|ognizant Communication Corporation|
VOLUME 14, NUMBER 2
Tourism Analysis, Vol. 14, pp. 155-164
1083-5423/09 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2009 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.
Framing Experiences of Aboriginal Australia: Guidebooks as Mediators in Backpacker Travel
Newcastle Business School, Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW, Australia
Guidebooks play an influential role as mediator among the traveler, the travel experience, and the traveled destination. Despite the centrality of guidebooks in the experiences of independent travelers such as backpackers, the question of how readers use these texts has received little attention in tourism research. This article explores the influence of guidebook texts on backpacker experiences with, and interpretations of, Aboriginal Australia. The investigation is drawn from the textual analysis of three popular guidebooks to Australia, coupled with interviews with a sample of 28 international backpackers traveling in Australia. The research reveals that guidebooks are negotiated through the lived and imagined experiences of their readers at various times throughout the travel experience. Significantly, the interplay between the backpacker travel experience and the guidebook text is dynamic and primarily situational. The findings highlight the role that the text plays as mediator between the traveler (the backpacker) and the traveled culture (Aboriginal Australia).
Key words: Guidebooks; Backpackers; Mediation; Aboriginal Australia
Address correspondence to Tamara Young, Newcastle Business School, Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia. Tel: 02 4921 5804; Fax: 02 4921 6911; E-mail: email@example.com
Living Paradoxically: Understanding the Discourse of Authentic Freedom as it Emerges in the Travel Space
Sociology and Anthropology, School of Humanities and Social Science, University of Newcastle, Australia
In contemporary society, youth travel is understood and represented by travelers and media alike as a contemporary rite of passage or significant, transitional moment. It is argued that the rapid accumulation of experience, an inherent component of travel, influences processes of identity construction and reconstruction. Central to these conceptualizations are concerns with authenticity and freedom, discourses that ultimately serve to structure the travel space and influence interactions between travelers and the travel media and industries. Based on semistructured in-depth interviews with young Australian travelers and discourse, image, and content analysis of key travel publications and advertisements, this article will examine the interplay between discourses of authenticity and freedom in traveler narratives and travel media. It will examine how travel media (and the travel industries) imagine backpackers and the backpacking community and how backpackers' own self and travel-narratives correspond with or contest such representations. Central to this examination is the centrality of discourses of authenticity and freedom, and the tensions that emerge between the two as they arise in traveler narratives and media and industry representations of travel. Ultimately, following Wang (2000), I will argue that travelers reconcile some of these tensions with reference to existential authenticity and that this intersubjective awareness, along with heightened reflexivity, gives rise to a concern with "authentic freedom."
Key words: Identity; Authenticity: Freedom; Youth travel; Backpackers
Address correspondence to Amie Matthews, 10 Moronga Street, Bateau Bay NSW, Australia 2261. Tel: +61 2 43347100; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Projecting Paradise: The Surf Media and the Hermeneutic Circle in Surfing Tourism
Sustainable and Tourism Program, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
Imagery of perfect uncrowded surf in paradisaical tropical destinations has been the dominant theme in the surf media since its inception. The hermeneutic circle of representation in tourism has been explored in the context of tourism industry advertising material with tourists reproducing iconic images of destinations through their own photographic choices (Butler & Hall, 1998; Crawshaw & Urry, 1997; Hall, 1997; Jenkins, 2003; Urry, 1990a, 1990b). This article extends such research by exploring the media's role in driving a hermeneutic circle in the absence of tourism industry marketing. The article employs grounded theory method in an instrumental case study investigating the role of the surf media in the social construction of an idealized surfing tourist space. As well as providing the first empirical evidence of the relationship between the surf media and tourism demand, the article explores the symbolic elements of surfing tourist space, imagery of which drives a multi-billion-dollar global surf industry. The article expands the notion of the hermeneutic circle by looking beyond impacts on marketing and tourist behavior and questioning the implications of a tourism industry that continues to develop in remote, less-developed regions as an ad hoc response to demand fueled by media imagery of commercially created symbols designed to sell fashion items and consumer goods.
Key words: Surfing; Surf tourism; Tourist space; Hermeneutic circle; Tourism and media; Grounded theory; Mentawai Islands
Address correspondence to Jess Ponting, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-4531, USA. Tel: +1 619 594 8499; Fax: +1 619 594 4443; E-mail: Jess.email@example.com
Exploring the Role of the Media in Shaping Motivations Behind Frontier Travel Experiences
Jennifer H. Laing1 and Geoffrey I. Crouch2
1Tourism Research Unit, Monash University, Narre Warren,
2School of Business, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
This article explores the role of the media in shaping frontier travel motivations and experiences, using examples drawn from a qualitative study of frontier travelers-individuals who travel to places that currently lie at the fringes or extremes of our world or experiences, both geographically and socially/culturally. Long interviews were conducted to uncover motivations behind these experiences and the data analyzed using a grounded theory approach and interpretative paradigm. The interviews were supplemented by a content analysis of autobiographies and diaries. Interviewees referred to seminal experiences, often occurring during childhood, which were the genesis of their future frontier travel experiences. These seminal experiences involved image formation agents such as literature (both fiction and nonfiction), cinema, television, and pictures or photographs. The findings suggest that the anticipation stage of travel for frontier travelers incorporates a period well before they actively plan a journey, and their future plans are inspired or shaped, even at a subconscious level, by this early imagery and narrative. It would also appear that the association of frontier destinations and frontier travel experiences with the media, particularly that based on or reinforcing adventure or exploration narratives, may help to shape and personalize the creation of travel mythology, which then influences motivations. While a variety of image formation agents appeared to influence frontier travel motivations, literature had a particularly powerful impact in shaping fantasies or myths connected with the frontier. These findings may have implications for the future development or marketing of frontier travel experiences, including media selection.
Key words: Frontier travel; Travel motivations; Media; Myth; Fantasy; Childhood
Address correspondence to Jennifer H. Laing, Lecturer-Tourism, Tourism Research Unit, Monash University, Narre Warren, Victoria 3805, Australia. Tel: +61 3 9904 7048; Fax: +61 3 9904 7130; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media in the Previsit Stage of the Tourist Experience: Port Campbell National Park
Brent D. Moyle and W. Glen Croy
Tourism Research Unit, Monash University, Narre Warren, VIC, Australia
In the past 50 years there has been an enormous expansion in the number and types of protected-area users. This has increased physical pressures on protected areas, and created perceptual impacts for visitors. Importantly, the role of the media in promoting and providing expectations can also be used as a tool to manage potential impacts. Within this context, research was undertaken at Port Campbell National Park (PCNP), Victoria, Australia. Implementing this study not only created awareness of the varied information sources visitor decisions were based on, but also provided valuable insights into the role of the media in the management of expectations. Results indicated that users obtain information from four sources, creating a complex user image and management scenario. An analysis of visitor expectations of the facilities and services at PCNP indicated that induced image sources created inflated expectations of functional attributes. Practical implications are provided for protected area management agencies on the importance of using the media as a tool in the previsit experience, to enhance overall satisfaction. Importantly, creating presite images of functional attributes of parks, in induced information sources, may have important positive implications for overall user satisfaction.
Key words: Media; Image; Expectations; Satisfaction; Protected areas
Address correspondence to Brent D. Moyle, Tourism Research Unit, Monash University, PO Box 1071, Narre Warren, VIC, 3805, Australia. Tel: +61 3 9904 7107; Fax: +61 3 99034 7130; E-mail: email@example.com
From Familiarity Tours to Media Representations: Finland in the British Press
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Oulu, Finland
Tourism destinations are facing increasing challenges in the competition with numerous other places with similar attractions. Multiple promotional tools are used to create favorable destination images, familiarize international audiences with the tourist destination, and differentiate destinations from the competitors. In extensively studied tourists' image formation processes, noncommercial forms of media are almost invariably the most important travel information source, especially for unfamiliar destinations. Despite the media's importance, publicity management of destinations has been an overlooked topic in academic literature. This article aims to fill that gap by exploring the media work practices of the Finnish Tourist Board (FTB) in the British market. The itineraries of familiarity tours for British journalists are considered in the present study to express a desirable image that the FTB wishes to communicate. By comparing these itineraries with representations in the press, it was found that itineraries are influential, though the final word is that of the journalist.
Key words: Publicity management; Destination image; Representation; Rhetoric; Integrated marketing communications
Address correspondence to Ms. Saila Saraniemi, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, P.O. Box 4600, FI-90014, University of Oulu, Finland. Tel: +358 40 5153548; Fax: +358 8 5532906; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Festival Image Creation: The Role of Local and Interstate Newspapers
School of Management, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia
Despite describing itself as an international festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival sells 91 percent of its tickets to local Melbourne residents, with only 4% of attendees visiting from other Australian states and, 1% from overseas. Therefore, the festival would benefit from understanding how the festival is perceived by interstate residents and then adapt its public image accordingly. For that reason, the aim of the article is to consider the images created of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival first by the local newspapers and second by the interstate newspapers. To achieve this, a content analysis of newspaper coverage of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival was conducted before the commencement of the festival, during the festival, and immediately following the close of the festival. The Melbourne based newspapers covered the festival extensively, with previews and reviews of shows, profiles of artists, and articles on comedy as an art form. However, there was surprisingly scant coverage by the national and non-Victorian newspapers of the festival, despite the Melbourne International Comedy Festival being the largest cultural event in Australia in terms of ticket sales. The descriptor words used in the non-Victorian newspaper articles were noted and the related newspaper photographs and illustrations were examined. The images created of the festival by the non-Victorian newspapers appear to be lightheartedness and fun, where the comedians are depicted as experienced, professional performers skilled in the art of making their audience laugh. Opportunities for future research are identified.
Key words: Print media; Festival; Image; Comedy festival
Address correspondence to Elspeth Frew, School of Management, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086, Australia. Tel: +61 3 9479 2333; Fax: +61 3 9479 1010; E-mail: E.Frew@latrobe.edu.au
Rural Tourism Research in China: 1997-2006
Xinmei Zhang,1 Liping Cai,2 and Rich Harrill3
1Department of Tourism, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
2Purdue Tourism & Hospitality Research Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
3International Tourism Research Institute, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
This article identifies five themes in Chinese rural tourism studies, including (1) definitions of rural tourism, (2) rural tourism planning and development, (3) pragmatic challenges and solutions, and (4) policies and impacts. Further, these themes are grouped by three methodological approaches, including supply-side perspectives, policy-oriented research, and descriptive methods. The article is based on the review and synthesis of 325 research articles published between 1997 and 2006 in China. The findings contribute to an understanding of China's rural tourism industry and current state of academic research on rural tourism issues unique to China but having global significance.
Key words: China; Research methods; International tourism; Rural tourism
Address correspondence to Rich Harrill, Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Travel & Tourism Industry Center, International Tourism Research Institute, University of South Carolina, Hotel, Restaurant, & Tourism Management, Columbia, SC 29208, USA. Tel: +803 777 7682; Fax: +803 777 7682; E-mail: RHARRILL@mailbox.sc.edu
Influence of Values on Residents' Attitudes Toward Tourism
Robin Nunkoo1 and Haywantee Ramkissoon2
1Department of Management, Faculty of Law and Management,
University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius
2School of Sustainable Development and Tourism, University of Technology, Mauritius
Personally held values play a fundamental role in explaining human actions. Research in both psychology and sociology suggest that such values underlie human behavior and actions. This article highlights the usefulness of personal values in explaining residents' attitudes toward tourism. It is argued that values are major determinants of attitudes and consequent support for the industry. The means-end-chain (MEC) is proposed as the theoretical base of the study. The laddering technique, which is often used to operationalize MEC, is also discussed. Through the laddering interviews, a "mental map" linking the attributes of tourism to the benefits or consequences of experiencing tourism and the personal values it satisfies can be developed. This process results in a better understanding of community attitude toward the industry. This study provides a theoretical (MEC) as well as a methodological (laddering) contribution to the literature on residents' attitude toward tourism. It also contributes to the limited number of studies discussing the influence of values on host behavior toward the tourism industry. Though value research together with laddering and MEC are not new to tourism, they can be considered new contributions to host attitudinal research.
Key words: Values; Attitudes; Means-end-chain (MEC)
Address correspondence to Robin Nunkoo, Lecturer, Department of Management, Faculty of Law and Management, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius. Tel: (+230) 454 1041; Fax: (+230) 465 6906; E-mail: email@example.com