Journal article

Journeys to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao: towards a revised Bilbao Effect

18 May 2016
Description

Many of the world’s post-industrial cities have sought to emulate the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao’s (GMB) transformation of Bilbao into a city of culture. Yet the Bilbao Effect is a paradox: why is it that despite much replication of its defining features there is still only one Bilbao Effect? This paper steps back from the quick fix policy narrative of the Bilbao Effect to reflect critically on the complex coordinates of the GMB’s success as a singular tourism magnet; notably how Bilbao and the Basque Country region played a far bigger role in it than is commonly perceived. It identifies a variety of significant and commensurate cultural tourism developments already in place before the GMB was built, not least the Camino de Santiago de Compostela and San Sebastian, that both augmented and enriched tourism to Bilbao subsequently. It argues that these must now be recognised as a key part of the Bilbao Effect and are of an order and quality not easily transferred to other cities

Publication Details
Volume: 
59
Pagination: 
79-92
Access Rights Type: 
Language: 
License Type: 
All Rights Reserved
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes
Published year only: 
2016
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