CAUTHE 2018, 5-8 February, Newcastle, Australia

The CAUTHE conference headed back to Australia this year and I was happy to discover that in February, Australia’s Newcastle has very little in common with the UK’s Newcastle (no offence Geordies!). Thanks to Tamara Young and Paul Stolk of the University of Newcastle for organising a great conference – the NeW Space building is amazing!

Newcastle beach

Channel View was celebrating the publication of 3 new books (among others at the conference): Femininities in the Field, edited by Brooke A. Porter and Heike A. Schänzel, Qualitative Methods in Tourism Research, edited by Wendy Hillman and Kylie Radel and Tourism and Religion, edited by Dick Butler and Wantanee Suntikul. We held a raffle which Jill Poulston of AUT won – the first prize was 10 CVP books.

Raffle winner
Sarah with the CVP Celebration Raffle winner, Jill Poulston, and authors Heike Schänzel, Kylie Radel and Wendy Hillman

This year’s CAUTHE was marked by the sadly rare occurrence of having an all-female line-up of keynote speakers. These were kicked off by Annette Pritchard, with a brilliant presentation that looked at gender and the advent of AI. This was followed by great talks by Sara Dolnicar on peer-to-peer accommodation and Cathy Hsu on future directions for tourism research. I also enjoyed a number of interesting papers on a variety of topics, including selfies, gay tourism and dating apps, online reviewing, the value of storytelling, authenticity and Juliet’s balcony, the role of novelty and surprise, aesthetics and beauty in tourism, the increasing influence of far right populism on tourism, and air rage!

Wendy Hillman and Brian Hay at the gala dinner

The conference finished with the annual hilarious Great Debate (should it have been a draw though?!) and a lovely gala dinner and fun CAUTHE disco at the Honeysuckle Hotel.

I got to explore some of Newcastle during the conference, which despite the major works going on, seems like a great place to live and work.

I was lucky enough to have a few days of holiday either side of the conference in which I managed to take in the Big Bash semi-final in Adelaide (still excited), a short trip to Sydney and a visit to Melbourne (sadly England did not to do as well in the cricket as Adelaide Strikers!) which included dinner and karaoke with many lovely peeps from La Trobe and William Angliss – thanks again Elspeth Frew for organising! 🙂

Already looking forward to next year’s conference in Cairns!

How Does Gender Shape Fieldwork Experiences?

We recently published Femininities in the Field edited by Brooke A. Porter and Heike A. Schänzel. In this post the editors explain why the book is necessary and what they hope will be achieved from its publication.

Gendered actions have been receiving quite a bit of press lately, and rightly so. While much of the press has been focused on power inequalities, some attention has been given towards gender equalities. With the academy far from being viewed as gender equal, our motivation for the book is to explore how femininities shape fieldwork experiences in the social sciences, specifically in tourism. Research in the field has long been considered as a masculine act in a masculine space, with the idea of the lone-researcher at the forefront tracing back to anthropological endeavours. For many researchers, this narrow construction can be intimidating. Yet, for any researcher in the field, we argue the undeniable influence, both positive and negative, of gender on fieldwork.

A main aim of this book is to describe gender as a variable worthy of attention, in the field, in the analysis, and in the reporting of any piece of research. Through fifteen self-reflexive analyses (including two by men), our contributors reflect on past fieldwork experiences through a gendered lens. Tourism research was the common thread for all contributors, but the experiences are diverse and without doubt, transdisciplinary. From tales from marine mammal research in the high seas to the party-filled streets of Mallorca, each contributor provides an explicit account of how gender affected their fieldwork. The diversity of the contributions became most apparent to us when it came time to choose a cover. We simply could not find an image that could effectively convey the book’s contents. After nearly twenty correspondences, we ditched the idea of an image and decided on a multifaceted illustration. The colourful graphics depict the diversities, and the expressions convey many of the heartfelt emotions revealed in the book.

This book is meant to be a tool for researchers at any stage in their career, for supervisors and mentors, and for committees involved in the fieldwork process. It is both a tool of reference and a path forward.

For more information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Ethnographic Fieldwork by Jan Blommaert and Dong Jie.

From Idea to Published Book: How a Qualitative Tourism Research Book Came Together

This month we published Qualitative Methods in Tourism Research edited by Wendy Hillman and Kylie Radel. In this post the editors give us an insight into how the book came together, from the seed of an idea to publication!

Our book was imagined from an idea that there were no qualitative research books, or the juxtaposition between qualitative and quantitative methods, that is, mixed methods, in Channel View Publications’ Aspects of Tourism series. After much discussion with commissioning editors Sarah and Elinor, we finally put together a proposal for a book on qualitative research methods that are being used and adapted for tourism research. Putting together the original book proposal was relatively easy. However, the questions from the series editors were more difficult!  While they liked the outline of the book, they asked us to provide a bit more information on what would be in each chapter; information about the author of each chapter; and, they asked us to include a chapter on mixed methods, as they felt that readers would want to know how the two diametrically opposed positions of qualitative and quantitative analysis could be brought together.

This was an exciting time for us as, although we had written book chapters before, we had never edited a book, or edited a book together. The commissioning editors had the patience of saints, as we took quite a long time to find others to write chapters, extract their details and bios (from some of them) and put this all into an acceptable format for the newly evolving and extended book proposal. We began by approaching some well-established researchers in tourism that we knew well, and asked them to participate in chapters. This way we were able to find authors for four chapters. We were to write the introduction, a chapter on grounded theory, and the conclusion ourselves. So, we were able to account for seven chapters of the book already – this was exciting!

At the next Council of Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Educators (CAUTHE) conference, we decided to approach early career researchers in tourism; those who had not long graduated with their PhDs, or were in the process of completing their PhDs. This worked really well, and gave the opportunity for up and coming researchers to get “a foot in the door”. We then had eleven chapters, plus the introduction and the conclusion. This meant that we had developed a book that would provide a valuable contribution to research methods in tourism; one that brings together traditional qualitative positioning with current applications in the field.

Along the way, at least one of the authors did nothing, wrote nothing and sent us nothing. This was very disappointing for us. And others also experienced life changes, work struggles, health issues and a new addition to their family. At the following CAUTHE conference, another researcher promised to write one of the (now) missing chapters for us. This went well until we asked for the draft and it transpired there had been a misunderstanding: the author said they thought we wanted a systematic literature review, when we had asked for a chapter on a specific qualitative research approach. We’re not sure what happened there! Anyway, we carried on, wrote the additional chapters ourselves, co-wrote a chapter with one of our research students, and finally got the book to completion. Again, the commissioning editors were very, very patient; and for all their help and extremely good dispositions, we truly thank you!!

While all this took a long time, we have ended up with an excellent product. We have produced a qualitative research book that is distinctive, informative, up-to-date and of value to researchers in any community, not just that of tourism and hospitality research. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing and editing it! Happy reading and researching!

Dr Wendy Hillman

Central Queensland University, Australia

Dr Kylie Radel

Central Queensland University, Australia

For more information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Quantitative Methods in Tourism by Rodolfo Baggio and Jane Klobas. 

An Interview with David A. Fennell, Author of “Tourism Ethics”

We recently published the second edition of Tourism Ethics by David A. Fennell. In this post David answers a few questions about the field of tourism ethics and his work within it.

How did you first become interested in studying tourism ethics and why do you believe it’s such an important field of study?

I would go to conferences in the early 1990s and colleagues would ask me if I thought ecotourism was the most ethical form of tourism. I would respond by saying “yes”, but these responses were based solely on intuition. At the time, we did not have any empirical or philosophical yardsticks from which to understand the place and value of ethics in tourism. I had some excellent conversations with my colleague, David Malloy, when I was at the University of Regina. David was studying sport ethics at the time. These conversations led to four publications on ecotourism and ethics with David during the mid-to-late 1990s, which provided the foundation for me to venture more deeply into the realm of ethics.

It’s been 11 years since we published the first edition of Tourism Ethics. What can we expect from the second edition?

The new edition has more of a focus on contemporary philosophers such as Virginia Held, Jürgen Habermas, and Emmanuel Levinas. Several dozen tourism papers and books were also summarized to bring the tourism studies component up-to-date. The book continues to focus on many deep theoretical contributions that range from biology to philosophy. It’s only through an appreciation of the importance of these works on human nature that we will begin to better understand the nature of tourism and of tourists, in my opinion.

Where do you see the field heading in future?

The tourism ethics sub-field is evolving quickly. Over the course of the last 11 years, I have seen much more of a focus on interpreting and contextualising the work of seminal philosophers in the tourism studies arena. The trick will be to determine how these important works translate into practical wisdom, as tourism is very much an applied field. So, areas such as responsible tourism, fair trade, sustainable tourism, and ecotourism may be enriched through the discourse on ethics. For too long we have focused on impacts in tourism studies to the exclusion of other worldviews. I see ethics as more of a proactive way of fixing tourism industry problems, and impacts as more reactive.

What’s the favourite place that you’ve travelled to in the course of your research?

Given my interests in nature, it’s hard not to pick New Zealand. For me it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I also really enjoy spending time in Croatia because of the mix of culture and nature.

Closer to home, I really enjoy the Haliburton Sustainable Forest (Ontario), which is Canada’s first certified forest. The HSF has a 100-year management plan to bring the forest back into a balanced ecological state. I don’t know too many companies, private or public, that look so far into the future.

What books – either for work or for pleasure – are you reading at the moment?

For work, I’m just finishing Bauer’s book on sustainability ethics. And for pleasure, I have The Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee on my Christmas list.

For more information about the second edition of Tourism Ethics, please see our website.

Tourism Resilience: More Than Just “Bouncing Back” from Adversity

This month we are publishing Tourism and Resilience by C. Michael Hall, Girish Prayag and Alberto Amore. In this post the authors explain the concept of resilience in tourism and comment on their case study of the Great Barrier Reef.

The environment seems to be becoming increasingly challenging for tourism businesses, destinations, and the people who work and live in them. In 2017 alone we have seen a range of weather and climate change related events, including severe hurricanes in the United States and the Caribbean, as well as in Ireland, while at the same time there have been major forest fires in the western United States and in Portugal. We also have political concerns in the form of terrorism, Brexit, the Trump administration, North Korea, and multi-national tax avoidance, while at the same time tourism is having to respond to economic and technological shifts such as automation, big data, and disruptive innovation.

Resilience is the magnitude of disturbance that can be tolerated before a system moves to a different state, controlled by a different set of processes. Given the challenges of crises and disasters, as well as ongoing “normal” change, for tourism, it is no surprise that the concept of resilience is seen as a response to the call for new definitions, concepts and understandings to frame the many ecological, socio-economic and political challenges of tourism. Resilience thinking is therefore a response to the urgent need for broader and different views of the tourism system. This clearly includes destination management at large, as the vulnerability of places and communities can no longer be ignored, but also considers how businesses and individuals are connected both within and beyond destinations.

The notion of a tourism system is widely used in tourism education and research but often there is not enough consideration of what this really means in looking at the sector as a whole, as well as how it responds to change. The aim of our book therefore is to provide scholars and practitioners with a multi-layered view of resilience from individual, organizational and destination perspectives. We take a multi-disciplinary approach to develop the first monograph on tourism and resilience. As well as a strong analytical and theoretical focus, and a comprehensive discussion of the literature, the book builds on the authors first-hand tourism research from post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand, and other locations, and includes a range of different cases from around the world to illustrate key ideas and concepts.

A key message of the book is that tourism resilience is more than just “bouncing-back” from adversity. Every destination and tourism business goes through incremental and sudden change, and we identify inherent vulnerabilities in the tourism system and how they can be managed. To a certain extent, resilience in tourism reinforces principles and notions inherent to sustainable tourism. Resilience thinking is valuable because of its focus on connectedness and the need to move away from the continual separation of ecological, social and economic impacts. However, while some may see resilience as the “new sustainability” it is important to note that, although related, resilience thinking has its own specific contributions regarding the capacity to absorb change, learning and self-organisation, and adaptation. As part of developing a better understanding of the tourism system, considerations of resilience in tourism therefore need to think of what is happening at scales above and below the main level of focus in order both to explain change and, in some cases, to intervene to create desired change.

The case of the Great Barrier Reef is an emblematic example. The bleaching of the reef as a result of climate change has put a renowned tourist and natural heritage site in grave danger. However, the capacity of the reef to adapt is also affected by pollution and run-off from onshore practices. To understand the problems the reef faces one therefore needs to be able to understand the global dimension of climate change as well as realise that a marine system is deeply affected by what happens on land. System management must therefore be not only multi-scaled but also recognise the very real implications of connectivity to what some may have previously regarded as being “outside” of reef management. The future of many tourism stakeholders as well as the reef ecosystem is at stake and there is a need for systemic long-term destination planning to enhance the resilience of resource and the destination. As we note in the book, sustainable development can only be achieved in sufficiently resilient socio-ecosystems. Resilience allows a system to have a future, but this requires a much better appreciation of the nature of the tourism system and the importance of system thinking than what has usually been the case. In other words, government and other authorities need to see the pressures on the Great Barrier Reef in the context of “joined up” problems rather than seeing land management, reef management, and climate change policy as being separate.

This notion of connecting the pieces is central to the book. Change – moving from one state to another – is actually the norm in tourism as elsewhere. But what is important, from an industry and ethical perspective, is what sort of change and what sort of state we want to move to and how we are going to get there. Hopefully, this book will help provide some sort of frame by which we can inform and improve our thinking about change and direction in tourism as well as how we are going to get there.

Alberto Amore, Girish Prayag and C. Michael Hall

For more information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Crisis and Disaster Management for Tourism by Brent W. Ritchie.

Following in the Footsteps: Reflections of a Heritage, Literary and Film Tourist

This month we are publishing Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism by Sheela Agarwal and Gareth Shaw. In this post Sheela reflects on her own experiences as a heritage, literary and film tourist.

Tourism is about fulfilling expectations, fuelling imaginations and making dreams come true. It is about stirring emotions, providing unforgettable experiences about places, objects, people and events. Great skill is required by producers of such experiences to engage audiences in the reconstruction of the real and the imagined. Stories about the past, present and future are told, and tourists are encouraged to participate and immerse themselves in the story-telling.  Since an early age, I have always loved stories and learning to read revealed a world of different endings, some sad and some happy. Equally, I have always loved watching films and TV adaptations, particularly period dramas, so much so that in the summer of 1984, I begged my parents to rent out a video recorder for one month, paying the £20 fee out of my pocket money for the privilege. In an age before the internet, numerous trips to ‘Blockbuster’ video rentals were made as two to three films were watched daily. After the month was up, the recorder went back to the rental shop but was soon replaced after a visit to an electrical store.

It is my love of stories which has fuelled many visits to places that feature within them and indeed it is this fascination which has been at the heart of the inspiration for this book. In essence I am the typical heritage, film and literary tourist. I have many childhood memories of visiting the North Yorkshire Dales on family holidays and one of my very favourite places was Howarth, home to the Brontë sisters, authors of classic works such as Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Wuthering Heights. Whilst wandering through the streets of Howarth, following in the footsteps of these three strong independent women (as well as thousands of tourists), who had to write under pseudonyms, I imagined and relived their excitement running from the Post Office, clutching copies of their newly published books. A visit to their home, the parsonage, sparked similar imaginings of the family sitting around the fireplace sharing their stories and working on their novels, as did walking on the Moors; in the distance and in my mind, I observed ‘Heathcliff’ galloping through the heather, and ‘Jane Eyre’ weeping for ‘Mr Rochester’.

The infamous ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ sign at the entrance to Auschwitz

Another memorable visit to a place steeped in heritage and the object of films, TV adaptations and books, and which is captured within this text, was to Auschwitz, near Krakow in Poland. It proved to be a heart-wrenching, deeply emotional experience for me. Even now when I look back on my visit, I can hardly believe that humankind could reach such depths of depravity; how could there be such disregard for human suffering. For those who have never been so unfortunate to have ever braved a visit to Auschwitz, it is a deeply harrowing experience. Once an extermination camp embroiled with unimaginable human suffering and fear, it is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Poland. It is however, an unconventional tourist attraction in the sense that it does not encompass fun and no laughter can be heard. It is a very sombre place. Upon entry, you are taken into a cinema and shown footage from the camp; some of this was shot whilst the camp was in full operation whilst some of it was filmed upon liberation. Silence engulfed the cinema as we all stared disbelieving at the thousands of filmed emaciated bodies; some were living, but many were dead. Exiting the cinema, we were then taken on a small guided tour around the camp. ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ or ‘work means freedom’ decorates the entrance gate to the camp, providing a chilling and ironic lie to all. Even now I can feel the fear and suffering through the stark uniformed blocks of prison cells and stories of heroism and brutality are shared in equal quantities.

The entrance to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Departing Auschwitz, I was then taken to Auschwitz–Birkenau, a short 10 minute drive from the main camp. Here, the iconic entrance and railway spur transports you immediately into the film, Schindler’s List. It isn’t hard to imagine the trains rolling into the station, one after the other, ladened with frightened Jewish prisoners. They arrive tired and disoriented as they are ‘sorted’ by Nazi soldiers. Some are directed straight to the gas chamber whilst others to an unhuman existence. I could still hear the screams of distress as families are torn apart, never to see each other again.

It is a prison within a prison that is impossible to escape. It is encased with multiple rows of barbed wire fences and sentry points at every five meters along its perimeter. As I walked along the station, I felt an overwhelming need to cry and indeed, in the taxi home I shed many tears in despair.

Prof. Sheela Agarwal, Plymouth University, UK;

Prof. Gareth Shaw, Exeter University, UK;

For more information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Film-Induced Tourism by Sue Beeton.

Critical Tourism Studies VII conference, Palma, Mallorca

Last month Sarah attended the Critical Tourism Studies VII conference in Palma, Mallorca. In this post she tells us a bit about her trip.

Sarah with Heike Schanzel and Brooke Porter – authors of forthcoming book Femininity in the Field

The last CTS conference I went to was CTS II in Split, Croatia so it was high time Channel View attended another one! There is a definite buzz around these conferences and this one did not disappoint, with many high quality papers and a wonderful location.

As always, it was great to be able to catch up with current and prospective authors and meet so many new people with such interesting research underway.

Sarah taking part in the publishing panel

This conference was a first for me as I had been asked (along with the other publishers present) to take part in a panel on editing and publishing in tourism. I already had a great deal of respect for academics presenting their papers on a regular basis but being on the other side of things for once was pretty nerve-wracking (although it was a good experience). I hope the audience members found it as useful as I did.

The conference finished off in style with a beautiful gala dinner and the evening closed with line-dancing to a Spanish-version of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ – brilliant!

Not a bad setting for a conference!

After the conference it was lovely to spend a day wandering around beautiful Palma – including a trip to the beach!

An Interview with Rodolfo Baggio, Co-author of “Quantitative Methods in Tourism: 2nd edition”

This month we are publishing the second edition of Quantitative Methods in Tourism by Rodolfo Baggio and Jane Klobas. In this post Rodolfo answers a few questions about the book and the work of a tourism academic.

It’s been six years since we published the first edition of Quantitative Methods in Tourism. What can we expect from the second edition?

First of all let me say that I’ve been quite surprised and amazed to see that our little work received so much attention as to deserve a second edition. We (my coauthors and I) are very grateful to the readers and to find out that our idea of providing a “practical” handbook has worked well. In this edition we have essentially done two things. One has been (rather obviously) to amend the little inaccuracies or errors that inevitably escape in a work like this one, even after a good number of checks. Then we have improved and updated examples and references and added some new materials on data screening and cleaning, the use of similarity and diversity indexes, path modelling and partial least squares, multi-group structural equation modelling, common method variance, and Big Data.

What is the collaborative process like between you both?

For this book (as for the previous edition), after having agreed on the topics to include, we split them based on our expertise and interests so that each one of us wrote the different pieces, then we swapped the chapters and cross checked all the materials.

What is the most rewarding and most difficult thing about writing a book?

The most rewarding thing is for sure the moment in which you get the book in your hands. The most difficult (probably better to say tedious, tiring or grim) comes when you have finished writing and you have to start checking, refining, correcting, reworking, etc.

As a tourism academic, what’s the favourite place that you’ve travelled to in the course of your research?

Contrary to what many might think, working in tourism, whether as an academic or industry practitioner, does not necessarily mean travelling. There are hotel employees that have never seen places different from their hotel or teachers that have never been in a city different from the one in which they give classes. I have been privileged and, due to personal attitude and life chances, have so far had an incredible number of possibilities to travel to many parts of this planet. I do not have a favourite place. All are interesting and exciting in one way or another. Probably my truly favourite place is one (and there are many) in which I have not yet been.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing books?

Well, not being a writer most of my life is spent NOT writing books, so I do what anyone else does. Personally I enjoy reading, walking around, listening to good music, travelling and so on. But I also very much enjoy studying and researching new avenues for the difficult work of understanding a complex and complicated domain such as the tourism one.

For more information about this book, please see our website.


The Great Potential of Arab Tourism Destinations

This month we published Tourism in the Arab World edited by Hamed Almuhrzi, Hafidh Alriyami and Noel Scott. In this post Hamed explains the inspiration behind the book and outlines its main themes.

The socioeconomic changes in a number of emerging economies, including Arab countries, have enabled many people from these countries to travel. In 2015, The United Nations World Tourism Organization reported that in 2014 this region was among the fastest growing regions in terms of travel total contribution to GDP (gross domestic product). Arab tourism destinations and markets hold great potential for the tourism business; however, it appears that we know little about them.

When I started my PhD study, one of the difficulties I faced was finding literature that discussed aspects of the tourism industry within Arab countries. There was a clear scarcity in research on planning, management and marketing of Arab destinations, or on understanding Arab tourists’ behaviours and dispositions. Through conversations with colleagues, it became clear that there is a need to establish and promote a dialogue on issues that concern the Arab tourism industry and bring tourism-related discussion to the attention of international tourism literature.

The existing tourism literature seems to be confused on many issues when it comes to discussing Arab tourism phenomena. Tourism in the Arab World introduces tourism researchers to such issues. Questions such as ‘What is the Arab World?’, or ‘Who is an Arab?’ are discussed and we address how this has further implications for tourism studies. In addition, the image of Arab destinations has been associated with various risk perceptions within international tourism literature – mainly the political crisis that many Arab destinations have been witnessing and the way they have been portrayed through the international media. This volume highlights this issue and provides recommendations for dealing with it for tourism marketing organisations and tourism researchers/practitioners. It also discusses whether the generalisation of risk perceptions is justified.

From an outsider’s perspective, Arab countries seem to be perceived similarly. However, various chapters within this volume emphasise that it is important to be careful of putting all Arab destinations in the same basket when it comes to issues such as tourism development, planning or structure of the industry. It was apparent throughout the discussion that Arab tourism destinations vary in their approaches. The discussion has pinpointed several concerns that tourism researchers and practitioners need to be aware of, such as the impact of Islam, culture and the political structure of each destination, and how these factors contribute to the development of tourism in each country.

While the book tries to stimulate discussion on various tourism issues that concern Arab destinations and market, it focuses more on business aspects of the tourism industry. Hence, there are four overall themes covered in this volume:

  • Tourism policy, organisation and planning
  • Tourism product development
  • Destination marketing
  • Arab consumer behaviour

Throughout these themes, tourism researchers and practitioners can appreciate differences and complications when it comes to dealing with emerging Arab tourism destinations, which in return provide more thoughts for discussion.

For more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism in the Middle East edited by Rami Farouk Daher.

Expectation vs. Reality: Moving Beyond Stereotypes of Indigenous People in the Circumpolar North

This month we published Tourism and Indigeneity in the Arctic edited by Arvid Viken and Dieter K. Müller. In this post Dieter reflects on the research he and his co-editor carried out on Sami tourism.  

Indigenous peoples have been a focus of tourism research for quite a while. In the scientific literature, tourism has been promoted as an opportunity for indigenous people by offering possibilities to make a living and promote indigenous development. Alternatively, tourism has been portrayed as a threat to indigenous culture by contributing to commodification and sometimes the development of fake cultures.

Reflecting on our Nordic experience, my colleague Arvid Viken and I had some trouble seeing how these interpretations can be utilized to explain and understand the situation of the Sami, the indigenous people of Northern Europe, in relation to tourism. Here the story told is rather that there have been great expectations regarding indigenous tourism development that so far have not been realized, or at least not to the extent anticipated. This was the point of departure for our idea to do a book on indigenous tourism in the Arctic, and not least in the Nordic countries.

In our understanding the Sami are a modern people living modern lives, and in fact only a small minority of the Sami is directly involved in the traditional industry, reindeer herding. In fact, even reindeer herding is a modern meat producing industry using helicopters, trucks, motorcycles and GPS-tracking. However, globalization and international competition in the meat market implies that it is a tough way to make a living, not least in a situation where many Sami have an increasing interest in their own culture and their traditional industry. In this context tourism is just one potential livelihood that people choose outside reindeer herding. However nobody has to engage in tourism. Instead, Sami get involved in tourism because they desire to do so, not because they do not have any alternatives.

Still, there are multiple expectations toward the Sami to get involved in tourism and to act in a certain way. A great example was noted many years ago by a fellow Swedish researcher who studied the process of establishing the World Heritage Area Laponia in the North of Sweden. The area is a mixed World Heritage site acknowledging the physical features of the landscape as well as the fact that it is a landscape formed by Sami reindeer husbandry since time immemorial. However, when visiting the site a UNESCO delegation expressed concerns about the fact that reindeer herders used cell phones and other equipment that did not match their expectations of an indigenous people.

I think this is a great illustration of the situation of indigenous people in welfare states. It also indicates the challenges that Sami tourism entrepreneurs have to deal with, i.e. tourist expectations that don’t reflect the modern indigenous everyday reality. Still, as the case studies in this book teach us, even the situation in the circumpolar North is complex and varies between places. Hence, one should not overgeneralize. Instead, I hope the book will inspire scholars to join us in digging deeper into the conditions of indigenous tourism in northern locations and move beyond stereotypical understandings of indigenous people.

Dieter K. Müller, Umeå University

For more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Polar Tourism by Bernard Stonehouse and John Snyder.