Commercial Nationalism and Tourism

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. 

Tourism and National Identity in Scotland

Last month we published Kalyan Bhandari’s book Tourism and National Identity. Here Kalyan gives us some background to the book.

Tourism and National IdentityIt is imperative that I explain the background that has shaped this study and the reason for this book. The materials in this book are based on my doctoral research. The topic was conceived slightly earlier during my MLitt programme in Tourism, Heritage and Development at the University of Glasgow. The first few weeks of the MLitt programme immersed me in Scottish history and culture and I realised that there was a deeper interaction of tourism with the Scottish nation as the touristic heritage of Scotland persistently represented its cultural identity, national image and distinctive characteristics.

I wanted to pursue this area more and in the middle of my MLitt course I transferred to a PhD programme. I felt I could be more objective as I am from Nepal, a country that has no colonial relation with the United Kingdom. In Nepal, the United Kingdom is understood as a unitary entity and the existence of other ‘national’ units within the UK is largely unknown. Thus, the interpretation in this book is informed by my background as a Nepali national and my perception of the UK until coming to Scotland for my postgraduate studies.

My question in this book is:  What role does tourism play in the imagining of the Scottish nation in contemporary Scotland? This question is informed by two important considerations: i) that tourist sites are socio-cultural constructions and different tourism regions, spaces and sites may produce different narratives for tourists; ii) that not all tourism sites or images and icons run a single discourse, as each touristic region or area is different from others in terms of the history it represents and the image and icons they are associated with. I was aware that many people believe the image of Scotland in tourism is unfairly tilted towards one region, the Scottish Highlands, and that this has resulted in a highly stereotyped identity of Scotland favouring this region. Thus, in this book I have chosen the relatively less known southwest and the central belt as my field.

The choice of the southwest region was largely informed by my own home experience. I come from that part of Nepal which is not strongly connected with the popular tourism areas of Nepal. The region does not fit within the stereotypical image of Nepal and is considered largely neglected in terms of tourism development. This correlates strongly to the southwest region of Scotland. In terms of academic orientation, my previous post-graduate qualification in sociology has greatly shaped this book.  However, this work was conducted whilst based in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Glasgow and I was constantly interacting with scholars whose disciplinary backgrounds were varied. These facts have strongly influenced my approach in this book.

If you would like more information about the book please see our website.