political, historical, social and cultural reasons of the travelers, forcing them to try to develop tourism as a form of dialogue between cultures, good neighborliness, peace and harmony in the complex modern world [16, с. 177].

Nostalgic (sentimental) tourism was defined in the UK as a specific type of tourism that involves visiting ones birth place or places inhabited by the ancestors. This area of tourism has received impulse to the development in 1999, when the British Tourist Authority (BTA) called descendants of immigrants and deported prisoners to return home to explore their ancestry and to establish the same relationship not only at local but also regional level [20, с. 180].

Nowadays, this kind of tourism is particularly popular in the Central Europe, where the World War II and the postwar division of the world led to mass migration. In Ukraine, an example of such events is the repatriation of Ukrainian population from Poland, when during October 1944 and August 1946 482 thousands of people were resettled to Ukraine, and from March 1947 (as part of “Operation Vistula») in the newly created states in the former German provinces (Wrocław, Gdańsk, Zelenogorsk, Koshalinske, Olshtynske, Poznań and Schetsynske) – 140,575 people who lived in Kholm, Podlasie, Nadsyannya, Lemko. In response, the relocation was carried out with the Poles from Ukraine, when 36,820 people were deported [8, с. 374; 18, с. 92-102]. 

Researchers conducted at the University of Illinois show that sentimental tourism is one of those sectors of tourism developing the most rapidly in recent years and that has a significant impact on the development of nations and improving relations among them. Particularly active development takes place in Scotland where every year more than 1 million tourists come in order to find their relatives. Experts believe that the Scottish tourism industry revenue from the implementation of active policy development of a specified tourism type in the long term could reach almost 2.4 billion dollars [20, с. 181].

Experts estimate that almost every tenth tourist trip in the world is caused by nostalgic reasons. In professional literature important contribution of growing nostalgic journeys to the formation of international tourism flows is being recognized. In practice, scientists often do not distinguish sentimental (nostalgic) tourism as a separate type of tourism, since the range of interests of substantial travelers is not limited to just nostalgic impulses, combined with educational, recreational, business, political and even religious reasons.

The researcher of this type of tourism O.G. Butuzov also points out that until now there is no unity among scholars concerning the definition of “nostalgic tourism». Some believe that it is associated with the visits directly to places of previous accommodation of the tourists themselves or their ancestors, including meetings with relatives. Others interpret this concept to be broader: visiting areas of historical residence of “their» nations, learning traditions, acquaintance with modern or previous political situation.

According to the international classification the definition of nostalgic tourism is still regarded as a term synonymous to the ethnic tourism [4, с. 17]. In reality, ethnic tourism involves not only return to ones origins, ethnic roots and culture but also knowledge of other ethnic groups, including through personal contact with residents of visited areas. Professional organizers of tourism and theorists of recreational geography understand under this term journeys to places associated with the life of the tourists themselves or their ancestors. Thus, O. A. Starovojtenko defines nostalgic tourism as tourism associated with the aspirations of any tourist for the memories of the past [22, с. 139].

It is believed that visit of tourist sites associated with ethnic traditions cause people deep emotional distress more often. It is equally important the compelling or voluntary character of resettlement, which greatly affects the domestic and foreign policy of the country. On the one hand, the stress nature of resettlement movements often causes in this category of migrants number of psychological problems associated with adapting to a new place of residence, as well as to change their position for the legal and regulatory component of the state. As a result, settlers occur, eventually strengthened, and in subsequent generations openly cultivated deep sense of love for the lost historical motherland. There is also a clear idealization of certain territories and countries having a positive impact on their international position and image.

Typical bursts of interest in such tours are also a specific feature of nostalgic tourism. Short-term surge in tourist visits with the stated purpose is replaced with quite long trend of rapid and permanent reduction of tourist flow. This is explained, primarily, due to demographic factors namely aging and death of migrants themselves. This fact increases the desire to visit the places of former residence not only by migrants themselves but also by their descendants in the first, to a lesser extent the second generation. With each generation interest to visit family ancestors’ habitat weakens, almost decreasing to a minimum among representatives of the fourth generation. In addition, participants of nostalgic tour, completing a long-awaited journey to homeland or the place of residence of their ancestors tend to refrain from repetition of such trips.

In the beginning, when it comes to immigrants or their descendants of the first generation, potential tourists are showing relatively weak interest in the services of accommodation, food and excursions. This is due to the preservation of direct friendship or family ties. However, in the future, extent “rooting” of certain ethnic or national groups in residence, representatives of the diasporas can generate increased demand for the services listed above [4, с. 19].

For the development of nostalgic (sentimental) tourism in Ukraine special practical importance has the experience of foreign countries. A classic example in this regard can serve policy and experience of Israel. The most diverse in form and substance interaction with Jewish communities from other countries traditionally regarded not only as one of the main directions of foreign policy, but also as an important factor in the stability of the Jewish state. An active policy of maintaining close contacts with ethnic diasporas are also conducted by Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Hungary. A striking example of active and effective cooperation with huaqiaos – foreign communities – demonstrates China. It was former compatriots and their descendants that have invested up to 80% of all financial resources invested over the past decade into the economy of the most populated and developed southern provinces of China.

In the neighboring state, the Republic of Poland sentimental tourism is developing both within the nostalgic (ethnic) tourism and within a rural green or eco-tourism. It is focused on the needs of the fellow citizens as well as foreign consumers of tourism services. For example, in the former German settlements in Western Poland today one can often find German names on signposts and local restaurants and cafes – the names of dishes of German and Polish cuisine which are given in the menu in German. It was in Poland, where the first world championship mowing grass was held, and the National Park Service proposed “Black Stork”: tourists issued protective cape and glasses, allowing them to observe the rare birds from relatively close range. Such ecological service is very popular and brings together Polish and German nations.

In the European studies, the term “sentimental tourism” is used to refer to those trips, the main motive of which is “the desire to return”. Such grounds are to be classified: a) biological, when person attempts to return to a more comfortable natural living conditions of the human body; b) psychological, when the return is associated with the old subconscious images, attempts to return to the places where attitudes were more introvert, meaning directed at the inner world of a person; c) cultural and historical related to human desire to return to the past of his family, ethnicity, heritage of their own nation [11, с. 243-244].

In the formation of the sentimental tourism in Ukraine an important role belongs to although relatively small populations but quite influential on the development of bilateral relations: Poles, Armenians, Jews, Karaites, Germans and other peoples who form the ethnic mosaic of the city, region and country.

Researchers of the nostalgic (sentimental) tourism indicate that at this stage it is actively developing in various forms and manifestations: people go on trips to “meet with the past», to realize individual inversion of time – space through communication with relatives and loved ones, visiting places of history accommodation and existence, cemeteries and burials. Nostalgic tourism is embodied in such areas as ethnic, retrospective, countrymen and diaspora tourism, heritage tourism. The main motive for visiting the historic homeland is nostalgia for the motherland, a place of historical origin and residence, nature, language, customs, traditions [12, с. 98]. Close definition is given by T.M. Volkova, identifying tourism as a nostalgic trip based on a need to visit places connected with the events of individual biography of the person and his family [6, с. 135].

Preserved burials of prominent politicians, clerics, scholars, writers, composers, musicians, artists, engineers, doctors on historic cemeteries in the cities worldwide, reflecting the national culture and history of the states. It is believed that visiting graveyards may be useful to some extent for a man as a reminder of eternity.

In all countries around the world cemeteries believed to be the same attractions as museums and other cultural sites. Thus, in France a guide on cemeteries was released, in New York twice a year, cemetery tours dedicated to Halloween are organized, in Santiago night excursions to the ancient cemetery are arranged and the cemetery in Moscow, developing routes to the Novodevichy and Vagankovsky necropolis [3].

Cemeteries are also popular with tourists in Ukraine. For instance, visiting the Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv is included in almost every city sightseeing tour. Tour guides point out that Lychakiv cemetery - is not only the graves and tombstones, but also a real museum of sculptures. There are over 2,000 vaults, 500 sculptures, bell towers, which have high artistic value, created by the famous sculptures Garman Witwer, Anthony Shymzerom, Paul Evtelye, Paris Filippi, Monarda Marconi and others. During the tour of Baykove cemetery in Kiev, visitors can get acquainted with the biographies of the most outstanding personalities from the history of Ukraine, to see the exquisite tombs and monuments, true masterpieces of sculpture and architecture. The tour includes visits to the old and new parts Baikove cemetery, Ascension Church, a famous Walls of Remembrance. Similar programs are also starting to implement in Chernivtsi, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Mykolayiv, Kharkiv. It should be emphasized that representatives of almost all the foreign delegations visited Ukraine for the first time, always attended these world famous cemeteries and honored the dead, that improved and reinforced not only bilateral relations of states but also globally emphasized the attitude towards deceased renowned people and not only those who are buried in their homeland [3].

However, it should be emphasized that most of the existing cemeteries requires in-depth study, including the creation of special cards declassifying public records, developing special tour routes, training of highly qualified guides, support of local councils and relevant national decisions.

Therefore, having analyzed the above definitions of sentimental or, as it is also called, nostalgic tourism, it can be combined on the basis of presence in them certain tourist facilities with specific feelings they evoke in travelers (family, cultural, historical, and political). Therefore, while agreeing with S.P. Kuzyk, we consider it appropriate to combine them in the category of “sentimental tourism”, which greatly affects the development of international relations, with a basis of management sentiments of people of different sexes, ages and ranks.



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Data about the authors:

Kopachynska Galina Vasylivna – Candidate of Geographical Sciences, Associate Professor of International Relations and Regional Studios Department, Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University (Lutsk, Ukraine).

Kotsan Natalia Nestorivna – Doctor of Geographical Sciences, Professor, Head of International Relations and Regional Studios Department; Chairman of the Coordination Council of the Institute of Poland, Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University (Lutsk, Ukraine).

Mazurets Roman Ruslanovych – Candidate of Geographical Sciences, Associate Professor of Tourism and Hospitality Department, National University of Food Technologies (Lutsk, Ukraine).

Voznyuk Eugenia Vasylivna – Candidate of Political Sciences, Associate Professor of International Relations and Regional Studios Department, Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University (Lutsk, Ukraine).

Сведения об авторах:

Копачинская Галина Васильевна – кандидат географических наук, доцент кафедры международных отношений и региональных исследований Восточноевропейского национального университета имени Леси Украинки (Луцк, Украина).

Коцан Наталья Нестеровна – доктор географических наук, профессор, заведующая кафедрой международных отношений и региональных исследований, председатель Координационного совета Института Польши Восточноевропейского национального университета имени Леси Украинки (Луцк, Украина).

Мазурец Роман Русланович – кандидат географических наук, доцент кафедры туристического и гостиничного бизнеса Национального университета пищевых технологий (Луцк, Украина).

Вознюк Евгения Васильевна – кандидат политических наук, доцент кафедры международных отношений и региональных исследований Восточноевропейского национального университета имени Леси Украинки (Луцк, Украина).

E-mail: kopachinskaja@gmail.com.

E-mail: intrel-region.dep@eenu.edu.ua.  

E-mail: mazuretsroman@ukr.net.

E-mail: vozniukjane.vippo@gmail.com