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  • The River Thames: London’s Riparian Highway

    Simon Curtis

    Chapter from the book: Smith A. & Graham A. 2019. Destination London: The Expansion of the Visitor Economy.


    The Thames is the historic and geographic soul of London and is sometimes underappreciated for its key role in destination success, as a transport artery, a frame for countless tourist images, as London’s largest open space and as a setting for some of London’s most iconic events, such as the New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Boat Race and the Totally Thames Festival. This chapter explores the river’s symbolic role in the development of Destination London and will consider its future potential to act as a catalyst for new tourist experiences, vantage points and public events. It highlights the way that the River Thames has been opened up, considering its significance for the London visitor’s experience and its role as a enduring symbol as well as its contested development and future role following a period in which the Thames and its riverside have adapted to a new era, one which involves a complex array of roles, with tourism bringing much of the animation, verve and spirit to its new persona.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Curtis, S. 2019. The River Thames: London’s Riparian Highway. In: Smith A. & Graham A (eds.), Destination London. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book35.h

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on May 21, 2019