Tuesday, February 11, 2020


CRITICAL REVIEW OF TOURISM STUDIES ARTICLE - Essay Example Utilising man's instinct to travel to make commercial sense has resulted in various governmental and tourism related entities vying for a share of the wallet. Since the penchant for real, genuine, authentic destinations are on the rise, many are being touted as such and aptly exhibited to trigger interests in the tourist. This is called "staging" and this has led to the loss of authenticity. This article deals with how there is a loss of authenticity of the destinations due to the necessity to conform to expectations as perceived by the tourists. "Staged authenticity" involves manipulation of local cultural phenomenon to cater to the expectations of tourists arriving there. This may be in the form of hosting shows to adding cultural expressions and cultural aspects of the local culture that closely align to creating an experience for the tourists. These shows may not necessarily be replicas of the original culture. Tourism can turn local cultures into commodities when religious rituals, traditional ethnic rites and festivals are reduced and sanitized to conform to tourist expectations, resulting in what has been called "reconstructed ethnicity." As long as tourists just want a glimpse of the local atmosphere, a quick glance at local life, without any knowledge or even interest, staging will be inevitable. It leans more towards creating that unique experience than preser ving local culture or involving the locals as a part of that culture and bringing the tourist into the unique world for a glimpse. However, this article also says that while these hyperactive contrived experiences may satisfy a postmodernism oriented tourist, it may fall short when a genuine authentic experience-seeking tourist is in contact with it. The article also argues that though it is important for the experience to be real, often even in the genuine historic sites, it is not possible to recreate accurately every aspect of the past. This is because the past is an immense entity of which we are fortunate to have a glimpse of certain pieces of the puzzle. We will never be able to comprehend in totality of what life was at that point in time. In addition, to make it more viewable to the public, it is often necessary to sanitize the site and provide basic amenities and odour removal so that the tourist is not turned off exploring it. Therefore a minimal amount of doctoring when the lines between the real and the "doctored" are almost invisible, the experience for the tourists is more authentic and satisfying. Once a destination is sold as a tourism product, and the branding of the destination starts duplicating an experience to the tourists that may or may not be exactly what the tourists want. Perception of an experience by the tourists is very individualistic and subjective. This is because each individual perceives an experience differently. While a few staged local shows and a photograph moment with the locals may be sufficient for a certain group of individuals as a long-term memory there are another set of tourists who are disappointed by the lack of true cultural aspects. In conclusion, the article stresses the following points. The definition of "authenticity" is by itself very subjective because how the scholar, researcher and the heritage manager visualize it may be different from how the tourist perceives it. While there are some of

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