The possibility of the mass of the people having leisure time and enough disposable income and good health to enjoy it is relatively modern, and still by no means a global phenomenon. A classic sociological text was written (Veblen, 1912) that identified a ‘leisure class’ who were so defined because of their lack of engagement in useful employment. The rising affluence and changed working conditions of the decades that followed saw a modicum of leisure become recognized as something of a civil right. More recently it appears that the intensification of work has stimulated an intensification of leisure activity. There are still important differences between countries and classes in leisure time, but leisure, tourism and cultural industries have become entwined with the processes of globalization. They are increasingly important economic sectors. Zukin (1995: 1–2) put it succinctly: ‘With the disappearance of local manufacturing industries and periodic crises in government and finance, culture is more and more the business of cities – the basis of their tourist attractions and their unique, competitive edge’.
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