|ognizant Communication Corporation|
TOURISM, CULTURE & COMMUNICATION
VOLUME 5, NUMBER 3
Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 5, pp. 127-137
1098-304X/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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Some Critical Reflections on Research and Consultancy in Cultural Tourism Planning*
University of Newcastle, Australia
Tourism has long been advocated as the world's greatest growth industry in which all nations, regions, and communities should have a stake. As a consequence, a parallel industry has grown up in both the public and private sectors involving research and consultancy in tourism planning. This can be regarded as a symbiotic relationship whereby communities can benefit from independent expert knowledge of tourism strategies, while tourism professionals of various kinds can earn income or research funding, apply their knowledge, remain close to the "coal face," and find a ready supply of new opportunities to test theories and generate empirical data. This article raises some self-reflexive questions, derived from the author's experience of conducting regionally based cultural tourism research and consultancy, concerning the relationship between contract tourism research and consultancy and its outcomes. It considers the consequences of such client-based tourism research involvement, asking whether this "disciplinary practice" constitutes an intervention that promotes cultural homogeneity in the name of diversity while frequently failing to produce significant economic benefits-and sometimes the reverse. In particular, the issues of independence and imitation are considered in the area of cultural tourism, with tourism researchers and consultants potentially implicated in an ideological deployment of culture and tourism that helps obscure the need for deeper structural remedies to social and economic problems, and in a contradictory project offering competition without losers, and prescribed cultural identities without loss of diversity. In order not to collude in the perpetration of this institutionally encouraged (if usually unconscious) deception, cultural tourism research and consultancy needs to resist the temptation to borrow imitative "off the shelf" models in favor of adopting more open, contingent, and uncertain strategies of analysis and recommendation.
Key words: Research; Consultancy; Planning; Regional cultural tourism
Address correspondence to David Rowe, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia. Tel: 61-2- 4921-6630; Fax: 61-2-4921-7402; E-mail: David.Rowe@newcastle.edu.au
*This article is an updated and expanded version of a paper given at Global Frameworks and Local Realities: Social and Cultural Identities in Making and Consuming Tourism: 2nd International Symposium on Tourism and Sustainability, The University of Brighton, UK, September 2003.
The Australian Tourism Industry and Cultural Implications of Global Tourism
Gayathri Wijesinghe and Mervyn Lewis
University of South Australia
Globalization can be seen as a process opening up national economies and markets, leading to increased interaction between countries. One facet of this process is the temporary movement of people from a wide variety of countries and cultures, for leisure and business travel. This process impacts upon regional tourism and hospitality markets in many ways. The tourism and hospitality industry brings together hosts and guests from a variety of cultures with different characteristics, expectations, and values. To remain competitive in the global market, the industry needs to meet the expectations and needs of their customers. Therefore, it remains an important issue as to how well prepared the tourism and hospitality industry in Australia to handle this influx of peoples and fusion of cultures. In Australia, tourism and hospitality operators must not only manage and respond to the cultural differences of international tourists, but also their domestic customers. Globalization has also impacted on the composition of the domestic tourism market as this now includes multiethnic as well as multicultural migrant groups. Yet another impact of globalization has been the multicultural nature of the workforce in the industry itself. Given these factors, it is somewhat surprising that research into the intermixing of cultures in the tourism and hospitality industry in Australia is relatively neglected. This article argues that cultural understanding is an important issue for those working in and connected with the hospitality industry in Australia. It analyzes the role of culture on the tangible and intangible aspects of service that lead to satisfying the needs and expectations of hosts and guests. A survey conducted to assess the level of awareness of the need for cultural education by tourism practitioners and academics in South Australia is reported. Based on the findings of the survey, the need for cross-cultural education is discussed.
Key words: Global tourism; Cultural understanding; Cross-cultural education; Australia
Address correspondence to Gayathri Wijesinghe, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. Tel: 61-8-830-20263; Fax: 61-8-830-20512; E-mail: Gayathri.Wijesinghe@unisa.edu.au
Festivity and Sociability: A Study of a Celtic Music Festival
Catherine M. Matheson
Queen Margaret University College, Scotland
This article centers on authenticity and social relations within a commodified Celtic music festival framework. The impact of the tourism commodification process upon environs and culture has generated a veritable plethora of studies, the precursor to this being MacCannell's theorization of the leisure class. In an attempt to explain the meaning and significance of social relations within a festival context, specific attention is paid to Maffesoli's theory of the neo-tribe and emotional community. Drawing upon empirical data from a questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews with festival producers and consumers of a Celtic music festival in Scotland, this article challenges Maffesoli's dismissal of the relevance of class grouping and suggests dimensions of the backstage region of festival social space: first, through participating in "real" culture in an intimate environment; second, by playing an instrument or singing; third, through the strengthening of social networks. It is argued that the tourism commodification process is resisted to attain authentic social relations through the backstage region of social space.
Key words: Festivals; Authenticity; Social relations
Address correspondence to Catherine M. Matheson, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, Scotland. Tel: 44-0-131-317-3453; Fax: 44-0-141-317-3454; E-mail: email@example.com
Representation and Obfuscation: Cruise Travel and the Mystification of Production
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
This article explores the notion that the relationship between production and consumption on board cruise ships is, to some extent, obscured. The consumption that takes places on board cruise ships often appears divorced from many of the production-oriented activities that make consumption possible. Efforts by cruise ship companies to dissociate production from consumption are planned and calculated. Many elements of the cruise holiday that are hidden from tourists have some connection with the work and human effort that underpins the vacation production process. This obfuscation of the relationship between production and consumption is by no means comprehensive. Tourists on board cruise ships are not necessarily unaware of the exploitation that takes place on board cruise ships. There are some cruise ship tourists who speak with shipboard employees about conditions within the cruise ship workplace. A number of articles that have appeared in prominent newspapers criticize cruise ship companies because workplace conditions on board are so poor. While information about these conditions has been disseminated in a variety of ways, it has not transformed the way in which cruise vacations are produced. The poor treatment of shipboard employees remains the status quo within the industry.
Key words: Cruise ship; Production; Consumption; Commodity fetishism; Brochure
Address correspondence to Adam Weaver, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. Tel: 64-4-463-5375; Fax: 64-4-463-5180; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Hope Project: An Experience of Forest Management Based on the Partnership Between Government, Local Community, and Tourists
Takayoshi Yamamura,1 Tianxin Zhang,2 and Aijun He3
1Kyoto Saga University of Arts, Japan
2Peking University, China
3University of Tokyo, Japan
The ecosystem in the upper reaches of the Yangzi river basin in Yunnan Province, China (Lijiang area) is suffering a striking decline. With this case as an example, this article will examine how the partnership between the government, local community, and tourists can be developed toward the goal of sustainable forest management, and furthermore, the establishment of a local -ased global community. These findings are based on an on-the-spot inspection carried out by an NGO organized by the authors.
Key words: Lijiang, China; Afforestation; Partnership; NGO
Address correspondence to Takayoshi Yamamura, Department of Tourism
Design, Kyoto Saga University of Arts, Kyoto City, Japan. Tel: 81-75-864-7858;
Fax: 81-75-881-7133; E-mail: email@example.com