Tourism – by Adrian Franklin
Not surprisingly, then, tourism in Boston does not stand far apart from the city’s other commercial, cultural and recreational activities; to a great extent then it is absorbed into the daily life of the city. Ehrlich and Dreier (1999: 157) I may have noticed a few birds careering through the air in matinal excitement, but my awareness of them was weakened by a number of other, incongruous and unrelated elements, among these, a sore throat that I had developed during the ? ight, a worry at not having informed a colleague that I would be away, a pressure across both temples and a rising need to visit the bathroom.
A momentous but until then overlooked fact was making its ®rst appearance: that I had inadvertently brought myself with me to the island. De Botton (2002: 17±20) No changing of place at a hundred miles an hour will make us one whit stronger, happier or wiser. John Ruskin, quoted in De Botton (2002: 222) SUMMARY · · · · · · · Tourism: Key questions for the twenty-®rst century Tourism as an ordering of globalisation Sensing tourism Tourism and everyday life Tourism and rituals of transformation Tourism and `fast time’ Structure of the book 2 Tourism
Tourism: Key questions for the twenty-®rst century This book is an up to date guide to understanding the theory, practice, development and effects of tourism. It considers general theories of tourism to be inadequate on their own and goes on to develop a new approach that recognises tourism as a complex set of social and cultural phenomena. This approach requires a variety of theoretical perspectives, a theoretical pluralism, that can make sense of its various connections and engagements within the constantly changing social and cultural milieux of modernity.
Unlike some approaches this book does not view tourism as merely based on the pleasurability of the unusual and the different. Instead, tourism is viewed also as a serious individual engagement with the changing (and ? uid) conditions of modernity with implications for nation formation and citizenship, the rise of consumerism, cosmopolitanism, the natural world and globalisation. The book argues that tourism is therefore a central component of modern social identity formation and engagement, rather than something shallow and insigni®cant that takes place on the social margin.
It identi®es the transformative and redemptive components of tourism and in so doing places more emphasis on its ritual, performative and embodied dimensions. Here tourism can be understood as spaces and times of self-making ± rather special types of space and time that allow latitudes, freedoms and experimentation. As such it opposes more standardised accounts based on the tourist gaze and the central signi®cance of authenticity where both the tourist and the objects of their gaze stand apart.
My approach emphasises the interaction and effects of people and these objects. It is argued that tourism cannot be separated from the cultural, political and economic conditions in which it has developed and changed, and critically, the book argues that tourism is no longer something that happens away from the everday lifeworld. Rather tourism is infused into the everyday and has become one of the ways in which our lives are ordered and one of the ways in which consumers orientate themselves, or take a stance to a globalised world.
This book is a guide to understanding tourism, particularly as different writers have tried to understand it and to keep track of it as a changing cultural and commercial form in modern life. But tourism is now far too blended into everyday life and the global ? ows of people and things to be treated as a detachable phenomenon. So, unlike many other tourism texts, this book will also identify how tourism con®gures with everyday social relations and cultures. I will tackle two broad questions.
First, how can we understand tourism in social and cultural terms; what precisely are people doing and how do they come to be doing it? Students and some scholars too tend to view tourism as rather self-evident, so obvious that it requires little in the way of explanation. But it does not take much to make the same people see it as a puzzle. Why, for example, do so many people ®nd old objects so fascinating? A modern toilet block could not be sold as a Introduction 3 tourist attraction; it needs to acquire the patina of time, but why?
A communal Roman latrine, on the other hand, is a fascinating object to behold and will sell postcards by the thousand. In fact, sometimes what is offered to tourists does not `work’. I once went to the Big Pit Mining Museum in South Wales, a mining heritage site in which the high point appeared to be switching our lights off some 300 feet underground to experience total darkness. Some of the young, af? uent French students in the tour party, ostensibly in the UK to learn English, were seriously unable to come to terms with what was happening to them.
They were not seeing the point of it; and I was struggling too. Equally, tourism is often something of a paradox. Tourism is commonly portrayed as an escape from work and essentially about pleasure but so many forms and experiences of tourism seem to involve, on the face of it, the opposite. Why is it that some people will spend their two precious weeks of summer enduring such dif®cult and uncomfortable conditions as `camping’ or `back packing’, for example? For those fourteen days they are prepared to sleep on hard ? ors, in cramped conditions, living on sub-basic foods, at the mercy of biting insects, tropical diseases and other risks; working very hard, and covering long distances, carrying heavy loads through unpredictable weather conditions. One sees those holiday cyclists, heavily loaded down on steep inclines, toiling through torrential rain and traf®c; it is possible to ask oneself what on earth they are doing and why? But even at the most luxurious end of the market, for those travelling by air to faraway luxury resort hotels, the amount of stress and work involved can be quite staggering.
Getting to, through and between airports is one of life’s greater challenges; not in any way enjoyable but fraught with all manner of hazards and worries. Aircraft conditions are perilous as the excellent book Jetlag: How to Beat It (David O’Connell, 1997) makes perfectly plain. Economy class cabins have little humidity and very little oxygen and can expose passengers to quite profound mixtures of germs gathered from every corner of the earth. Low oxygen and low humidity combine to make people tetchy and bad tempered. Low humidity and inactivity has been associated recently with the new travel anxiety, deep vein thrombosis (Brown et al. 2001: 18). As Zygmunt Bauman sums it up, `[t]here are many hardships one needs to suffer for the sake of tourist’s freedoms: the impossibility of slowing down, uncertainty wrapping every choice, risks attached to every decision . . . ‘ (Bauman, 1998b: 98). Why tourism continues to grow despite all of this is a secondary aspect of this ®rst question. The answers to these simple questions are surprisingly complex, and in order to gain an adequate understanding we will have to embark on a major exploration of the culture of travel and tourism as well as a consideration of attempts to answer them.
What we certainly cannot do is to imagine that a de®nition of tourism will get this question out of the way, smoothing the path for the more routine description of the workings of the tourist industry. There are many existing books that do precisely this and their strategy does not need to be reproduced again. This point was 4 Tourism made even stronger in a recent essay I wrote with Mike Crang, where we outlined what we took to be `the trouble with tourism and travel theory’ and we made it the launching pad and rationale for our new tourism journal, Tourist Studies: . . . ourist studies has been dominated by policy-led and industry-sponsored work so the analysis tends to internalise industry-led priorities and perspectives, leaving the research subject to the imperatives of policy, in the sense that one expects the researcher to assume as his own an objective of social control that will allow the tourist product to be more ®nely tuned to the demands of the international market. (Franklin and Crang, 2001: 5) That essay and now this book make a break with this trend and offer a way of understanding tourism as a cultural activity, and not merely a commercial exercise.
The second question to be addressed in this book concerns the place of tourism in contemporary life. It seems to me that we cannot continue to think of tourism merely as an industry, separable from all other industries and separable from our everyday lives. As Franklin and Crang argue: Tourism is no longer a specialist consumer product or mode of consumption: tourism has broken away from its beginnings as a relatively minor and ephemeral ritual of modern national life to become a signi®cant modality through which transnational modern life is organised.
Recent books on leisure by Chris Rojek (1995) and the holiday by Fred Inglis (2000) both place tourism as a central part of understanding social (dis-)organisation but also show how it can no longer be bounded off as a discrete activity, contained tidily at speci®c locations and occurring during set aside periods. As we see it, tourism is now such a signi®cant dimension to global social life that it can no longer be conceived of as merely what happens at self-styled tourist sites and encounters involving tourists away from home.
The new agenda for tourism studies needs therefore to re? ect this growing signi®cance. Nor should `tourist researchers feel a need to legitimate their seemingly frivolous topic by pointing out its economic and social importance’ but instead we might `view vacationing as a cultural laboratory where people have been able to experiment with new aspects of identities, their social relations or their interactions with nature and also to use the important cultural skills of daydreaming and mind-travelling.
Here is an arena in which fantasy has become an important social practice’ (Lofgren, 1999: 6±7). E It is easy to understand why so many tourism texts make this error since in the popular imagination tourism is by de®nition what takes place away from the everyday. Surely tourism is separated from normal life by the long distances people often travel in order to be tourists. Surely tourist places themselves are separated from workaday places not only by their remoteness but also in their possession of those special `touristic’ qualities that everyday places lack.
However, it turns out that most places are more like Boston, the subject of the quotation at the beginning of this chapter, and in Boston, tourism is `to a great extent . . . absorbed into the daily life of the city’. What does this mean? Introduction 5 In the case of Boston, as in a great many other places globally, the everyday world is increasingly indistinguishable from the touristic world. Most places are now on some tourist trail or another, or at least, not far from one. In addition, most of the things we like to do in our usual leisure time double up as touristic activities and are shared spaces.
This is as much A true for hanging out in fashionable cafes as it is for local art exhibitions and museums or local theme parks, shopping malls, food halls, beaches, sporting activities and local nature features. In fact, many leisure investments made ostensibly for tourists and tourism rely on the fact that local people will visit them too, and as the global population becomes increasingly settled in larger cities, so the metropolitan populations around each investment become ever more signi®cant.
Another way of looking at this is that an increasing number of `things to do’ in each of our localities began life with a view to attract and entertain visitors. The major cities and resort areas of the world are now in competition with each other for tourists, the convention and conference trade, and even to attract other companies to invest or relocate in their city. As a consequence much of our everyday lives are spent doing what tourists do, alongside tourists, and in what we might call a touristic manner.
This last point brings me to another: that increasingly, the manner of the tourist has become a metaphor for the way we lead our everyday lives in a consumer society. So rather than being an exceptional or occasional state of being in modern societies, or even as some have said, an escape from it, the manner of the tourist has come to determine a generalised stance to the world around us. In a globalised world, our stance as consumers of it is modelled and predicated on the tourist.
To begin with, this tourism of everyday life might be seen rather like the expansion of ? anerie (Tester, 1994): no longer con®ned to the cosmopolitan sensibilities of the emergent modern capital cities, most people are now alerted to, and routinely excited by, the ? ows of global cultural materials all around them in a range of locations and settings. We casually take in these ? ows, never fully in possession of their extent or their temporality, never expecting them to be complete or ®nalised as a knowable cultural landscape around us.
The repertoires for this appreciation and taste are drawn from travel and tourism, but, owing perhaps to the greater speed and extent of the circulation of peoples, cultures and artefacts, we ®nd the distinction between the everyday and holiday entirely blurred. The relationship between transnational culture and tourism of the everyday is a dimension of tourist studies that will surely prove to be signi®cant. (Franklin and Crang, 2001: 8)
Tourism as an ordering of globalisation If we cast our minds back in time, we would be able to ®nd, at various times and places, examples of people whose lives were more or less locked into the singular affairs of their village, small town, or even district, 6 Tourism neighbourhood or suburb. Everything there was stamped by the familiar, the known and the personally interconnected. People and things from elsewhere were outsiders, foreign, derogatory terms that conjure up the opposites of belonging: fear, loathing, misunderstanding or even hatred.
Although we must be careful not to cast such places as stationary and ®xed, because very often their inhabitants were involved in a degree of travel (see Clifford (1992) for an excellent essay on the mobility of cultures typically modelled as sedentary by anthropology), nonetheless, we can say that there were times when travel beyond the safe con®nes of a known locality (or range(s)) and culture(s) was certainly not romantic and longed for, but, if anything, feared as Other; it was the unknown and the dangerous, and boundaries were observed separating the home world from that of the traveller.
Although there was certainly curiosity about the world beyond the everyday, it was not a generalised interest about the world, a routine thirst for things new, exotic and startling. That thirst developed slowly in modernising nation states, and one of its vehicles for development was tourism.
Tourism, provided a pleasurable introduction to a world beyond the locality, and the basis of that relevance was the beginnings of a globalising world, starting ®rst with nation formation and the establishment of universal discourses that began to link localities rather than separate them, and then the routinisation of international trade that did very much the same on a wider scale.
Increasingly, the relevance of these wider scales of social transaction ± and especially the success of western overarching and universal themes ± meant that travel, and the knowledge and experience that come from travel, became an important source of cultural capital. As this speed of transaction and innovation increased, it produced the dizzy pace of change and novelty associated with modernity, and maintaining an interest and curiosity for the new became passionate and addictive; de®ning what it is to live in a consumer society.
In short, tourism required less and less effort to travel in order to obtain the same degree of sensation and difference that formerly only travel could provide. Instead the world moved in reverse, back to the homelands of western tourists in the form of commodities, cultures, musics, foods, styles, and peoples. In a city like London, much bigger and older than Boston, we can say that this process has reached its most advanced stage. In a way, the entire world ? ws into London at a remarkable rate, transforming it and changing it as it goes. Virginia Woolf was entranced by these ? ows in the 1920s, and she saw them as natural with an enchanting and bewildering beauty and poetics ± much in the manner of a tourist. Baudelaire saw them too and used the word ? anerie, a touristic word, to describe the pleasure of A strolling around in a large city, or sitting in cafes, taking in all the excitement and change. Today London is no different except that the ? ws are greater, the piles of commodities are higher and come from an even wider catchment and, critically, a larger proportion of the population can afford them. From London, any capital of Europe is within easy reach and return ? ights are currently as little as ®fty pounds, the price of a few Introduction 7 rounds of drinks in a pub, or the price of ®ve taxi rides between Paddington and Victoria railway stations. But the domain of superlatives belongs, properly, to journalists, and in this matter I defer to one of the world’s most travelled men, John Simpson, the BBC’s World Affairs Editor.
Although he does not say it in precisely these terms, in his book A Mad World, My Masters (Simpson, 2001), he makes it clear that the distinction between tourism and everyday life has collapsed, that the world is now distinguishably touristic: The feeling is growing, especially in the United States, that there is no need to travel abroad, since abroad is travelling to you. In Washington DC I have been driven by a taxi driver who had been the leader of an Afghan mujaheddin group, and in Paris by another who had been an Iranian air force general.
In Denver I once found a taxi was driven by a North Korean who spoke not a single recognisable word of English, and in New York City a taxi driver from, I think, Equatorial Guinea who had no idea where or what Wall Street was. (Simpson, 2001: xxiv) But again, the point is that this new touristic world of ? ows, migrations and what Urry (2000) calls travellings of peoples and objects is not con®ned to the USA. In a great many places rendered touristic, objects of tourism such as foods and tastes and ethnicities ? w backwards into the origins of western tourism, profoundly changing them through fusions, multiculturalisms, and often quite spectacular cultural collisions. Here is John Simpson again: In London there are colonies tens of thousands strong of Columbians, Thais and Ethiopians ± people without the remotest colonial connection to Britain. There are Japanese restaurants in Kinshasa, Beijing and Geneva, and Italian restaurants in Amman, Minsk and Pretoria.
You ®nd the best Thai food in Australia, the best Balti in northern England, and the best Persian fesanjun in Los Angeles. Tandoori has become the quintessential British dish, while curry has supplanted ®sh and chips as the most popular takeaway food. Hamburgers are more popular among the thirteen to eighteen age group in France than steak-frites or maigret de canard. (Simpson, 2001: xxv) Some readers might object to the spin I am putting on these strange new cultural con®gurations; surely this is covered adequately by the term globalisation?
However while we might sense `globalisation’, and there are those who have identi®ed some of its dimensions and scales, its economics, its politics and its postmodern qualities, in itself it does not capture or specify the newly emerging cultural consequences of its own presence in the world. Bauman (1998b: 1) likens globalisation to other vogueish words, which `tend to share a similar fate: the more experiences they pretend to make transparent, the more they themselves become opaque.
Such human practices as the concept tried originally to grasp recede from view, and it is now `the facts of the matter’, the quality of the `world out there’ that the term seems to `get straight’ and which it invokes 8 Tourism to claim its own immunity to questioning’. But we are still as he says, `unpacking the social roots and social consequences of the globalisation process’ and my argument is that tourism has been one of the more important but neglected cultural processes of globalisation, but also, that it has produced a globalised world in its own image.
This is why I argue that the world has become touristic, or at the very least, that tourism has become a metaphor for the consumerist society most of us live in, which is inextricably connected to a world of ? ows of peoples and objects. Of course, by these means the world of touristic difference has shrunk. But we can go even further than that. According to Bauman, `distance does not matter that much. Space stopped being an obstacle ± one needs just a split second to conquer it’ (Bauman, 1998b: 77).
Of course, he is referring to the difference that the Internet and other global communications have made. But for my purposes here, it has become possible to go places by sitting at home in your living room, study or bedroom. We surf the net routinely whizzing about the world at fantastic speeds, and this does indeed cancel distance, but the point I want to make here is that we surf like tourists and the web is set up in a touristic way. Take the language of the web for a start. We `visit’ web `sites’.
We wander around sites as the mood takes us, leisurely or erratically; sites provide us with `maps’ and when we arrive anywhere we are given `itineraries’, `menus’, `gateways’, `access’. It is a language of movement, `back’, `forward’, `go’, `stop’ and so on. There is also something touristic about the way sites are constructed, they aim to attract us, make us linger, entertain us and of course sell us something. The web is our virtual world and it is just as we like it: constantly changing. We are now like tourists all the time, we are restless, addicted to motion, itching to set off.
We seem to inhabit many places simultaneously. But this travel can be just as meaningful and eventful. For example, we can go overseas to do some shopping and buy things not available locally. In Australia this is very handy as a recent survey of internet use makes clear: in the twelve months before May 2000, 43 per cent of internet users in Australia purchased or ordered something from overseas, and 12 per cent of them bought holidays (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2000: 13). Sensing tourism In the 1990s, ourism research was particularly inspired by the visual dimension of tourism and indeed in Urry’s The Tourist Gaze, tourism behaviour was explained as the pleasurability of seeing or gazing upon the different and unusual, as a contrast to the familiarity of everyday life. In addition, tourism was conducted in precisely constructed and decoded semiotic ®elds: tourists were held to be collectors of views and gazes on objects and landscapes that reference or symbolise something else, an essence. The Eiffel Tower referenced Frenchness; thatched cottages Introduction referenced Englishness and so on. The visual technologies of the 1990s, that enabled replication, simulation, distortion and mixing to be possible on a new and unprecedented scale, also detached the signs from the things they referenced and these became objects of pleasurability in their own right. A television soap opera is not real life, but for many living in the television age its reality is irrelevant, it exists and is compelling. Television becomes `the clearest embodiment of the replacement of reality with representation’ (Rojek, 1993: 130).
In this way, as we have seen above, a postmodern world of virtual reality became possible and was increasingly a normative expectation of playfulness. The so-called `post-tourist’ no longer needed authentic objects to con®rm their gaze but enjoyed the fakery, the games of simulation and the virtual imaginary that the thematised tourism `worlds’ of the 1990s provided. The web, we can say, extends and normalises that virtual world of tourism and plants it very conveniently at home, and for an increasing number, at work.
These new visual technologies combine with the ubiquitous presence of the camera as the de®ning, if not enabling, technology in all decades of modernity, to give the impression that tourism is indeed carried out essentially in the medium of vision. In this world, intrepid travellers are positioned at a distance from the objects under their gaze; they are safely remote and detached from the world before them. And since the work involved in tourist consumption was largely cognitive, making essentially mental connections between the concrete signs and their bstract referents, we can say that it was largely a disembodied exercise. John Urry and Chris Rojek are notable innovators and synthesisers of what we might call visual theories of tourism, but in recent years more emphasis is being given to embodied perspectives on tourism. This is a reaction to concerns that important aspects of the body were being ignored or sidelined, and also that despite the new virtual world (and perhaps also because of it), a new tourism of the body was emerging which eschewed the limitations of the tourist gaze.
As Saldanha (2002:43) argues `Don’t tourists swim, climb, stroll, ski, relax, become bored perhaps, or ill; don’t they go other places to taste, smell, listen, dance, get drunk, have sex? ‘ We can perhaps say that as the 1990s faded into the 2000s more people wanted to get their hands on the world, to taste it, feel it, smell it and importantly, do things with it and not just look at it. Inspired by Veijola and Jokinen’s (1994) paper `The Body in Tourism’ we are starting to see a new tourism of the body, from Saldanha’s paper on music tourism in Goa, to Hall et al. s (2000) book on wine tourism to Crouch’s (1999) edited collection. This book will explore the new embodied tourism in a variety of ways, but particularly through an examination of the ritual and performative nature of tourism (in which the body becomes the focus of transition) as well as chapters on the body and tourism and sex and tourism. However it is important to stress that these new directions in tourism research continue to work with and build on the tourist gaze and the semiotics of tourism.
As Franklin and Crang (2001) argued: 10 Tourism Indeed, the parallels of tourism and semiotics were spelled out in a pathbreaking article by Jonathon Culler (1981) some 20 years ago. There he outlined the way tourism as language acts to mark out, signify and categorise the world. If we take this seriously we see a version of semiosis where `display not only shows and speaks, it does’ (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, 1998: 6). Tourism is a productive system that fuses discourse, materiality and practice.
There are now developing avenues of thinking trying to move beyond a study of representation towards seeing tourism as a system of presencing and performance. Thus some accounts focus on the nature of so much tourism as performances, from folk dance to performing dolphins, and we might take up Cantwell’s characterisation of `ethnomimesis’ where performances always pick up previously circulating representations, and work them through in a poetics, stringing together images, visitors, performers and the history of their relations. Cantwell, 1993: 284; 1992) (Franklin and Crang, 2001: 17) Tourism and everyday life This book is a different guide to tourism because tourism has left the con®nes of resorts and other spaces of tourist destinations (where most tourism texts hang out) and as tourism has covered more and more spaces and activities, coming closer and closer to home, it has changed the sort of world we live in and how we live in it.
Tourism is therefore more signi®cant than most people would believe, and its founders and innovators such as Thomas Cook should be properly acknowledged alongside other authors of modernity such as Henry Ford and Karl Marx (to my knowledge, only Lash and Urry (1994) come close to doing this). In fact there is a long history of holding tourism in contempt as a derisory, shallow and vulgar sort of activity, but these sorts of comment tend to be made by social elites who ®nd that more and more of the world that was once accessible exclusively to them is now available to all, or almost all.
Tourists, who by de®nition are inferior sorts, get in the hair of these elites by over-running the exclusive resorts they used to escape to and by swarming around their homes in the pleasant English countryside or charming cathedral cities or the commercial centres of New York or Frankfurt. So tourism is also a metaphor of everyday life because it is about freedom and democracy, accessibility and choice.
But just as tourism has become a way of life for a global world, it is, not surprisingly, becoming increasingly dif®cult to travel anywhere new or different that is in any way free from hazards: `[t]here are only a handful of places left on earth where you can escape all this [global sameness]; as I write there is no McDonald’s in Cuba, no Coca Cola in Libya, and no television in Afghanistan.
But in order to ®nd real difference you have to travel well outside the political pale’ (Simpson, 2001: xxvi). Most people do not travel outside the political pale and so they ®nd themselves increasingly travelling inside the realm of the familiar. Every city throughout the world for example, seems to be selling the same things. As Simpson argues, Introduction 11 `large parts of the entire world’s population, from Kuwait to Sydney, and from Galway to Dalian, buy their clothes at Gap . . ‘ Global sameness reduces cultural difference: `I recognised him because he was dressed like a foreigner,’ says a character in a pre-war Graham Greene novel, and as late as the 1970s you could still recognise Frenchmen from the cuts of their jackets, Englishmen by their checks and brogues, Italians by the narrowness of their trousers, Americans by the shortness of theirs and the thickness of the welts on their shoes. (Simpson, 2001: xxv)
Tourism and rituals of transformation As the difference between here and there, home and away, working life and leisure life becomes blurred or collapses, it does not therefore hail the end of tourism because what has been reproduced everywhere is the entertaining, and fast moving world of novelty consumerism, ®tness, beauty and individual redemption that was once only available after the travails of travel. Tourism is not synonymous with travel; it is a modern stance to the world, an interest and curiosity in the world beyond our own immediate lives and circles.
As Franklin and Crang argue, `The routinisation of touristic sensibilities in everyday life is . . . created by enhanced spatial ? ows of people ± a shift from cultural tourism to touristic culture (Franklin and Crang, 2001: 10; Picard, 1996). But this modern quality of tourism is not all there is. The wisest accounts of tourism also note aspects of continuity-in-discontinuity: tourism and its antecedent forms of behaviour such as pilgrimage and carnival involve the individual in what I am going to call here rituals of transformation.
It is clear from many writers that even the most contemporary forms of tourism are ritualistic, most closely resembling rituals of passage where the individual is delivered from one state or condition of the life course into the next. Clearly, tourism is not part and parcel of contemporary rituals of passage but it is clear that the ritual forms of tourism are similar to those of rituals of passage, particularly because some change, effect or transition is routinely intended or anticipated. It will be made clear that the effects and transitions that tourists looked for varied at different moments of modernity.
Many have commented on the similarities between early forms of tourism and pilgrimage and they both overlap in their association with health and personal renewal. Health has remained a continuous theme but at other times and places, other effects were looked for or anticipated. In the twentieth century, for example, tourism became associated with the consumption of luxury and the novel but for many people, especially ordinary working people whose incomes were only just beginning to run to an annual holiday, and whose material worlds were extremely limited, their holiday to places such as 12 Tourism
Blackpool or Brighton, offered the prospect of transition into the consumer world. These places were magical and compelling precisely because they initiated them into the bright and dizzy world of emerging consumerist modernity. As Bennett’s analysis of Blackpool very clearly shows, it is the latest technologies and the advanced edges of modernisation that were most evident and emphasised ± and attractive. At one level Blackpool offered pleasure, pure and simple, but underlying that rather extreme form of excitation and fever that observers recorded, was the feeling of being transported to the future.
Here was a future world, not only of technologies and the transformations they will bring to everyday life, but a consumer world unfolding. In the summer of 1938, one of the ®rst destinations holidaymakers made for after arriving by train in Blackpool was `The Biggest Woolworth’s in the World’, one of the ®rst superstores ever conceived. Its range of goods far exceeded anything they could see in normal life, but at the same time it also held the transformative promise of the future: progress From its earliest days as a seaside resort the by-word of
Blackpool, recurring again and again in its publicity brochures, has been Progress. . . . If Manchester could claim that what it thought today, London did the next day and the world heard about it the day after, then Blackpool’s claim was to be even one step ahead of Manchester. Nor was the claim an idle one. Blackpool has an impressive number of `®rsts’ to its credit ± the ®rst town in Britain with electric street lighting (1879) and the ®rst town in the world to have a permanent electric street tramway (1885). Bennett, 1983: 146) Even though Blackpool was in these ways quite exceptional, its character as embodying progress was the stamp of seasides everywhere to a greater or lesser extent. As we will see, there was a lot going on at seasides but although this took place in distracted and frenzied excitement, capping the entire experience was exposure to, and perhaps also initiation into, the pleasure world of modernity.
Recent research and writing on modern consumption and our relationship with `things’ emphasises not their association with the mundane as one might expect but with their more magical and transformative place in our lives (Campbell, 1995; Warde, 2001). Campbell argues, persuasively I think, that consumerism has important links to Romanticism, particularly the way in which objects of the world were (literally) `conjured’ up through acts of imagination, longing and anticipation.
Romanticism established an ability to mantle objects with an imaginative magic, ®rst for objects of the natural world but then also other objects of desire. He argues that consumerism involves the same restlessness and spirituality. Things are most intensely enjoyed in the imagination, in their anticipation whereas the act of possession is often swiftly followed by anti-climax, and the search for something else. This is surely why shopping is so intensely enjoyable ± and such a central tourist activity. Introduction 13 Figure 1. 1 Fairground `Frisbee’. Source: Ian Britton
Tourism and `fast time’ Even while contemporary tourists shop as never before, constantly using consumerism as a channel of personal transformation, renewal and change, towards the end of the twentieth century we can identify the beginnings of yet another ritualisation of tourist experiences. At a time when it became increasingly dif®cult to get away and ®nd difference, a time when distance seemed to have been cancelled and a time when we have all become tourists most of the time, it was also true that we became subject to what some have called `fast time’.
The tyranny of the present is not boredom or the lack of difference and colour or excitement in our lives but the opposite: we are over-excited, bombarded by stimulation, information, possibilities, connections and access. It is claimed that our lives are too busy; we are trying to do too much too often; electronic communications speed up our ability to do things and the pace and extent of our transactions. We are bereft of time to commit to things we consider important like long-term relationships, our children, careful planning and leisure (Hylland Eriksen, 2001).
The phrase `stressed out’ belongs to this period but not to periods before. It will be claimed that many of the new forms of tourism we are beginning to see and research owe their origins to these conditions of fast time, and can be considered rituals of slow time, activities designed to slow down the body and to maximise not the next moment, but the present. We can begin to make certain links between 14 Tourism Figure 1. 2 Bush walking in the wilderness. Source: Michelle Whitmore hese rituals of slow time with more embodied forms of tourism, particularly to a range of body techniques that establish links with aspects of the natural world. Chapter 8 is dedicated to exploring these links with examples ranging from sur®ng, climbing, walking and retreat tourism to cabins, shacks and naturism. If it is essential in these sorts of activities to understand tourism as embodied experience, it is also important to be symmetrical and use the experience of tourists to inform our knowledge of tourism everywhere.
In many tourism texts, what tourists actually do and what they think and feel about what they are doing is conspicuous by its absence. Similarly, one criticism of tourism theory to date is that it has relied for too long on general theories of tourist behaviour and motivation and has failed to use its extensive generation of empirical studies to re®ne and ®ne tune (see Introduction 15 Rojek and Urry, 1997: Franklin and Crang, 2001). Theory very rarely seems to derive from empirical studies.
However, we are also beginning to see more phenomenological approaches being used to cast light on tourism, and this has been particularly evident in the politically contentious case of heritage tourism. This sort of research views tourism as the outcome of the interaction between the intentions and designs of the providers of tourist sites and their interpretations of the objects on display and the background and biography of the visitors themselves. In these accounts there is no universal tourist and what is of interest is the range of effects that are produced at heritage sites.
Here the outcome of tourism is not the rather simplistic collections of signs and experiences but often a more passionate and personal set of experiences, transitions, understandings and additions to the way people construct a sense of self. At one level, as Rojek (1993) argued, there is an important educational component to tourism, and detractors of heritage tourism who see it as `bogus history’ seem to miss this point completely. History is always contested and socially relative.
The work by Mike Crang on heritage reinforces a general point made in this book, that the relevance of `tourism’ is not con®ned to tourist sites alone: it is also what tourists bring with them (their identity, their past, their diversity, their neuroses etc. ) and what they take back with them (their new knowledge, the ways in which they were inspired, interpellated or assimilated etc. ) and beyond that its additive quality, how one experience builds on another and the effects of their combined outcomes on the community at large.
Again, we can say with some justi®cation that the effects (or impacts) of tourism have been generally studied at the immediate site of visitation and interaction and so these wider effects have been lost. However, we have only to think of food and the globally shifting nature of taste that derives from tourism to appreciate the wider impact and relevance of tourism. In sum this book explains what tourism is as a cultural activity, not through recourse to general theory but to theoretical accounts that can adequately explain tourism in its multiple and varied spaces, times and cultures.
This book does concentrate mostly on how tourism emerged and developed within western cultures, but one of its central claims is that it has ceased to be a minor and relatively unique form of leisure activity and has expanded to comprise one of the main ways in which contemporary life and experience is ordered. In this respect, tourism can be identi®ed as one of the social orderings of a globalised world, and in this way the book is of far wider interest. I will now explain brie? y how the book is structured and what you can expect in each of the chapters.
Structure of the book The book is divided into three parts, and although it makes a lot of sense to read each in sequence they are designed to be self-standing and can be 16 Tourism dipped into, as can each chapter. The ®rst part offers a critical evaluation of tourism as it has been conceived by others and offers a modi®ed perspective based on this reinterpretation as well as an analysis of tourism in the 2000s. As I have already indicated, attention will be paid not only to what we mean by tourism but how tourism can be understood as an integral and important part of social and cultural life in modernity.
Part of this understanding requires us to see tourism changing quite profoundly in relation to the development and change of modern societies. Part of the problem with other tourism books is that the history and development of tourism are often treated rather like tourism itself, as a self-standing and separate domain of modern life. In such a developmental history it is as if present forms of tourism slowly evolved from previous manifestations, rather like motorcars developed from previous archaic forms of transport.
This is OK as far as it goes, but if new forms and developments owe their origins to general and speci®c changes in modern life away from the resort, as I will argue they did, then this rendering of history is very limited and partial. Chapter 1 sets the scene through an initial examination of the nature of tourism, and Chapter 2 establishes what I want to call the foundations of modern tourism, particularly through a look at its relationship to the nation state.
This I feel has been a much-neglected area and my hope is that scholars and students anywhere will be able to use this perspective in their research and writing wherever they live. The role of the state as an ordering vehicle for modernity and the cultural processes of nation formation are critical to understanding how modern tourism came about. In a variety of ways nation states also provided the conduit for the emergence of forms of governance and ordering strategies through the domains of sport, leisure and tourism.
In this way, tourism is not unrelated to attempts to establish social order in modern societies, and although tourism is perceived as a domain of escape and freedom, we have always to understand that this takes place against a background of legislations, controls, subsidies, policies, nationalisms and controls and manipulations of public spectacle, ceremony and building. With tourism there is always a tension, therefore, between the attempts to order and in? uence civil society and the essentially individual pursuit of freedom and redemption.
The ®nal chapter of Part One is called `Elaborations of Tourism’ and denotes the variety of ways in which tourism evolved both in new tourist practices but also as a presence in modern social life. In other words I argue that tourism leaves important traces and consequences. Part Two `Objects and Rituals’ consists of two chapters that develop ideas raised in Part One. In Part Two I explore a central idea in the book that tourism does not reduce simply to the achievement of pleasure through the sighting and visitation of unusual, new or authentic objects of the world, though of course such activities do take place.
Rather, my emphasis will be on what seems to me to be a quality common to most forms of tourism: the search for individual forms of transition, change and redemption. Of course the sorts of transition hoped for or anticipated have changed over Introduction 17 time and vary within any one period, but they all seem to have one thing in common: the quest for personal transition, no matter how modest, always seems to follow ritualised formats, and these ritual forms and the objects of tourism that are a critical part of them make up the main content of Part Two.
Chapter 5 explores the presence of tourist objects in tourism as well as the notion of rituals of tourism. It takes readers on a detailed exploration of forms of ritual activity that preceded and relate to modern tourism: carnival and pilgrimage. These ideas carry through into Chapter 7, which examines the object-rich, ritualised world of heritage tourism. This is a major domain of tourism and Chapter 7 will outline key perspectives on heritage and analyse the principal arguments. Since heritage is by its very nature concerned with social identity, agency and history it is a politically charged and contested terrain.
In the hands of contemporary nationalistic discourses, heritage can be assimilating, hailing all and binding everyone into a common project. In the hands of local groups, speci®c cities, classes, regions, ethnic groups and so forth, it can be a means whereby they address the world, making statements about their culture, background and project; literally a means of writing themselves into history. In this chapter we will see how objects as well as discourses produce heritage effects, but in order to do that we have to be in the thick of things, seeing how visitors’ biographies encounter the interpreter’s discourse.
Part Three also carries forward themes developed earlier but concentrates on two important domains of tourism in which what we might call `the tourist body’ has become the object of greater attention. Rather than the essentially disembodied viewing tourist, concentrating on objects of the tourist gaze, these forms of tourism have returned in many ways to themes that dominated pilgrimage: health and illness, individual redemption, spirituality and a concern with sacred objects. But rather than the sacred shrines of martyrs and saints, the contemporary tourist visits nature, the ocean, mountains, forests, wildlife.
Rather than employ the technologies of prayer, devotion, chants and meditation, the contemporary pilgrim to nature achieves ecstatic moments through a range of technologies that blur the difference between the self and nature. Nature is inscribed on the tourist body by the `hard work’ and technique involved with walking, climbing, and trekking. Some techniques require such concentration and physical skill that practitioners lose themselves in natural surfaces: the surfer, the paraglider, the skier, the skydiver and the snowboarder for example.
Ecstatic moments occur when the degree of skill and concentration required focus all attention on the moment, and where temporary fusions between nature and the body are experienced: some have called this `? ow’. There is no doubting the growth of these nature-based and high adrenalin tourisms, and they mark out stages in the trend towards a more active and performative tourism. These sorts of activity have been related to changing conditions in contemporary culture, particularly in reaction to the experience of fast time and the feeling that the body is bombarded by a dissonant series of stimulations in everyday life and where concentration, 8 Tourism attention and contemplation have become sacri®ced. Whereas Chapter 8 concentrates on this relationship between the body and contemporary culture and homes in on a series of case studies from eco-tourism to sur®ng, climbing, naturism and taste, Chapter 9 examines the related topic of sex and tourism. Sex is universally associated with the heightened states of excitation produced by ritual occasions, and a heightened state of sexuality has accompanied most forms of tourism. However, the nature and degree of sexuality in tourism has varied considerably over time.
Chapter 8 attempts to put some perspective on this variation and enables the reader to compare the place of sex in the seaside holidays of the midtwentieth century with later periods. Tourism options have been speci®ed by a more and more explicit reference to opportunities to experience sex. Chapter 9 concludes with an extensive discussion of tourisms that are focused around experiencing sex. In this we draw on similar themes, notably the more re? exive sensibilities of late modernity that have not only made the body a ®tting and appropriate focus of attention but developed the means for people to do so in an unlimited and unfettered manner.
Chapter 10 concludes the book, providing a summary of the key arguments and themes of the book. It makes a clear case for considering tourism to be one of the most important activities of the globalised modern world. Further Reading Bauman, Z. (1998b) Globalisation ± The Human Consequences. Oxford: Polity. Franklin, A. S. and Crang, M. (2001) `The trouble with tourism and travel theory? ‘, Tourist Studies 1(1): 5±22. Hannigan, J. (1998) Fantasy City. London: Routledge. Inglis, F. (2000) The Delicious History of the Holiday. London: Routledge.
Lofgren, O. (1999) On Holiday: A History of Vacationing. Berkeley: University of California E Press. Rojek, C. (1995) Decentring Leisure: Rethinking Leisure Theory. London: Sage. Urry, J. (2000) Sociology Beyond Societies ± Mobilities for the Twenty-®rst Century. London: Routledge. Part 1 Questions and Scope 2 What is tourism? Nowadays we are all on the move. Many of us change places ± moving homes or travelling to and from places that are not our homes. Some of us do not need to go out to travel: we can dash or scurry or ? t through the Web, netting and mixing on the computer screen messages born in opposite corners of the globe. But most of us are on the move even if physically, bodily we stay put . . . jumping in and out of foreign spaces with a speed much beyond the capacity of supersonic jets and cosmic rockets, but nowhere staying long enough to be more than visitors, to feel chez soi. Zygmunt Bauman (1998b: 77) Tourism is everything and everything is tourism. Ian Munt (1994: 104) People are much of the time `tourists’ whether they like it or not.
John Urry (1990: 82) More Canadian package tours go to the West Edmonton Mall than to Niagara Falls. Ritzer and Liska (1997: 103) Seaside towns and inland spas have, under local Acts, extensively developed municipal services [sports and other leisure facilities]. The object has been, of course, to make staying in these resorts pleasant for visitors. Is it not reasonable to suggest that the same efforts should everywhere be directed towards making a place attractive to its inhabitants? Henry Durant (1938: 255) SUMMARY · · · · ·
Tourism: Accessing the modern world The nation state and the birth of mass tourism Characteristics of modern tourism Attempted de®nitions of tourism Tourism as Romanticism? 22 Questions and scope This a new and different type of introductory text for tourist studies. In the ®rst place it is new in the sense that it seeks to introduce students to the very latest developments, ideas and concepts emerging in tourism research and theory. In the second place this book will argue for a new perspective on tourism at the beginning of the twenty-®rst century.
It will be argued that tourism is no longer a temporary and unusual state of existence in a world otherwise organised by life at home and life at work. More than that, for many people and in many places tourism has become more dominant in the organisation of everyday life. In many ways we can also say that the appeal and logic of tourism has expanded into more forms of social life, more spaces of contemporary cultures (especially in the west) and more time in our daily, weekly and annual calendar. For Thomas Cook, the founder of modern tourism, this would certainly have been a wish come true.
For him, accessibility to the world, its natures, histories, peoples and cultures was an urgently needed resource for modern individuals and nations; tourism was a route to enlightenment in a globalising world. For Cook extending the numbers and sorts of people who had access to travel and a world beyond their home was seen as a positive, democratising project that could produce a more evenly educated civil society with more equal life chances and a society more tolerant of others; a civil society that could more easily take part in national life and a more peaceful cooperative world.
As we know, he pursued this dream with considerable zeal, indeed, viewing it as part of his religious commitment. Tourism: Accessing the modern world Later in the book we will see how his considerable innovations in information technology, ®nance and credit, ? exible consumerism, bureaucratic interfacing, freedom of movement, education and gender equalisation make Cook very clearly one of the great innovators and creators of modern societies. The point to stress is that Cook had more in mind for tourism than simply travel and pleasure.
It was a serious business with important social and political implications. More importantly it was to be a central part of being a modern person. As markets were opened up beyond regions and nations; as politicians and diplomats tried to engineer peaceful relations and governance between very different nations, peoples and cultures; as manufacturing became ever more dependent upon informed and educated workers and as ideas and innovation were dependent upon freedom of movement and exchange of information, extending access to the world and the production of con®dent skilful tourists was an essential task.
Cook anticipated an emerging globalisation and he saw tourism as a cultural expression of it. I have emphasised these serious underlying implications of tourism because I want to make it quite clear that this book will depart from many tourism texts that have so far trivialised the social and cultural signi®cance of tourism as a phenomenon. One of the themes of this book is What is tourism? 23 that existing tourism theory and textbooks have made a fundamental error, usually right at the beginning of their account. Tourists, they argue, are searching for something.
In some cases it is something better than what they have got in their everyday lives; in other accounts they are searching `for the real thing’, the more authentic world beyond that of their own (inauthentic) lives. Modern people have frequently pondered the effects of living in the ever-changing conditions of modernity. Such rapid social, technological and environmental changes seem to pull humanity further and further away from things that are vaguely conceptualised as our `roots’, our origins, our true state of nature and culture.
Whereas these roots can be considered to be an organic accommodation between culture and nature that has endured through much of our past, the conditions of modern life at any one time are frequently considered to be synthetic, inorganic, and ephemeral. Modernity has generated a sense of being somehow false. For other writers such as Urry (1990; 2002), tourists are looking for difference and the unusual, a relatively simple search for the pleasure of the new and surprising. This account is not a reaction against modernisation but perhaps a celebration of it, because modernity is all about novelty.
Against all of these I will argue that these views fundamentally mistake the nature of the modern world in which most people live. The view of the modern world that most theories conjure is a dull, unchanging, grey, repetitive and uneventful world, as typi®ed by the conditions and relations of mid-twentieth century factory work or perhaps the more frenzied life of almost all careers in the twenty-®rst century. In a style typical of social science this view also casts modern living as somehow meaningless, shallow, arti®cial and depressing.
It is normally so bad that we all need a holiday or break from it from time to time. We need to bathe in the revitalising light of the new and fresh and ponder the true meaning of life by surrounding ourselves with more authentic objects, cultures and peoples ± elsewhere. We also need stimulation and fun. Although this may sound plausible, and variants of this thesis have been circulating for over 25 years now, it is ? awed and needs revision. In this book I will argue for a directly opposite account. In this account modernity and modern life is by its very de®nition a very rapidly changing cultural formation.
It has brought us new things in a dazzling array of forms and technologies. It has kept up this procession of the new for a very long time: the ®rst steam passenger trains (considered a wonder at the time) began running in the 1840s. Most importantly, the swirling and dizzying nature of all this change has remained exciting, perhaps too exciting (or shocking) for some, but with modernity there is never a dull moment. There are, for example, always new fashions, ®lms, books, and technologies ± even during wars and economic depressions. And there are always new discoveries.
The critical point is that the ordinary person in the street is not insulated from all of this, far from it, they are always in the thick of things, in the swirling times not outside them. Baudelaire wrote about this in the Paris of 1840±1860 and for him the central ®gure of the Paris streets was the 24 Questions and scope A ? aneur, literally the stroller, the watcher, imbibing the changing shops, the crowds, the lights, the wonderful life of the modern city. As John Jervis writes: `For Baudelaire and other writers of his time, what was new was the sense of novelty itself, and the dif®culty of pinning it down.
Novelty is repetitive, but each time the content changes; as Berman put it, “The fact that you can’t step into the same modernity twice makes modern life hard to grasp”’ (Jervis, 1998: 66). Hard to grasp perhaps but addictive too. Virginia Woolf was also impressed if not intoxicated by London in the 1920s for similar reasons although she likened the city to a natural phenomenon, `notably in the all pervasive metaphor of street life as riverlike, conveying a sense of dynamism and creative ? ow that is essentially organic’ (Jervis, 1998: 70). These are the great ? ows of modernity, the ? ows of people and the ? ws of things and the new waterways, tramlines, roads, rail, canals. So in a sense it is a false opposition to see modernity as inorganic, heading away from nature. If nature is essentially evolutionary, then so too is modernity. Baudelaire and Woolf were privileged and middle class and did not spend their entire days in unpleasant factories and mines or stuck in contemporary commuter traf®c jams. But the point really is that they were among the ®rst to sense this modernity and even before the 1930s, ordinary working people had begun to sense it too. The engines of modernity brought the new to the heart of every city in terms of ? ws and pulses. With it came news of the origins of things, the cultures elsewhere, the great seas and the great ports, overseas dominions and travellers’ stories. Modernity created novelties and the demand for them. And just as the engines of modernity could bring the new to the city, they could also take the city back out along the same routes; it was the love and thrill of modernity and the modern city that created tourism, not the opposite ± an escape from it. This is why it is so dif®cult (and pointless) to de®ne tourism in spatial terms: it simply is not behaviour that only takes place away from home.
Tourism is certainly a particular type of extension of modern life, but it is a celebration of it rather than an escape. Rojek (1993) described it as a heightened experience of ordinary life. That is far more like it. But we should follow the clue left by Berman: modernity is constantly shifting and therefore our theoretical understanding of tourism needs to be mobile and nimble too. Tourism is likely to be in? uenced not as a (negative) reaction to what happens in cities and modern cultures but as a positive response to them.
Up until now, because tourism was cast as a fundamentally different other world to the modern ± often conjuring up notions of liminality and ritual ± it is often described as a special pleasure zone. It isn’t, it is the quintessential expression and performance of modern life. The nation state and the birth of mass tourism In this book new ways will be employed to introduce and understand tourism. To begin with, I will be arguing that nation states and nationalism What is tourism? 25 were responsible for the application and articulation of modernist ideas to the construction and the performance of tourism.
Tourism is often a phenomenon without a very clear sense of authorship or agency. Whose idea was it anyway? Who directs developments and sets new things up? It seems we are usually left with three sorts of ideas: visionary ®gures like Thomas Cook, poetic inspirational artists like Wordsworth or Turner and entrepreneurs like Freddie Laker in the 1970s and Richard Branson in the 80s and 90s. But there seems to be little in the way of an organising historical framework within which we can situate tourism, or at least how it emerged in the form that it did. Of course, I am arguing that it was primarily and ntricately involved in the establishment of modernity, but its speci®c forms do, it seems to me, require a more thorough-going theoretical framework. So in addition to other known in? uences on the emergence of modern tourism, I will, for the ®rst time, be arguing that the nation state was an important primary agent and constructor of tourism. This is no surprise since nation states were also the principal organisers and articulators of modernity. These days when everyone seems to be announcing the arrival of globalisation and the death of the nation, we seem to have forgotten just how important nations were.
But I am also going to suggest that in matters of consumption like tourism, they still are. Nation states have explicitly employed tourism as a means of creating a sense of citizenship and social solidarity in a modern world where such things are prone to disintegration ± and they still do. Nation states have created many spaces of special national signi®cance, and these have become shrines of nationhood and the focus for secular forms of pilgrimage ± and they still are. Nation states have produced policies that are directly formative of tourism practices ± and they continue to do so (Franklin, 2002a).
Nation states have used tourism as a part of their international policy and international relations ± and this continues. Nation states have used tourism as a major means of income generation ± and this is still important. By focusing some of my analysis around nations and nationalisms I hope that students anywhere in the world will be able to relate to the arguments developed here and more importantly, to be able to use them in order to re? ect on the nature of tourism in their own country. By such re? ection we might be able to decentre tourism theory and understand its contingent qualities and variable forms.
Characteristics of modern tourism Let us have a look at all this in slightly higher magni®cation. We will start by looking at the de®nitions of tourism that other studies have used and identify problems associated with them. I will work towards an analysis of tourism that identi®es the following as formative of what we might mean by tourism: 26 Questions and scope · Tourism derives from the condition of life in modernity and the · Modernity is about the permanence of novelty not an escape to it. · Tourism is more than travel; tourism is more about the accessibility of experience of modernity not an escape from it. · · · · novelty and the modern world generally. A stream of new communicative technologies of modernity permit that access under what might be called a general escalation of mobility. Things and people can move and as they do so tourism extends its spatial range from the home to outer space. Tourism is consumerism in a globalising modernity. The specialised intellectual faculty for touristic consumerism and also its opposite, an elitist distain for tourists and tourism, was ®rst created by Romanticism.
A framework for the development of touristic practices and an economy and geography of tourism were powerfully in? uenced by nationalism and nation states and later by cities and regions. Tourism is an embodied experience not simply a visual experience. Consumption, identity, belonging and social order work on and through the body, as do their opposites, freedom, transgression and disorder. As consumption is an expressive activity in modernity, tourism tends to be always expressive or performative. In these ways, tourism as leisure is never simply rest, relaxation and pleasure.
It always operates inside a political and moral context. A lot of scienti®c work, political speeches, public debates and legal cases took place before people could routinely lie semi-naked on a beach. Tourism is not only a way of accessing the world, it is increasingly an important means of locating ourselves in it. In a migrant modernity most people are living away from home viewing their home after the manner of tourists; equally among those people and places `left behind’ in less migratory ? ows, tourism often steps in to provide work and a future.
As it does so it sifts through people’s pasts and, often for the ®rst time, seeks to stamp a cultural identity on the landscape, offering a history to those whom of®cial history chose to forget. Attempted de®nitions of tourism According to the procedures of scienti®c method adopted by some formalistic methods in the social sciences and particularly in geographical and economic analysis, theory is dependent upon measurement and in order to properly measure any one thing one must ascertain its phenomenal distinction from all other things. De®nition must precede measurement, evidently.
However, what are actually very complex historical and cultural phenomena, related to relationships and ideas, can become in this way reduced to formal characteristics, often a list of items. De®nitions can What is tourism? 27 be contested and debates clouded. In trying to understand whether tourism constitutes a single industry, and tourists and tourist companies a singular economic activity, economists, geographers and government analysts and planners have persuaded themselves that there is suf®cient coherency and universal meaning for a de®nition to be useful.
Even though it is hard to ®nd any text that does not point up the dangers, pitfalls and contradictions of de®ning tourism, few allow it to stop them. They fear the question; well what exactly do you mean by tourism? De®ne your term! Hence for example, Mathieson and Wall (1982: 1) de®ne tourism as: `the temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal places of work and residence, the activities undertaken during their stay in those destinations and the facilities created to care to their need’.
Similarly, for Buckart and Medlik (1974) `[t]ourism denotes the temporary short-term movement of people to destinations outside the places where they normally live (Buckart and Medlik, 1974: v). This is almost a routine assumption about tourism: O’Reilly (2000: 43), for example, argues that many theorists, including Graburn (1989), Smith (1989) and Voase (1995), de®ne tourism `more by what it is not than by what it is ± it is not home and it is not work; it is a change of scenery and lifestyle, an inversion of the normal’.
Typically, such de®nitions bring together groups and activities that seem at best unrelated and at worst opposites. They bunch together, perhaps on the same aircraft travelling from a capital city such as Sydney to a major tourist city such as Brisbane, those going on holiday and those going to work or on business or perhaps to a specialist hospital for treatment. For this reason, formalist procedures typically invoke sub-de®nitions to cover these extreme variations.
Hence we obtain the `non-business tourist’ (`a person who undertakes one or more recreational activities in leisure time, at a location temporarily away from the normal place of residence and at locations at which such recreational activities are normally undertaken’) as distinct from the `business tourist’ (a person who undertakes work related activities at a location temporarily away from their normal place of residence and work’) (Carroll et al. , 1991).
It is not clear how this de®nition distinguishes tourism from, say, travel. The geographers Shaw and Williams (1994: 5) and urban sociologists Judd and Fainstein (1999) adopt the formal de®nition preferred by international organisations such as the World Tourism Of®ce, that `tourism includes all travel that involves a stay of at least one night, but less than one year, away from home’. This, therefore, includes travel for such purposes as visiting friends or relatives, or to undertake business.
Such a de®nition places the travel±accommodation connection and its associated industry at the heart of tourism, signalling at the same time that it is the provision and purchase of these commodities rather than tourism behaviour and culture that is central to our interest. These formal de®nitions, driven by the desire to quantify tourism and to measure the performance of the tourism economy, not only denude tourism of some of its more interesting and important characteristics, they 8 Questions and scope tend to reduce tourism to acts of leisure and recreation at the end of acts of travel. This takes formalist theorists into the quicksands of de®ning leisure and recreation (notoriously dif®cult, see Rojek, 1985; 1995) and away from the more fruitful and ®rmer practice of locating tourism as a mode of relating to the world in postmodern cultures. It undermines the consumptive, playful, ironic, intellectual, mental, passive, romantic, aesthetic, re? xive, performative and spiritual content of tourism whilst overemphasising mobile, physical, active and muscular dimensions. Because tourism cannot properly be reduced to the acts of travel and the leisure and recreation activities at the end of discrete bouts of travel, some authors have gone for the opposite of narrow abstraction in favour of mindless incorporation and extension. Tourism becomes absolutely everything associable with acts of tourism, or put into its proper tautological form, `tourism is tourism’ or `tourism is what tourists do’.
An example of this style of incorporation comes from Weaver and Opperman: Tourism is the sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the interaction among tourists, business suppliers, host governments, host communities, origin governments, universities, community colleges and nongovernmental organisations, in the process of attracting, transporting, hosting and managing these tourists and other visitors. (2000: 3) With some exceptions, the tendency has been to regard tourism as simply a part of the entertainment industry ± a separate and not altogether respectable or admirable industry.
Clearly a lot of tourism is structured around entertainment and pleasure but as with the sociology of sport or food, the sociological importance and meaning of soccer, cricket or eating out is not simply about entertainment and pleasure. Reducing tourism to an industry that delivers a service (pleasure, entertainment) tends to obscure its wider sociological signi®cance. Signi®cantly, such a perspective places all the action and agency in the hands of the tourism industry, its companies, designers and organisations. It is as if they produce the tourist product and deliver it to a passive, consumer-tourist.
Moreover focusing tourist studies only on those industries, places and exchanges ignores the cumulative effects that tourism has on individuals, cultural groups, nations and global society. We can immediately obtain a sense of what is often wrong with tourism studies by looking at how tourism is de®ned and how tourism is explained as a kind of behaviour within the more sociological accounts. These tend, perhaps inadvertently, to reproduce some of the problems noted above. As we will see, tourism is de®ned in an odd and contradictory manner by non-sociologists and sociologists alike.
Almost all de®nitions of tourism identify one or two things that distinguish it from other activities: ®rst it involves travel away from an individual’s home environment; second, it consists of the exposure of individuals to activities and places that are different and unusual (critical here is a necessary contrast between the What is tourism? 29 familiar and the unfamiliar). We will see how a variety of explanations of tourism use this contrast. These vary in interesting ways: some employ the escape metaphor to highlight the essentially problematic conditions of everyday life in modern capitalist societies.
For many the realm of work, whether at home or in the labour market, involves a series of pressured, alienating and stressful conditions that require the occasional timeout. A change being as good as a rest? Probably not. And are holidays truly restful or do they demand energy, hard work and endurance? Mine frequently do. Owing to an in-built bias in the social sciences in favour of production, particularly technology, science and manufacturing, tourism and other leisure and consumption activities were not taken very seriously from the 1950s to 1970s, indeed they were treated rather like super? ous or decorous activities of little consequence. Considering the sheer scale of the expansion of mass tourism in the 1950s and 1960s it produced very little by way of response or comment from sociology, geography or the other business disciplines that now champion tourism. MacCannell’s The Tourist (1976) has to be judged in this context. Viewed from the position of American sociological theory at the time it was not surprising that it problematised and tried to explain tourism almost as a deviant activity, a somewhat disturbing behaviour resulting from the alienation and cultural disturbance of modernisation and modern social relations.
Tourism was treated somewhat clinically as a necessary period of recovery from the intolerable conditions of modern life. Some of the classical anxieties of 1960s sociology were wrapped up in this book: alienated workers, dysfunctional family life, a world of synthetic unreality, a highly differentiated and fragmented world ruled by rationalised and bureaucratised procedures. In comparison with remodern cultures where the individual was locked into a stable and secure social framework, the modern individual was at sea, literally, looking for meaningfulness and ®nding it the categorical opposites of modernity: the past, the exotic other, pristine nature. In short, MacCannell declared the modern world to be inauthentic and troubling and tourism was the somewhat pathetic and pointless search for the authentic and an antidote of some short-lived kind. While plausible in itself it left tourism very much in the same place it was found: a marginal, somewhat spurious escape attempt from the true reality, whether unsavoury or not.
It is all the more surprising then how this thesis and the authentic±inauthentic dualism continues to be drawn upon as a way of explaining tourism behaviour or at least the taxonomy of tourist objects. It is indicative of the stagnant or withering state of tourist studies at the present time (see Franklin and Crang, 2001). In the absence of many other general theories of tourism researchers are more or less obliged to refer to it. Of course the better studies refused to see tourists as cultural dupes, preferring to acknowledge a commonplace sense of ironic self-deception among tourists (Cohen and Taylor, 1976; Feifer, 1986; Urry, 1990).
Conceptualising tourism and tourists as intellectually challenged and culturally 30 Questions and scope vacuous is extremely common but also revealing of something important. We will come to this a bit later. Accounts in? uenced by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argue that capitalist societies of the West have trapped people inside the disciplines of work and education and buried them inside a bureaucratic and sti? ing culture of control. These accounts underlie the manner by which a socalled true human nature has been sti? d and constrained and needs to be released for more creative, physically demanding and less inhibited activities. Tourism in particular is identi®ed as a principal escape valve of this sort. This is nowhere better demonstrated than in Cartmill’s analysis of the dominant hunting and outdoor leisures in the USA, and the development of the national park areas and policy debates that even drew in Presidents (see Cartmill, 1993). After all, does not tourism take place outside normal everyday disciplines and beyond the gaze of everyday surveillance?
Is not tourism characterised by a greater tolerance for sexual freedom, gambling, fooling around, adventure, drug-taking and drinking and looser controls over the purse strings? Other accounts, while not emphasising this liberational rationale, nonetheless take as axiomatic that tourism provides a compelling series of pleasures that derive from the simple relief from the monotony of everyday life. So, in Urry’s account tourism is explained in terms of the pleasurability of the different and the unusual.
How else are we to explain the somewhat bizarre objects that tourists will pay money to see? For Urry, the ultimate goal of tourists is to feast their eyes on different and unusual objects, landscapes and townscapes. It is as if these visions are a reward in themselves, visions that can be captured by visual technologies and stored and kept rather like any other commodity. Urry’s The Tourist Gaze is the other landmark in theoretical developments in tourism of this period although it is a very different sort of thesis.
Urry does not offer a particularly clear link between tourism and the conditions of modern life, and certainly tourism is not explained as a response to the conditions of modern life. Rather, tourism is located very clearly as an emerging cultural activity in modernity and a positive outcome of modernity, clearly linked to the extension of leisure and holidays to workers, the democratisation of travel (and security in travel), an extension of the Victorian notion of improvement and approved leisures; and globalisation.
Writing in the late 1980s Urry linked tourism theoretically to patterns of social change in the last quarter of the twentieth century. As we have already seen, Urry does not provide a particularly clear explanation for touristic behaviour per se and this is a weakness. Vague references to the pleasurability of `the different’ and `the unusual’ or the non-everyday only assert some form of pleasurability from these abstract things, they do not account for it. Missing is an account of the aesthetic sensibilities of tourism, especially in the new tourisms of recent decades.
At best Urry’s account draws on an historical momentum in which the educated middle classes acted as the initial travellers and tourists establishing a pattern of touristic consumption that the working What is tourism? 31 class and mass markets simply emulate and copy through critical innovations such as Thomas Cook’s package tours. Here though, the emphasis is on notions of personal improvement through education, experience, exposure to different places and people, and the pursuit of health and ®tness ± all established values of Victorian modernism.
However, the implicit aesthetic content of this diffusion model is based upon the older notion of high and low culture: tourism offered those born to low culture the opportunity of glimpsing and being improved by icons and displays of high culture. Urry accounts for more recent forms of tourism consumption in terms of the social and economic restructuring implicit in the notion of post-Fordism. The fragmentation of mass tourism of the mid-twentieth century resort holiday into a series of different and niched markets by the 1980s is explained by Urry in terms of the collapse of Fordist ± or mass forms of production and consumption.
Fordist styles of production were based on the extension of mass produced markets through innovations in production line and assembly plants. Fordism describes the extension of former luxuries such as cars to all workers and indeed the growth of capital generally. Fordist styles of consumption were standardised and monotonous. Henry Ford himself was quoted as saying that consumers could have any colour Model T Ford they liked so long as it was black. PostFordist forms of production, which grew rapidly from the late 1970s, favoured smaller, leaner and more ? xible forms of production that could respond better to ? uctuations in the shaky aftermath of the post-war boom economy and the growing power of consumers in the credit-rich af? uent markets of the western world. Under conditions of greater choice, greater credit and the breakdown of mass popular culture, individuals tended to identify less with older repositories of identity such as social class, political alignment, gender, region and workplace and more in terms of lifestyle groups with their emphasis on consumption, leisure and style.
In a way teenagers of the 1960s began this style, establishing youth sub-cultures, ways of life separable from their parents and grandparents. The idea took off and expanded, creating fresh rounds of separation or de-differentiation (where former distinctions become blurred and confused). Tourism industries responded to the emergence and proliferation of lifestyle groups by providing a range of specialist niche markets, greater ? exibility, choice and self-direction.
The tourism market became segmented into a series of consumer groups catering quite speci®cally for different tastes and styles. Again, early examples were based on the desire of young people to spend their holidays together. Age, income, class, occupation continued to frame broad patterns of taste, but other dimensions such as generation, sexual orientation, sub-culture, style, family cycle stage, leisure and enthusiasms provided templates for quite speci®c forms of consumption (for example, it seems that Goth style can be summed up by the maxim: buy or wear anything providing it is black).
Even though such a general characterisation as this is widely agreed upon, it sits awkwardly with Urry’s emphasis 32 Questions and scope on the necessary pleasurability of difference and the unusual at the heart of the tourism experience. To a major extent then, tourism is increasingly not offering an essentially different or unusual set of experiences for tourists but tailoring their experiences in line with their chosen forms of everyday culture: their style, their preferences, their fellow travellers, their fantasies, taste and so on.
This can be seen perhaps through corporate executive trends in tourism and the standardisation of the international ®ve-star hotel. If you have been in one you have been in them all. In all of these accounts the tourist is a passive consumer of services (museums, lookouts, art galleries, historical monuments, nature reserves etc. ) that are crafted and commodi®ed by a knowledgeable industry that knows what it is they seek or need. Even these lifestyle groups are presented as the innovation of a clever marketing and advertising industry.
The degree of passivity varies of course. Some people put a lot of effort into researching and planning their tourism. At the other extreme are the fully guided tour bus consumers who simply pay and watch. So what is wrong with these accounts? Surely people need to move out of their everyday spaces and to do that they need to travel? Surely they are looking for pleasure and difference? Surely people do lead humdrum lives and need relief from the monotony? It is not that these accounts are completely wrong so much as confused and incomplete.
Because they see the tourist as an essentially passive subject driven by forces external to and greater than them, this emphasis on escape, search and the pleasurability of a world beyond their own is completely compelling. For these accounts, travel away from the everyday and the rupture that this is held to produce is central to their theoretical understanding of tourism. I disagree with most of this. Certainly, these claims are largely asserted with barely any empirical justi®cation or follow-up. This is not a serious objection to theoretical claims per se, but I mention it in passing.
I would also mention that these accounts echo many of the anxieties of sociology as a discipline. It has never been entirely comfortable with capitalist consumer society (see for example Miles’ 1998 book Consumerism as a Way of Life) and has always tended to shroud it in negative, pathological and more recently, in unsustainable terms. Sociology has always believed that capitalist relations undermine a true human potential or its development. In this way tourism is portrayed as a kind of displacement activity: a slightly sad perversity, a less than satisfactory or fruitless search for compensation.
But sociology is only a subset of intellectual opinion, and the broader intellectual opinion on tourism has been largely negative: tourism is mindless, moronic and futile (see Rojek, 1993: 174±5 for more on this). Crick (1989: 308) speci®cally mentions the activity of a collective social science representation of tourism and asked `whether we yet have a respectable scholarly analysis of tourism, or whether the social science literature on the subject substantially blends with the emotionally-charged cultural image relating to travel and tourists. ‘ Commenting on the failure of social scientists to take
What is tourism? 33 mass tourism and tourists seriously, O’Reilly (2000: 19) argues that `more recent researchers in the ®elds of geography, social policy and sociology have only been able to approach the topic since it became de®ned in terms of the elderly, retirement, tourism and the environment, or in terms of migration and poverty; in other words they were able to approach it only as something serious as opposed to the frivolous and trivial. ‘ I mention all this merely to reinforce the point that there is a long tradition of thinking about tourism in this way.
Activity 2. 1 If we pause to consider what we mean by tourism, we must surely agree with Alain de Botton (2002), who argues that tourism is an attitude to the world or a way of seeing the world, not necessarily what we ®nd only at the end of a long and arduous journey. Indeed, de Botton reminds us that the age of Romanticism threw up the character of Xavier De Maistre who published two volumes of rather unusual travel in 1790: Journey Around my Bedroom and Nocturnal Expedition Around my Bedroom.
In these, De Maistre demonstrates a fundamental truth: that while we are prepared to look very carefully at almost everything we see in new and exotic places on our travels, we barely take any notice of the equally interesting and often exotic nature of our own immediate surroundings. De Botton decided to try out this form of tourism for himself, and in The Art of Travel (2002: 247±54) we are treated to his own journey around his bedroom and his journey around his own neighbourhood in Hammersmith, London.
As an exercise, it is useful to read the outcome of these journeys, and also to conduct similar expeditions of your own. It is worth bearing in mind that this is precisely what the tourism industry does itself when deciding to try to market new destinations. Most destinations or sites are transformed from places of the humdrum and ordinary to places where their extraordinary and exotic dimensions are pointed out and annotated. So the point of this activity is to discover and highlight the touristic potential of ordinary everyday spaces in your immediate surroundings. Tourism as Romanticism?
Romanticism is not easy to ®t into an analysis of tourism, despite the fact that introductions to tourism that include a brief history of tourism place it as a foundational idea and movement, one of the principal models for 34 Questions and scope the mass tourism industry that followed. Urry even sees it as `part of the mechanism by which contemporary tourism has been globalised’ (Urry, 1999: 83). Certainly, if we follow Elias’s thesis that social elites establish norms of civil behaviour that are later copied and emulated by their status inferiors, then this makes some sense.
In this way we can see the highly ordered and rule-bound leisure life in early nineteenth century resorts such as Bath Spa as some kind of model that was eventually passed down to the mass seaside holidays of the English working classes. There is also room to make parallels using Veblen’s thesis of conspicuous consumption: the conspicuous (if more tasteful and re®ned) splendour of Bath and Brighton in their hey day with the similarly spectacular later working class version at Morecambe and Margate.
We might even make a comparison between the spiritual focus of nineteenth century forays to the wild margins of Britain, Europe and America as undertaken by the educated upper classes and the mass tourism to national parks and natural areas from the 1950s onwards. Certainly, those of a Romantic disposition were behind many moves to create national parks and create the idea of a national heritage. However, we must be careful here. There are certainly links but we must be aware of important differences also.
The most important difference concerns the notion of consumption, particularly, how these places were to be visited and what dispositions were required in order to visit them properly. The Romantics upheld the view that certain old buildings, sites and cultures were important to visit and study because for them classical antiquity became the model of human perfection. They were not looking at `the other’ but trying to emulate, learn and model what they considered to be their cultural inheritance.
For Romantic sensibilities, Greek and Roman civilisations were the high points of humanity’s development, a period when philosophy and the arts ? ourished, when great strides were made in mathematics and architecture and when a stable and healthy lifestyle was created around notions of citizenship, education, ®tness, rights and law. Notably, this was a time when humanity and nature were more ? uid categories of thought prior to the dualism wrought by Cartesian innovations.
Romantic aesthetic sensibilities embraced the Greek and Roman pastoral ideal and, indeed, extended them to other more simple cultures such as the many indigenous cultures that were being seen by Europeans for the ®rst time. And by extension too, the world of unspoilt natures and of natural forces themselves became compelling to the Romantics. They perceived such places to be the pinnacles of perfection and beauty but their appreciation required the prepared mind.
Indeed preparation, anticipation and imagination were key intellectual properties of the Romantic mind. It was a mind capable of understanding and constructing in poetic and spiritual terms the relationship between the individual and nature. Nature was not some objective reality, what we might call a realist category, but always a mediated thing conjured up by the human imagination. For all of these reasons, the manner in which one visited ancient civilisation or nature was critical to What is tourism? 35 this proper appropriation.
The Romantic traveller was an exclusive ®gure: not only from the educated upper classes with the time and resources to travel and ponder the world but also exclusive in the sense of excluding others. Essentially the Romantic traveller was a lone ®gure, needing to be alone in nature or in the silent appreciation of historical sites ± or even alone, on the road. This is perfectly illustrated by the painting by Caspar David Friedrich The Wanderer above the Mists (1818) or from the title of the book Figures in a Landscape: a History of the National Trust by John Gaze (1988).
Both illustrations underline the individual student or `®gure’ in the landscape as opposed to the group or the crowd. Romantic writers were famously opposed to their routes and special places being copied or visited by the wrong sorts, typically the ill-educated workers on a day trip from the factories. Wordsworth was among many who set up an antipathy to tourism as the wrong sort of approach to these sacred sites and communions with nature. Further, one can trace that antipathy and opposition to tourism hrough to the present day where the traveller is opposed to the tourist and the authentic is opposed to the inauthentic. So in this sense we can say that Romantic travel and commercial tourism were and still are in tension with one another. Educators and churchmen like Thomas Cook may have wanted ordinary people to share in these culturally and spiritually uplifting experiences but their very presence ruined what the educated elites were looking for.
It is for this sort of reason that academics tended to share the Romantic disapproval of tourism seeing it, on balance, as a destructive force. It is ironic then that some have argued that Romanticism was directly responsible for the very cultural foundations of the consumerism that modern tourism embodies (Campbell, 1995). Jervis puts it well: For the Romantics, wedded to the creative role of the imagination in the exploration of beauty, the exercise of the imagination was inherently pleasurable, and this could be intensi®ed through strong emotion.
While the Romantics were strongly anti-utilitarian, and contemptuous of bourgeois ideals of comfort, this non-materialist ethos nevertheless entailed what Gouldner  suggests was an attempt to endow `the ordinary, everyday world with the pathos of the extraordinary’, since `the insigni®cance of things was born of a failure of imagination’. Indeed, they were not only interested in nature, but in books, paintings, clothes, china ± the sort of `expressive’ goods that had led the surge in consumerism in the preceding period. Jervis, 1998: 105) In this way objects and things performed a new role in modern life: `Just as the external world required “representation” by and for a self now clearly seen as separate from it, so the self, too, as a mysterious inner entity, could only be manifested through externals: language, clothes, objects, can become “our way of manifesting through expression what we are, and our place within things”; we become “expressive beings”’ (Jervis, 1998: 106 quoting Taylor, 1992: 198).
Hence contemporary touristic practices, such as car boot sales (currently the most popular weekend leisure activity 36 Questions and scope according to Gregson and Crewe) were born a long time ago to a social elite who had no idea what they were unleashing on the world. This is an important point: all tourists, rather like all consumers, use their imaginations, longings, dreams and fantasies in thinking about what a holiday will be like, and this imaginary activity is pleasurable. Jervis again: `where daydreaming intervenes, anticipation is possible, and anticipation itself becomes pleasurable.
One might almost say that the wanting rather than the having become central to pleasure; we refer to pleasure seeking, after all’ (Jervis, 1998: 106). As Bauman puts it: `desire desires desire’, not satisfaction. So the paradox is that Romanticism spawned the desire and the capability to imagine the pleasurability of consuming things, a capability that was formative of mass popular culture, consumerism and mass tourism, as well as a cultural disdain for mass consumption, modernism and especially crowds of tourists among the social elite.
It seems quite clear that this cultural bifurcation and the tension it breeds have been maintained. It is certainly far from clear that the Romantic gaze, as Urry calls this elite form, has become `considerably more signi®cant and the mechanism by which tourism has been globalised’ (Urry, 2002: 75). But in disagreeing with this tradition of loathing tourists I want to come back to our hero, Thomas Cook. Thomas Cook knew about the really bad times in the history of capitalism. He was approaching middle age when he produced the very ®rst excursions for ordinary people in 1841.
He had lived through and seen the grimmest moments of capitalist development in England. He knew very well the limitations of a life spent merely in a locality around a workplace. He could speak expertly on parochialism, the intolerance of strangers, the boredom of an unchanging life in poverty, the intellectual limitations of ordinary village or small town life. The celebration of the simple life of peasants, mercifully saved from the main currents of capitalism, that was so characteristic of later twentieth century thinking would have been lost on him.
With zealous energy Cook wanted to undo the complacent and vulnerable world of the unchanging village. He wanted to open everyone’s eyes and minds to the entire world, to a world that was changing in new and exciting ways, to new landscapes and cultures, to a world of in®nite possibility. It was heady stuff. For Cook, then, tourism was not about escaping modernity BUT JOINING IT. And this is the lesson, and another reason why the anti-modernist social elite loathed it. Tourism should be thought of in this more positive and progressive manner.
Instead of an emphasis on rupture, escape, seeking a more authentic world that can only exist away from everyday life in modernity, tourism is one of the main ways most people can connect with it, access it, take a part in its universalising and mobile character. Tourism then is one of the necessary building blocks of modernity not the escape route out of it. What does this A entail? Baudelaire’s ®gure of the ? aneur, the stroller, the imbiber of the spectacle of the nineteenth century modern city was in some ways a role model for something which became more extensive and permeated into What is tourism? 7 contemporary cultures: the revolutionary touristic experience of hanging out in the modern city, but there is more. Take for example the nation and the birth of nationalism everywhere. In the next chapter I will try to build connections between tourism and nationalism that take us away from the need to view tourism as a reaction to the negative experience of modernity but instead to link it to the most positive and exciting experience of modernism. Nation-building was a major project of modernity and nationalism ± possibly one of the most pervasive and exhilarating experiences of it.
As we will see, nation formation and nationalism not only gave rise to the conditions necessary for an interest in the world wider than our own locality, but created most of the original touristic shrines and the incentives to visit them, rather like pilgrims occupied in devotions before religious icons. In the next chapter the relationship between nation, nationalism and tourism will be explored in more detail. Further Reading Campbell, C. (1995) The Romantic Ethic and the Spirit of Consumerism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. MacCannell, D. (1976) The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class.
New York: Schocken. Rojek, C. (1993) Ways of Escape. London: Routledge. Urry, J. (1990) The Tourist Gaze. London: Sage. Withey, L. (1997) Grand Tours and Cook’s Tours: A History of Leisure Travel, 1750 to 1915. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 3 The foundations and traces of modern tourism Summary · · · · · · Tourism and nation The traces of tourism Communitas Places of signi®cance and return Commodi®cation and cultural reproduction Natural attachments In this chapter we turn away from explanations of tourism behaviour and consider further the origins and traces of tourism.
It will be argued that tourism is not a decorative and super®cial activity or even a compensatory activity for the ills of capitalism or modernism. Instead it relates centrally to modernity in a number of dimensions: politically, morally, technologically, and economically. However, as we will see in considering its intimate relationship to nation formation and nationalism, tourism can be considered one of the new cultural expressions and performances of nation formation. Prior to nation formation most people’s lives were tied up in their immediate locality, with their land or trade, with their kinsmen and neighbours.
Certainly there was travel, a great deal of it for various reasons, but for most of the time the spaces of relevance were essentially local. With nation formation a world beyond the locality was opened up and made relevant and compelling. Just as tourism is socially and culturally central to modern life and not an escape from it, so too are its consequences or traces as I call them here. The foundations and traces of modern tourism 39 There are a large number of traces that tourism leaves but in this chapter I ant to consider tourism’s effects on multiculturalism, ethnic interrelations and more generally the relationships between strangers that it disturbs. Next I want to consider what I call places of signi®cance and return because contrary to the impression one obtains from many tourism texts, a large proportion of travel is not to new and different places, but the regular return to a place of familiarity. This sets up a different sort of relationship between tourists and the places they visit: not here today, gone tomorrow, but a more layered, enduring and meaningful sort of relationship ± of various sorts.
Again this observation speaks to those theories that see tourism as essentially travel from and stays away from home: this form of tourism establishes a home from home, a very different thing, requiring a different kind of explanation. The third example of touristic tracing concerns tourist objects, namely those that are made for tourists by locals. We will brie? y see that these are nothing like the ephemeral and super®cial objects often attributed to tourists’ souvenirs. We will see that they have an important social life of their own, with some surprisingly important effects for the people who make them.
Finally, I will consider the traces that remain from the very signi®cant touristic pilgrimage to nature. Is it all destructive, unsustainable and disturbing as the pessimists have it or are there more positive traces? I will argue that nature is in many ways only made available and signi®cant to us by spending time with it and getting to know it. Paradoxically then, it may be very important for conservational organisations to make sure that suf®cient numbers do establish a relationship with nature and will defend it politically against spurious and damaging forms of development.
My point here is that tourists are the potential saviours of nature, not, inevitably its enemy. Tourism and nation Modernity and modernisation entailed ®rst of all the emergence of a world of nation states. These came together during the life of Thomas Cook, mainly in the nineteenth century. According to Gellner (1983), James (1996) and others, the nation states were not based upon primordial or ancient social ties but upon entirely new ones, organised by new institutions of learning and culture and made possible by transformations in transport and communications.
The institutions and personnel who maintained high culture (universities, monasteries and so on) in agrarian states were authoritative, holding some in? uence over, or supporting the centralised state, but they were autonomous and separate, and remained `mysterious’ and `inaccessible’. At this stage, high culture espoused literacy, over-arching philosophical, scienti®c and moral concerns and spatially extended forms of communication. These contrasted with the parochial 40 Questions and scope ature of many spatially scattered, sedentary, and illiterate `low’ cultures associated with village and region. However, with industrialisation this separation was to disappear, opening up the possibility of the spread and homogenisation of high culture. The massive task of maintaining and providing this institutional homogenisation ± through national educational and communication systems ± could now only be achieved through collaboration with `political support and underpinning’ and `its only effective keeper and protector’ could be the state.
In this way large areas of formerly separated people became bound together by a commonality of culture and order. But the idea of creating a nation in this way preceded its emergence: `It is nationalism that engenders nations and not the other way round’ (Gellner, 1983: 55). According to Gellner then, the necessary collaboration between the institutions of high culture and state produced a territorially and culturally de®ned discourse of nation. National interests and discourses framed the work of scholars, teachers, writers and artists, and they, in turn, tend to produce nationalised knowledges.
These might include for the ®rst time (national) natural histories, histories of a nation’s `people’ (especially the notion of folklore as an authentic cultural expression of national legitimacy), cultural and scienti®c traditions such as music, theatre, architecture, engineering and industry. Nation formation or nationalism produced great enthusiasms for nationalism among the newly uni®ed peoples as we know, but these enthusiasms drew people away from their home and village and towards the objects that these new discourses of nation