ognizant Communication Corporation


VOLUME 2, NUMBER 2, 2000

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 2, pp. 69-84, 2000
1098-304X/00 $10.00 + .00
Copyright © 2000 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Culture or Nature: Dilemmas of Interpretation

Ken Taylor

Cultural Heritage Research Centre and CRC Sustainable Tourism, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Landscape forms a primal factor in attachment to place and national identity. Graphic images of landscape are a consistent component of tourism promotion centering on place and nation. In the Australian experience (and there are analogies internationally) there is a constant tension between what is portrayed and interpreted as nature - or natural - and what is in fact cultural landscape shaped by human intervention. While Australia is the focus of the article, it is in reality an example of a more general case, and international comparisons are drawn. The article starts with a review of where we have come from in our relationship with landscape, which is seen as forming the wider setting for cultural tourism - our imagined country - and how this has shaped the way we see and present images for tourism. It uses three themes: images of who we are; identity with places and graphic images; and the way we process and appropriate the so-called natural world for human consumption. It is suggested that the implication of how we construct images and use them is that there is a need to offer information on why places and landscapes look like they do and what they mean in a cultural context, not merely what they look like. In this way it should be possible to involve the minds of tourists in a dialogue with the landscapes visited and provoke a sense of participation. In this connection analogies with Australian Aboriginal meanings of country are used. It is suggested that tourist promotions of landscape must not recast nature divorced from cultural connections. Tourism representation of national landscapes has the potential to include cultural meanings and not rely on superficial imagery. It carries the responsibility of signaling the need to care for landscapes as a national asset so that they will survive for future generations rather than be the target of short-term economic gain.

Key words: Landscape; Context; Identity; Culture; Nature

Address correspondence to Ken Taylor. Tel: 612 6201 5148; Fax: 612 6201 5034; E-mail: ken@scides.canberra.edu.au

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 2, pp. 85-98, 2000
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Copyright © 2000 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Tourism, Gazing, and Cultural Authority

Phillip Winn

Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

The term "gaze" has been asserted as a crucial feature of the touristic encounter. This article suggests that existing conceptions of "the tourist gaze" remain deeply problematic in a number of fundamental respects. First, they fail to adequately distinguish between the act of seeing and the applicability of wider "gaze" theory, which raises questions concerning human subjectivity. Second, there is a general neglect of the agency of those "gazed upon." The contention here is that the use of "gaze" in tourism research emerges from insufficiently examined assumptions linked to essentializing modernist tropes that raise concerns with issues of "commodification" and "authenticity" and not from detailed studies providing evidence of its existence. An example of cultural tourism from the Banda Islands in Indonesia illustrates the complexity of local agency within the touristic encounter and the consequent difficulties of applying notions of "the gaze." Further research is required if the operation of gaze is to be asserted in any specific tourism context; however, all monolithic approaches to tourism as a social phenomenon are considered best abandoned.

Key words: Tourist gaze; Cultural tourism; Indonesia; Banda Islands

Address correspondence to Phillip Winn. Tel: 612 6249 3277; Fax: 612 6249 4896; E-mail: pwinn@coombs.anu.edu.au

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 2, pp. 99-109, 2000
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Copyright © 2000 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

"Acting Proper": Encounter and Exchange on Tourism's Frontier

Hilary Ericksen

140 Chetwynd Street, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3051

After nearly 50 years as a tourist attraction, the Pink and White Terraces, arguably Aotearoa New Zealand's first and most famous landscape site, was devastated by the volcanic calamity of Mt Tarawera in 1886. For the decade and a half prior to this, I suggest, there was a rising tide of complaint against the site's indigenous owners, alleging indolence, immorality, and extortionary practices in managing the site. The move from more benign attitudes toward Tuhourangi to depictions of a group of corrupt and illogical modern natives reflected a shift that came to predominate in broader cultural relations in the fledgling colony. This shift had clear links to increasing competition for resources, the need to shape a sense of identity in the new colonial nation, and the psychology of possession that came with Pakeha victory in the New Zealand land wars of the 1860s. This article seeks to revalue what were effectively complaints of a failure to assimilate to a Pakeha way of being in the world-a failure to transact tourism as either Europeanized Maori or as "old time" Maori. I argue for a rereading of these complaints as instances of agency and self-determination that demonstrated great ingenuity in imbricating a new cultural order within an existing matrix of tradition. These strategies showed immense flexibility and invention, and were imperative for survival in an irreversibly changing homeland.

Key words: Colonialism; Maori; Agency; Landscape

Address correspondence to Hilary Ericksen. Tel: (+613) 9819-1877; E-mail: hilarye@lonelyplanet.com.au

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 2, pp. 111-122, 2000
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Copyright © 2000 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

"In Search of the Picturesque": Aborigines and Tourists in 19th Century Gippsland

Coral Dow

Centre for Gippsland Studies, Monash University, Churchill, VIC, Australia 3842

In the latter part of the 19th century the Gippsland Lakes in eastern Victoria became a popular tourist destination and concurrently the Ganai of Gippsland became one of the first Aboriginal communities in Australia to interact with large numbers of tourists. Although remote from Melbourne, the Ganai, like Aboriginal communities on the outskirts of Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne, were able to use their cultural heritage to economic advantage. This early form of cultural tourism occurred both on the missions and at tourist towns, and continued into the 20th century. For tourists, interaction with Aborigines was only one part of a holiday experience based largely on a search for the picturesque. Tourism for the Ganai, especially when it occurred "off the mission," offered an alternative form of coexistence with settler society and assisted in the maintenance of cultural and social connections with country. Tourism, through the continued production and sale of artefacts and through the sale of cultural knowledge, provided economic benefits, but the advantages also extended to social and cultural spheres. Through the tourists search for the picturesque experience Aborigines benefited in a culturally empowering, but largely unrecognized, manner.

Key words: Aborigines; Cultural heritage; Gippsland; Aboriginal-tourist interaction

Address correspondence to Coral Dow. Tel: 612 6277 2414; Fax: 612 6277 2407; E-mail: coral.dow@aph.gov.au

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 2, pp. 123-139, 2000
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Copyright © 2000 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Touring Aboriginal Cultures: Encounters With Aboriginal People in Australian Travelogues

Heather Zeppel

Department of Leisure and Tourism Studies, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia

During the 1990s, Aboriginal cultures were increasingly promoted as a unique tourist attraction in Australia. This revival of tourist interest in Aboriginal cultures is reflected and further promoted in popular travel articles or travelogues describing Aboriginal cultural tours and attractions. This article reviews 20 travel articles describing tourist encounters with Aboriginal people, published from 1994 to April 1998, in the travel section of major Australian newspapers and in travel magazines. Using content analysis and a focus on key words, this article examines the ways in which Aboriginal cultures are represented as a tourist attraction in these travelogues. It identifies the nature of tourist interactions with Aboriginal people; with Aboriginal spirituality and Aboriginal landscapes; and with traditional Aboriginal lifestyle, cultural practices, and artefacts. The article also identifies key strategies related to the tourist elevation of Aboriginal cultures in travel articles. Languaging or the use of Aboriginal words and place names is a prominent feature. In the travelogues, Aboriginal people are presented as a traditional, timeless, and spiritually different "Other," situated in remote areas of outback Australia. Tourist encounters with Aboriginal people now include "symbolic souvenirs" such as the environmental and spiritual aspects of Aboriginal cultures.

Key words: Aboriginal cultures; Australia; Travelogues; Tourist marketing; Tourist interactions

Address correspondence to Heather Zeppel. Tel: 612 4921 7389; Fax: 612 6277 2498; E-mail: zeppel@leisure.newcastle.edu.au