This paper outlines the general context of tourism, and the changes it underwent, in the Central and EasternEurope (CEE) countries post-1990. The role of European Union enlargement is also discussed, allowing for an overall highlighting of the outcomes for tourism of the CEE countries’ political, administrative and institutional transformations. In essence, the development of transport systems and infrastructure have combined with the changing socio-economic conditions people experience to impact economically, socially and culturally– expanding the opportunities where tourism is concerned, as well as competition between countries and regions when it comes to attracting both tourists as such and investors. More specifically, the rapid privatisation of state-owned assets ensured a major impact in changing and developing tourism in the CEE, with the communist/post-communist structural changes in general proving a crucial catalyst underpinning most of the changes noted. This paper further serves the function of concluding contributions making up this special issue, and thus seeks to outline new future directions by which tourism in the CEE countries can be researched from the perspective of human geography.
Marek Więckowski [firstname.lastname@example.org], Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania im. S. Leszczyckiego PAN
Jarkko Saarinen [email@example.com], University of Oulu Department of Geography P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014, Oulu: Finland