ognizant Communication Corporation



Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 7, pp. 161-168
1098-304X/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

See Australia and Die: Shifting Discourses About Gray Nomads

Donell Holloway

Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley, Western Australia

Caravan (or RV) exploration of Australia has been a feature of the domestic travel industry for many decades and, for the most part, this practice has been driven by generations of retired Australians. Previously referred to as SADs (See Australia and Die), these retirees are now (commonly) known as gray nomads. Largely ignored over the years as a group worthy of serious academic research, gray nomads have recently become a topic of social comment and celebration within Australia. This article discusses changing discourses about gray nomads and how these reflect a change in the discursive context in which aging--in general--is discussed. Gray nomads are now considered paragons of a "positive aging" lifestyle, traveling Australia's outback and coastlines in, what is now considered, an age-defying zest for adventure and challenge. This "positive aging" construction is often used in the promotion of caravan and mobile home sales, and senior drive-tourism. This article argues that the championing and heroization of gray nomads may, on the one hand, help reinforce messages and meanings that resist negative notions of aging. On the other hand--given that these images are one of only a handful of widely promulgated "positive aging" narratives--they may also construct a generally monocultural and well-to-do image of what is required to age in an exciting way. Given that these new messages present a narrow set of images, arguably they do not represent the diversity, capacities, or interests of all seniors--or alternative models of aging successfully.

Key words: Media; Aging; Tourism; Gray nomads; RVing

Address correspondence to Donell Holloway, Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley Campus-Building 8, 2 Bradford Street, Mount Lawley, Western Australia, Auistralia 6050. Tel: 61-08-9336-1351; E-mail: d.holloway@ecu.edu.au

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 7, pp. 169-181
1098-304X/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The "Postmodernization" of a Mythical Event: Naga Fireballs on the Mekong River

Erik Cohen

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Fireballs, allegedly shot from the Mekong River in northwestern Thailand by a mythical serpent known as Naga, recently became the focus of a major festival that attracts many (mainly domestic) tourist pilgrims. The popularity of the phenomenon engendered public controversy over the alleged origins of the fireballs. According to the master narrative, the fireballs are launched by the serpent in order to greet the return of Lord Buddha from heaven at the end of Buddhist Lent. There are two alternative accounts: that the balls are a natural phenomenon, or that they are man made. These accounts represent a threat to belief in the supernatural origins of the fireballs, as well as to vested economic interests in the phenomenon. This article shows how a postmodern approach, which denies an exclusive modernist scientific explanation for the fireballs and permits a multiplicity of truths, could help to reduce the tensions produced by the controversy. The fire ball phenomenon raises questions for the anthropology of tourism concerning the "authenticity" of allegedly supernatural phenomena.

Key words: Mythical event; Postmodern approach; Naga fireballs; Authenticity

Address correspondence to Erik Cohen, The Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. Tel: 972-2-5883048; Fax: 972-2-5324339; E-mail: mserik@mscc.huji.ac.il

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 7, pp. 183-196
1098-304X/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Acculturation, Travel, Lifestyle, and Tourist Behavior: A Study of Korean Immigrants in Australia

Sun Hee Lee1 and Carmen Cox2

1Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
2Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia

While tourism research has already considered the specific travel behaviors and preferences of people from different cultures (e.g., Hispanics, Chinese, etc.), there has not been as much emphasis placed on understanding how the travel behaviors of people may change when they migrate to another country. Despite the growth of migrant populations in many countries throughout the world, studies have tended to look at the behavior of travelers from a particular country (e.g., all Australians) without considering how acculturation experienced by migrants (e.g., Koreans who immigrate to Australia) may alter their travel behaviors. This study focuses on the travel behavior and lifestyles of Korean immigrants in Australia and examines the influence of acculturation on their travel lifestyle. A survey of Korean immigrants in Australia was conducted to explore the relationship between the degree of acculturation experienced by respondents and their travel lifestyle preferences, specifically related to their attitudes and opinions towards travel as well as their travel interests. Cluster analysis identified four distinct groups of Korean immigrants, based on their travel lifestyles, referred to as "Korean socializers & sports seekers," "relaxation seekers," "cultural & entertainment seekers," and "FIT travel enthusiasts." Results suggest that respondents who were more acculturated significantly differed in their travel lifestyle from those who were less acculturated. The study conclusions suggest ways that tourism marketers can better understand ethnic minorities and develop suitable products and services to meet the needs of these markets.

Key words: Acculturation; Travel behavior; Travel lifestyle; Korean immigrants; Australia

Address correspondence to Dr. Carmen Cox, Southern Cross University, Cnr Brett and Wharf Streets, Tweed Heads, NSW 2485, Australia. Tel: 61-7-5506-9321; Fax: 61-7-5506-9301; E-mail: carmen.cox@scu.edu.au

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 7, pp. 197-206
1098-304X/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Carnival Dances of Tlaxcala: An Authentic Folklore Spectacle Waiting for Tourist Promotion

Raúl Valdez M.

Universidad de las Américas-Puebla, Mexico

Tourism is a powerful modifying agent for the life schemes, traditions, uses, habits, and value systems of both travelers and host populations. Growing tendencies of tourist flows are motivated by cultural reasons, focusing on the discovery of all the kinds of historic and artistic manifestations that constitute a human cultural legacy. The carnival dances of Tlaxcala can be considered as authentic expressions of the ideological identity of this place because they represent emblematic elements of its history, popular traditions, and values. For the cultural tourist, the carnival dances of Tlaxcala represent wonderful ways to access to an exotic universe of colors, rhythms, and movements that show the beauties of an unknown world. Furthermore, aside from their sociological and cultural importance, the carnival dances of Tlaxcala can also be an important source of tourist flows because they represent an important and beautiful reason to visit Mexico. In this context, the carnival dances of Tlaxcala represent a beautiful folkloric attraction that, as a core cultural product, is still waiting for an appropriately and carefully designed promotional program that can contribute to social and economic development of the central region of Mexico's Tlaxcala State.

Key words: Cultural tourism; Carnival dances; Cultural identity; Tlaxcala

Address correspondence to Raúl Valdez M., Universidad de las Américas-Puelba, PO Box No. 4, Sta. Catarina Mártir, Cholula 72820, Puebla, Mexico. Tel: 52-222-229-2475; Fax: 52-222-229-2404; E-mail: raul.valdez@udlap.mx

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 7, pp. 207-224
1098-304X/07 $60.00 + .00
Copyright © 2007 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Film-Induced Tourism in Asia: A Case Study of Korean Television Drama and Female Viewers' Motivation to Visit Korea

Brenda Chan

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Film-induced tourism refers to visits to a destination or attraction as a result of it being featured on television, film, or video. An important part of tourism marketing in Korea is the promotion of filming locations of Korean television soap operas as tourist attractions, because Korean television dramas enjoy immense popularity in Asia. Based on focus group interviews with Singaporean women who are avid viewers of Korean TV dramas, this article examines how emotions and experiences in watching Korean TV dramas motivate viewers to visit Korea. It also explores the mediatized gaze of female viewers-turned-tourists and how their actual tourist experiences in Korea influence their subsequent consumption of Korean TV dramas. Responses from the focus group participants were divided between those who were motivated by the TV dramas and those who were interested in visiting Korea for other reasons. For the former, the primary pull factor of beautiful scenery in the settings of the various Korean dramas was usually combined with the push factor of seeking to validate or confirm the landscapes and architecture that one had seen in the TV dramas. It was found that visiting Korea did not necessarily lead to interest in viewing Korean TV dramas, but participants who had a positive tour experience in Korea were more likely to be interested in Korean TV dramas upon returning home. As the participants indicated a preference for natural scenery (used as a backdrop for scenes in the TV dramas) over film sets, the author cautions against the overcommercialization and artificiality in the packaging of filming locations.

Key words: Film-induced tourism; Tourist motivation; Korean Wave; Korean television drama

Address correspondence to Brenda Chan, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University, 31 Nanyang Link, Singapore. Tel: 65-6316-2919; Fax: 65-6792-4329; E-mail: brendachan@ntu.edu.sg

An earlier version of this article was presented at the Workshop on "Of Asian Origin": Rethinking Tourism in Contemporary Asia, September 7-9, 2006, Singapore.