The Great Potential of Arab Tourism Destinations

23 June 2017

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

24 May 2017

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.


Tourism, Public Transport and Sustainable Mobility

17 February 2017

This month we are publishing Tourism, Public Transport and Sustainable Mobility edited by C. Michael Hall, Diem-Trinh Le-Klähn and Yael Ram. In this post, Michael discusses the under-researched relationship between tourism and public transport and the many positives to be found in tourist use of public transport.

Tourism, Public Transport and Sustainable MobilityPublic transport is something that has become a major focus for many cities and regions in recent years. For cities, this is often connected to the need to cut traffic congestion and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet climate change goals. For regions, especially in rural and peripheral areas, public transport is about connectivity and access, and ensuring that people who live in such places have links to shopping, services and schools. Yet tourism is hardly mentioned in any of the usual public transport literature.

In many ways this is really surprising given how visitors and tourists are often substantial users of public transport services. For example, Diem’s research in Munich, which we discuss in the book, suggested that 78.5% of tourists used public transport. In London, the figures are even more impressive, with Transport for London suggesting that 93% of inbound tourists to London use public transport. Of course, in the case of London, the underground and double-decker buses are potentially an attraction in themselves, though this is something shared with many other destinations, for example, ferries in Stockholm, trams in Melbourne and street cars in San Francisco. If you include active transport, you could also now add cycling in Copenhagen or walking the High Line in New York. However, one of the great challenges is that this data is often not collected. Public transport agencies only tend to collect from residents, while many destination management organisations don’t collect data on the type of transport that visitors use, especially once they have actually arrived at a destination.

Nevertheless, a number of cities and destinations are now starting to see great advantage in encouraging visitors to use public transport, as they do permanent residents, in order to reduce traffic congestion. For example, some Swiss cities provide free bus access for hotel guests and for airport transfer. However, there are other benefits as well; tourists get to have a more direct experience with local people and the place they are visiting, which can improve the quality of the destination experience and increase likelihood of return visitation. For many public transport systems though, there is also recognition that tourists are helping to support the maintenance of the system to the benefit of locals. In the case of some ferry services to some of the islands in Finland and Scotland, tourists are clearly important users of the system, especially in summer, and the public transport services are therefore helping to get the tourist to spend out of the main centres in such situations, while also showing tourists more of the country. There are also many benefits for a tourist in not having to drive, as they are able to see more of a destination and not have to contend with unfamiliar road signs and roads.

Given that tourists are not usually seen as a significant market by public transport companies, there clearly remains a number of challenges in encouraging tourists to use public transport in many situations. As we discuss in the book, foremost among these is high quality and up-to-date information that is easily accessible. Ideally this should also be available in languages other than that of the destination and/or be accessible by a translation service. Cost is also significant and this is not just the direct economic cost of using the service but also ease of use, travel times and the extent to which different modes of transport are coordinated so as to make connections easy.

Overall we found that tourist use of public transport at destinations can have many positives, particularly with respect to developing more sustainable cities and contributing generally to reductions in emissions from transport use. However, the real challenge is to try and encourage more tourists to use public transport for longer distance travel. In some cases this is harder for structural and design reasons, i.e. the services just don’t exist or there’s no or insufficient capacity for carrying luggage, but in some parts of the world this is beginning to change. For example, in Europe and China we are seeing the development of new high speed rail routes and in the United States and Australia these possibilities are increasingly being discussed as a focal point of economic development and as a means of reducing both air and car congestion along major routes. In addition, some countries are developing long-distance cycleways as a means of encouraging long-distance active transport.

In terms of the future we are undoubtedly going to continue to see more focus on public transport as a core part of the sustainable mobility mix, and we think public transport, economic development and destination agencies are increasingly recognising that they can work together to encourage and promote tourism. However, as well as ongoing concerns over climate change, congestion and tourist support for public services, we see the other big issue as the growth in autonomous vehicles. This is going to have enormous impacts in the future on employment in the tourist transport sector and visitor experiences, as well as on public transport provision. Uber, for example, has major interests in autonomous cars and that, combined with their disruptive impact on taxi services and public transport, is going to create a whole new set of challenges. And we can imagine that if we are doing a new edition of the book in five years’ time, rather than consider autonomous public transport at the end of the book in the futures section, we will probably have to have a separate chapter allocated to it because it will be happening now!

Tourism and TransportFor more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism and Transport by David Timothy Duval.


Tourism and Memories of Home

7 February 2017

This month we’re publishing Tourism and Memories of Home edited by Sabine Marschall. In this post, Sabine explains the inspiration behind the book and discusses the phenomenon of tourism in search of memories of home.

Tourism and Memories of HomeA few years ago, I asked my father to record his childhood memories about World War II and the family’s expulsion and flight. As a child, I witnessed my grandparents’ nostalgia; granny would always start crying when she talked about the lost home. Their longing to see the old home one more time remained unfulfilled, but as a young student, I undertook that return visit on their behalf, carefully documenting every move. The journey became one of the most memorable of my life.

Perhaps it is due to aging that I have recently become more interested in family history and reflections on my own past, including my experiences of migration and travel, my memories and sense of home. When I began to explore these issues academically, employing self-reflexivity and auto-ethnography, I was surprised to find how strongly these experiences seemed to resonate with others. Individuals from different countries and various walks of life approached me at conferences and social gatherings to share their story. I began to see patterns and realized the wider significance of these return visits home.

Globally, many people have lost their home or homeland due to warfare, political conflict or disaster; memories of the traumatic loss and the desire to return remain an important part of their identity, often passed on to their children and shaping the historical consciousness of future generations. Those who moved voluntarily visit friends and family back home; their descendants travel in pursuit of family history and search for roots; diasporic communities tour real and imagined ancestral homelands in a quest for identity and a sense of belonging; others stage homecomings and recreate homeland culture in substitute locations. Ultimately, memories of home generate a lot of travel the world over, from short local trips to long international journeys combined with other activities. Most people do not think of such journeys as tourism and many emphatically reject that label. Yet the sustained flow of such travelers has prompted tourism authorities, tour operators and academic scholars to describe, investigate and analyze these mobility patterns as distinct and significant, classifying them as ‘diasporic roots tourism’, ‘ethnic homecoming’, ‘homesick tourism’ (Heimwehtourismus), Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) tourism, ‘personal heritage tourism’, ‘dark tourism’ and a host of related terms.

Foregrounding the role of memory, this book brings together contributors from different countries whose ethnographic case studies explore tourism in search of memories of home in a large spread of geographical and societal contexts past and present.

Tourism and the Power of OthernessTourism and SouvenirsFor more information about the book, please see our website. If you found this post interesting, you might also like Tourism and the Power of Otherness edited by David Picard and Michael A. Di Giovine and Tourism and Souvenirs edited by Jenny Cave, Lee Jolliffe and Tom Baum.

 


Commercial Nationalism and Tourism

2 February 2017

Last month we published Commercial Nationalism and Tourism: Selling the National Story edited by Leanne White. In this post, Leanne gives us an overview of the book.

Commercial Nationalism and TourismCommercial Nationalism and Tourism essentially reveals how particular narratives are woven to tell (and sell) a national story. By deconstructing images of the nation, the book demonstrates how national texts (such as advertising, brochures and websites) help create key archival imagery that can promote tourism and events while also shaping national identity. I’ve been interested in this topic for about 30 years, so it’s great to finally edit this volume. I am really hoping that readers will be both energised and engaged by the diverse international cases that examine commercial nationalism and how this phenomenon connects with either tourism or events.

As editor of this collaborative international body of work, I am thrilled that from the tremendous collegial work of scholars around the globe, we have produced a volume that advances the academic debate surrounding commercial nationalism and tourism. All 26 contributors have combined an applied approach with solid academic and critical analysis. I would like to thank them all, as they made this book possible. They have been wonderful to work with and always highly cooperative.

This book is timely as the highly complex relationship between commerce and the nation has attracted the interest of scholars in recent years. Commercial Nationalism and Tourism aims to demystify the various ways in which the nation is imagined by key organisers and organisations and communicated to billions around the world. While the book is aimed principally at the academic market, it also provides interesting reading to anyone who has been a tourist or attended a major event in an increasingly commercial world!

I would like to thank Channel View and the wider production team involved in seeing this book come to fruition. A special thank you must go to Commissioning Editor, Elinor Robertson, and Production Manager, Sarah Williams.

Tourism and National IdentityIf you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism and National Identity by Kalyan Bhandari. 


Heritage Tourism in China

27 January 2017

This month we published Heritage Tourism in China by Hongliang Yan. In this post, the author discusses some of the heritage sites covered in his book and the stories behind them.

Heritage Tourism in ChinaAs one of the world’s earliest civilisations, history has left much heritage for China. It is not merely the representation of the country’s past but also an important resource which supports the development of China’s tourism industry today. Heritage Tourism in China looks at the relationships between heritage and tourism in contemporary China. It uses heritage to examine the social changes of China and how history and heritage were interpreted, planned and promoted for tourist consumption.

Because of the characteristics of Chinese governance, heritage tourism planning and management are largely decided by the public sector. In recent years, with the implementation of “Economic Reform and Open Door” policies, stakeholders from other sectors have increasingly been playing some more important roles in heritage tourism. This book examines the issues from the viewpoints of policymakers and other influential stakeholders at local, regional and national levels who had interests in heritage tourism.

To help the reader to understand the link between heritage and the key issues discussed in the book, four historically important heritage sites were discussed in detail on the issues around their management, planning, interpretation and promotion for tourism, which also provides the key link between the global context of tourism and notions of modernity, identity and sustainability.

Among these sites, the Confucius temple, mansion and family cemetery in Qufu (UNESCO World Heritage Site) were selected for examination as they have embodied the core values of traditional Chinese culture and philosophy: Confucianism. Their preservation, management and also the evolution of the Confucius cult ceremony well reflected the relations between tradition and modernity in contemporary China.

Another example, Mount Tai, China’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site was also examined in the book because of its outstanding combination of beautiful natural landscape and cultural impacts and being regarded as a sacred mountain in China. The preservation and development of the site provide a good example of the governance of protected areas and the challenges to sustainability.

The heritage sites discussed in this book are symbols of Chinese civilisations and beliefs. An important focus of the discussion in this book is on how they are affected by alterations in people’s values and beliefs in China over recent decades. The book develops and applies a broad framework to assess the relationships between the planning, development and representation of heritage sites for tourist consumption and the notions of modernity, identity and sustainable development in contemporary China.

For more information about this book, please see our website. You might also be interested in Tourism in China, Tourism Research in China and Industrial Heritage Tourism.


Film-Induced Tourism… Why a Second Edition?

27 September 2016

This month we published a second edition of Sue Beeton’s Film-Induced Tourism which was first published in 2005. In this blog post, Sue explains why she felt it was time for an updated edition.

The first edition

The first edition

The first edition of Film-Induced Tourism was published over ten years ago, and focused on research I had carried out from the late 1990s to 2005. Much of it was new to the world of tourism research, yet the industry itself had been using film images and stories to promote their destinations for some time. So, when we look back now, such a publication was not only needed but very obvious!

Ten years on, much has changed, but also a great deal has stayed the same. More people are studying the film-induced tourism phenomenon, but many have become stuck in a recurring nightmare (sorry, paradigm) of repeating again and again what has already been studied, and coming up with the same findings. Even when studied in different cultures, few ‘new’ findings are being presented. One way to move this field forward is to revisit those early studies and see where they are now and if there have been any changes or movement. Such longitudinal studies are rare, so this is what I set out to do.

Travel, Tourism and the Moving Image

Sue’s recent book on Travel, Tourism and the Moving Image

I published another book on this theme with Channel View Publications last year, Travel, Tourism and the Moving Image, which took a different approach, presenting a companion piece to my first one. I’ve now been able to revisit a lot of the more business-related elements. Not only does this second edition represent and update them, I’ve incorporated a lot of additional research into areas including community and power relations between film companies and destinations. I’ve also extended the operational aspects of film-induced tourism by looking at some of the iconic tour organisations in the industry, from Hawaii to New York and New Zealand.

The new edition

The new edition

I continue to be very concerned about the lack of research looking into film studio theme parks, all of which have grown in their complexity and fascination. The technology used by these parks comes straight out of their film studios into a very clearly defined touristic space. So, I’ve taken the opportunity here to revisit these theme parks and extend that work to others around the world, particularly in Japan and other parts of Asia.

I believe that this new edition contributes to the development of film-induced tourism in both theoretical and practical ways and remain excited about this work, even after all this time!

For further information about the book, please see our website.


New series: The Future of Tourism

3 August 2016

We are pleased to announce our new book series The Future of Tourism edited by Ian Yeoman and Una McMahon-Beattie. In this post, Ian introduces the background to the new series and discusses the future of travel.

Series flyer - click to enlarge

Series flyer – click to enlarge

I was really excited when Channel View suggested a new book series about the Future of Tourism, as I have lived and breathed the future for the last 20 years, championing the cause, creating a new field and unravelling complexity. All other fields of tourism research are fundamentally about the past or the present whereas the future hasn’t occurred yet. The future is the only place you can travel to and the only place you can prepare for. To me, it’s the only field of tourism that has relevance.

It all began…

I started my career in tourism futures as the Scenario Planner at VisitScotland back in 2002 when 9/11 and Foot and Mouth Disease were having an impact on Scottish tourism. They were complex issues which needed unravelling. We did this, along with developing a robust economic forecasting system, scenarios about the future of Scottish tourism and an environmental scanning process. Taking these elements, we were able to build a system that made sense of the future, thus enabling leaders of Scottish tourism to understand the future, test their ideas and make informed decisions. I am now based in New Zealand and even more passionate about the future of tourism through building, partnering and giving opportunity to others to publish their thoughts on the future through this new series.

What is the future?

For economists and meteorologists it is relatively easy to understand and predict the weather with accuracy for the coming weeks or the economic outlook for the next 12 months as these events have a degree of certainty. However, predicting a longer term perspective is fraught with difficulties, whether it is the challenge of an automated world, changing food patterns, the breakup of the European Union, augmented reality or emerging markets. The further you look into the future, the more uncertainty prevails. Around the world people are living longer and expecting to do more in their lifetime. If you are born today in a Western country, you have a one in four chance of living until you are one hundred years old.

The future will have wars, terrorism, famine and disaster just like the past, but tourism will prevail. The future of tourism will be fed by equally unprecedented natural resource competition and environmental impacts, however it is Thomas Malthus who wrote in an essay on the Principles of Populations published in 1798 that sooner or later population growth will be checked by famine and disease. Was he wrong? While exponential growth can be expected to lead to increased scarcity of resources, human creativity can ameliorate increased scarcity. Basically, humankind is good at adaptation and overcoming many of the challenges it is presented with.

It is rare to find a national or regional tourism plan, book or academic article about the future of tourism that doesn’t reference the UN World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) forecasts – thus they have become the main arbiter of the future. This is an industry which in 1950 represented 23 million international arrivals and was forecasted to reach 1.8 billion in 2030. But the future of tourism has to be more than an economic forecast as extrapolated forecasts can often be misleading, ambiguous and debateable.

What will change?

In 2050, we still foresee romantic holidays in Paris or hiking the Yellow Mountains of China. What might be different is that Brain Computer Interfaces will have the ability to read customers’ minds, thus anticipating all their dreams and desires, or exoskeleton suits will give us all the power of Iron Man as adventure tourism is redrawn. Pokémon has taken the world by storm, but it is the convergence of the technology trends of GPS systems, augmented reality and ubiquitous computing that have made the game real and accessible to the masses, combined with the consumer trends of smart boredom and gaming cultures, that have changed how we play.

The future is both an understanding of the past and a quantum leap of imagination. Whether you believe in Star Trek, or Sunderland being the epicentre of tourism, the future is the only place you can travel to. Think of the future as your next holiday: we will help you pack your suitcase, plan the journey, guide you to attractions of interest to ensure you have a great time. Our new series, The Future of Tourism, will involve everything from science fiction to the rational – all because we adopt a multidisciplinary perspective that provides the answers to the questions you want to know.

For more information about the new series please see our website. Proposals should be sent to Sarah Williams, Commissioning Editor.


Cooking Reality Shows: Changing the Face of Gastronomy?

20 July 2016

This month we are publishing Gastronomy, Tourism and the Media by Warwick Frost, Jennifer Laing, Gary Best, Kim Williams, Paul Strickland and Clare Lade. In this post, Jennifer discusses the rise of reality TV cooking shows and how they have influenced people’s interest in food and cooking.

Gastronomy, Tourism and the MediaOne of the important trends that informs our new book, Gastronomy, Tourism and the Media, is the rise of the TV cooking competition. Once upon a time, amateur cooks competed to make the best jam/jelly or sponge cake at the local agricultural show or fair, and success consisted of a blue ribbon and the warm glow that comes when one’s culinary skill is appreciated beyond the family circle. These days, it’s a little more complicated, and potentially much more lucrative. The Australian version of Masterchef, a franchise which has spread around the world, is a good case study to illustrate this changing landscape of gastronomy in an age of instant celebrity and social media. I admit to having had a fascination with this show since it first graced Australian television in 2009, and I am not the only one with this obsession, nor is it confined to Australia. I recently attended a conference in France and over dinner met an academic and his wife from Quebec in Canada who were also fans of the series. So what is the secret of its longevity?

Masterchef Australia is unusual for a reality show in that the competitors are mostly nice to each other, and those who aren’t are derided on social media. It also appears to change some people’s lives in a momentous way, with former contestants going on to open their own restaurant, work for the best chefs around the globe or publish their own cookbook. These are mostly people with serious ambitions connected to gastronomy and in a type of Cinderella fantasy, we applaud when their dreams really do come true. Apart from the prize money, some individuals, like Poh Ling Yeow or Adam Liaw, now have their own cooking television shows, often a type of travelogue, while others such as Julie Goodwin, write about cooking in the popular press. The three judges, chefs Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris and food critic Matt Preston, are there to inspire, encourage and mentor the contestants and draw out the personal narratives that lead us to care about these people. There is a great pleasure to be had in seeing these amateur cooks develop their skills and create spectacular and inventive dishes, which draw high praise from celebrity guest judges such as Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Marco Pierre White and Heston Blumenthal.

The latter is an integral part of the recipe that makes Masterchef Australia so popular. The viewer gets to know these celebrity judges and see how they work in the kitchen, but also hear about how they started in gastronomy and witness their excitement at seeing something new or clever devised by a talented amateur. There is a regular masterclass segment which involves the celebrity chef sharing techniques and tips for improving various dishes. Marco Pierre White is exacting in his standards, but also warm with praise when it is deserved, and tells us his stories of overcoming adversity during his career and the importance of endurance and passion if a chef is to succeed. These celebrity chefs present a very human face, somehow different from that shown during their own television series when they are the star of the show. This makes them even more fascinating as public figures and inspires some of us to visit their restaurants, to taste the outcome of this knowledge, skill and zeal, presided over by a chef who we know is at the top of their game. It was part of the appeal for me of eating at the Rick Stein at Bannisters restaurant in coastal New South Wales last year.

The show also has a powerful influence over gastronomic trends. One year a few contestants made chocolate fondant pudding and I was amused at the number of times this dish formed part of menus of numerous restaurants that I visited in Australia and the UK. Which came first is debatable, but there appears to be a flow-on effect from the television series. Children at school now talk about ‘plating up’ and are familiar with the latest kitchen gadgetry, such as a smoking gun, sous-vide machine or blast chiller. There is a greater choice of fruit and vegetables at our supermarkets, driven in part by the array of produce that Masterchef Australia showcases through its various challenges. I draw the line however at the latest craze that the show presents – incorporating meat as an element of a dessert. Panchetta crumb with my panna cotta? No celebrity chef can make me swallow that…

Associate Professor Jennifer Laing, La Trobe University, Australia
Email: jennifer.laing@latrobe.edu.au

For more information about this book please see our website or contact Jennifer at the address above.


What is the meaning of ‘local’ in today’s globalised world?

10 May 2016

This month we published Reinventing the Local in Tourism edited by Antonio Paolo Russo and Greg Richards. The book examines how tourist destinations are being transformed by the development of peer-produced tourism and hospitality services giving tourists a more ‘authentic’ experience. In this post, the editors of the book discuss the key themes of their new book.

Reinventing the Local in TourismFor decades, tourism research has interpreted the transformative force of tourism as an external agent which undermines the inherent, ‘genuine’ qualities of places. Even today, the planning and management approaches of many destinations are based on this idea.

However, recent conceptual turns in the social sciences suggest that this way of looking at the role of tourism in places may now be inadequate: in the context of a mobile, connected, culturally-globalized society, what is ‘local’? Does the ‘local’ make any sense any more as an immanent quality of place? And how does tourism then engage with the rapidly changing concept of ‘localness’? Does it make it or destroy it?

This debate is today at the heart of contemporary urbanism and policymaking. Many cities and regions around the world are now increasingly seeking to redefine themselves (their citizenship, their living landscapes, their brands) and develop fresh approaches to dealing with the new mobilities, both physical and cultural, produced by tourism.

This book presents a number of conceptual approaches and empirical studies by renowned scholars and younger researchers connected to the ATLAS network. Its ambition is to shed new light on this broad topic and hopefully contribute to redefining a relevant agenda for tourism research and place management.

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


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