Between a burden and a business: Benigno Vega Inclán, tourism, exhibitions and power relations, 1911–1928.

 

José Miguel Hernández Barral, profesor de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid e integrante de POLENO, ha publicado un interesante estudio sobre la figura de Benigno de la Vega-Inclán en el Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies. El resumen del artículo es el siguiente:

In 1911 Benigno Vega Inclán was appointed Royal Commissioner for tourism by King Alfonso XIII. His initiatives marked the development of tourism in Spain for nearly twenty years. The proposals he put forward reflected an idea of the nation that combined within it a particular vision of culture and society. His personal contacts with Spanish and foreign elites played a decisive part in every project he undertook, whether in national parks, parador hotels or museums, and his way of understanding the management of tourism undoubtedly left its mark on the first stages of modern tourism in Spain, in a manner that provides clear elements for comparison with other countries in the region. The focus of this study is on the activities of Vega Inclán in connection with the Spanish tourism exhibition in London in 1914 and the preparations for the 1929 Iberoamerican Exhibition in Seville. The image of Spain as presented through the actions, material content and controversies that surrounded Vega Inclán is of great interest in terms of connecting the birth of tourism with other historical dynamics such as nation-building or the belief in progress conceived of as economic development.

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