Street art as alternative attractions: A case of the East Side Gallery

Libo Yan, Jing (Bill) Xu, Zhen Sun, Ye Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


As an alternative form of tourist attraction, street art has received little attention in the tourism literature. This study focused on Berlin as a typical destination that has used street art to successfully attract tourists. Based on thematic analyses of the tourist reviews of the street art at the East Side Gallery, a section of the Berlin Wall, on TripAdvisor, this study explores how tourists experienced the street art attractions. Analysis of the data disclosed four main themes: wall, art, history, and visits. Despite its historical theme, the East Side Gallery was mainly experienced as an art rather than a heritage site. The tourists had mixed feelings about the site, experiencing sadness associated with the history of the wall and aesthetic pleasure aroused by the murals. The implications for future studies are noted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalTourism Management Perspectives
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Berlin wall
  • Graffiti
  • Heritage
  • Murals
  • Tourist experience


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