The visual spectacle of shopping malls as tourist destinations

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Ambiance, Tourism and the City


Routledge / Taylor & Francis


School of Arts and Humanities




Allmark, P. (2023). The visual spectacle of shopping malls as tourist destinations. In I. Sánchez-Fuarros, D. Paiva & D. M. Calvo (Eds.), Ambiance, Tourism and the City. Routledge.


For the last ten years, I have been photographing shopping malls in many cities across the world. In this chapter, I discuss my photographs which picture the visual spectacle of shopping malls that are designed to attract the tourist gaze and the tourist dollar. I consider aspects of design that increase the pleasure of sightseeing and present an alternative view of the aesthetics and the gendering of the mall. Shopping malls are seen as separated from the banal aspects of everyday life and there are malls advertised as “shopping destinations”. In many countries the shopping mall is the centre of tourist attention and has transformed destinations to a desirable space of capitalist materiality in which commodity fetishism shapes the experience of the tourist gaze. I will examine the ways that shopping malls are more than just a retail space and consider the aesthetic dimensions from a feminist cultural geography perspective, in which I focus on representational practices, related to gender, race, and space.



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