Tourism Culture & Communication 12(2-3) Abstracts

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Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 12, pp. 51–68
1098-304X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830413X13575858951040
E-ISSN 1943-4146
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Body Piercing in “Modern Primitivism” and in Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival: A Comparative Study

Erik Cohen

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Western “modern primitivists” and spirit mediums at the Vegetarian Festival in southern Thailand are the leading practitioners of body piercing in the contemporary world. This comparative study finds that they share a similar marginal social background and aspirations for individual distinction through body piercing, but differ radically in the cultural context, specific practices, and kinds of objects used for piercing. “Modern primitivists” are pierced by relatively small piercing objects, which combine with tattoos as part of their everyday attire. Entranced spirit mediums, believed to be possessed by Chinese deities, tend to be pierced by spectacular piercing objects, but only during the Chinese shrines’ street processions in course of the annual Vegetarian Festival. In contrast to the “modern primitivists,” who are shunned by mainstream society, the spirit mediums are worshipped as deities by devotees, and constitute a major, but ambiguous attraction for foreign tourists: while piercings are “real,” and hence “authentic,” the sight of gruesome self-mutilation by some pierced mediums may offend the tourists’ sensibilities. The article concludes with the observation that some “authentic” sights might be too hard for some tourists to bear and will hence repel rather than attract them. “Bearability” is thus a factor mitigating the attractiveness of such sights.

Key words: Body modification; Body mutilation; Modern primitives; Spirit mediums; Vegetarian Festival; Southern Thailand

Address correspondence to Erik Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. Cohen lives in Bangkok and is available at: +66-2-5782491; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 12, pp. 65–83
1098-304X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830413X13575858951086
E-ISSN 1943-4146
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Politics of Heritage Promotion: Branding the Identity of the Greek State

Androniki Kavoura

Department of Marketing, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Aigaleo, Greece

This article analyzes the role of the Greek Ministry of Culture in its capacity as the public sector agency responsible for managing heritage assets within Greece and its role in promoting national identity. The study examines the officially sanctioned promotional narrative for Greece’s World Heritage listed sites. It focuses on visitors who are able to read the Greek language promotional materials that explain the educational programs offered at these sites. Through the use of interpretative phenomenological analysis, this qualitative research article argues that the promotion of world-renowned sites has a strong social and political dimension. The official promotion of heritage by a state may project a symbolic sense of “imagining”: with national identity within a multicultural and heterogeneous world. Theoretically, the article probes the phenomenon of official portrayals of a singular national identity within a multicultural society and the role played by heritage promotional materials in advancing the interests of the state. It is shown that as they are manifest in promotional material cultural values are not neutral. The mediating role of the promotional material for tourists may be used to promote a brand identity that is inclusive of multiculturalism and recognizes the “significant other,” namely neighboring states, as potential beneficiaries and friends.

Key words: Politics of heritage; Greek official narrative; World Heritage list; Imagined community; Brand identity

Address correspondence to Androniki Kavoura, Department of Marketing, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Ag. Spiridonos, Aigaleo, 12210, Greece. Tel: +33 2109828455; Fax: +33 2105314878; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 12, pp. 85–96
1098-304X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830413X13575858951121
E-ISSN 1943-4146
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Perceptions of Authenticity of Cultural Events: A Host–Tourist Analysis1

Juan Gabriel Brida, Marta Disegna, and Linda Osti

School of Economics and Management, Free University of Bolzano, Bolzano-Brunico, Italy

Many cultural events are an adoption of past rituals and traditional customs created by destination managers in order to advance tourism development. However, to be successful, such cultural events need to be authentic and need the support of the local community and the capacity of the locals to identify themselves with what is staged. In this article, the authors analyze the perception of authenticity by tourists and local residents at Christmas Markets in Northern Italy. The main objectives of this article are to determine the level of authenticity perceived by visitors and to examine any differences between tourists and local residents. To do so, a Logistic regression model was employed. The results show not only a difference between the two groups, but especially the need for local organizers to focus on the involvement of local residents in the organization of fringe events based on deeply rooted local customs. This will provide tourists with a broader experience of the local traditions and more opportunities to interact with local residents.

Key words: Authenticity; Host–tourist analysis; Cultural event; Logit model

1Authors are listed in alphabetical order since they all have contributed equally to the work.
Address correspondence to Dr. Linda Osti, School of Economics and Management, Free University of Bolzano, Piazzetta dell’Università, 39031 Brunico (BZ), Italy. Tel: +39 0474 013643; Fax: +39 0471 013009; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 12, pp. 97–114
1098-304X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830413X13575858951167
E-ISSN 1943-4146
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Determinants of Place Identity and Dependence: The Case of International Tourists in Tanzania

Shogo Mlozi,* Ossi Pesämaa,* Antti Haahti,† and Sandeep Salunke‡

*Hanken School of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Management and Organisation, Vasa, Finland
Lapland Institute for Tourism Research and Education, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research (ACE), Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

This research examines the effects of expectation (perceived attractiveness) on satisfaction, place identity, and place dependence. Place identity and place dependence are viewed as relational components of choice and relate to deeper needs. This study proposes that these two relational components depend on transactional expectations, which are emergent and determined by past experiences and visitor goals. In a theoretically elaborated and tested Structural Equation Model (SEM) this study assumes that these relationships vary according to intentions to return. The study addresses the conditions under which loyalty intentions influence the deeper place attachments (place identity and place dependence) that visitors associate with attractive cultural and natural destinations. The model is tested on a sample of 504 international tourists visiting Tanzania during fall 2010, and explains 59% of variance in the predicted dependent variables. The results are linked to a discussion on loyalty programs.

Key words: Expectation; Satisfaction; Place identity; Place dependence

Address correspondence to Shogo Mlozi, Hanken School of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Management and Organisation, PB 287 (Handelsesplanaden 2) 65101 Vasa, Finland. Tel: +358 (0) 403521753. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 12, pp. 115–124
1098-304X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830413X13575858951202
E-ISSN 1943-4146
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Featuring Iconic Individuals on NTO Websites: A Catalyst for Cultural Tourism?

Maurice J. Kane

Department of Tourism, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

This article explores the promotion potential of culturally iconic individuals through the examination of four countries’ national tourism organization (NTO) websites. The four individuals—Australian Don Bradman, New Zealander Edmund Hillary, Canadian Terry Fox, and South African Nelson Mandela—are arguably the preeminent cultural representative figures in their countries. The stories of their physical practice and personal traits have been legitimized through social distinction to symbolize the character, ideals, and everyday way of life their country’s cultures aspire to. The analysis of each NTO website reveals the frequency and prominence of references to culture generally, formal cultural descriptions, and the stories of these and other culturally representative individuals. The discussion focuses on potential reasons for the variance in formal descriptions and individual stories of culture across the websites. It is suggested one NTO website has a promotional strategy in which the culturally iconic individual transcends issues of site specificity and sustainability. This strategy, expanding from the recognized iconic individual to multiple stories of individual cultural representation, also provides a complex, nonhegemonic framing of a country’s cultural way of life. The central contention of this article is that culturally iconic individuals can provide a promotional portal and catalyst for NTOs. Their symbolic stories uniquely differentiate, yet authentically frame, the integrated tourism experience of people, culture, and country.

Key words: Cultural tourism; Promotional stories; Distinction; Ideals; Everyday way of life

Address correspondence to Maurice J. Kane, Department of Tourism, University of Otago, Dunedin, 9010 New Zealand. Tel: 64 3 473 1575; Fax: 64 3 479 9034; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 12, pp. 125–140
1098-304X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830413X13575858951248
E-ISSN 1943-4146
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Sightseeing for the Sightless and Soundless: Tourism Experiences or the Deafblind1

Elizabeth Dann* with Graham M. S. Dann*†

*Balloon House, Hitchin, Herts, United Kingdom
†Emeritus Professor of Tourism, Department of Tourism, Finnmark University College, Alta, Norway

Much of the academic treatment of tourism for the disabled typically focuses on those with bodily impairment and the ways that the industry responds to customer disability from a supply-side perspective. By contrast, the following account begins with demand and does so from the specific point of view of a deafblind individual (the lead author). Some statistical data are provided that enable the contextualization of her condition in the UK and rest of the world. However, since this is very much a trans-subjective journey, the remainder of the account is cast in the first person and present continuous. As part of this odyssey the study investigates a series of salient recorded experiences as they relate to her remaining senses of touch, taste, smell, and, to a lesser extent, hearing, and the manner in which they concentrate on doing her best in the circumstances rather than compensating for dual sensory impairment. It also analyzes these senses both qualitatively and quantitatively in relation to touristic visits to three continents: the Americas, Africa, and Europe, areas in which the narrator traveled from the time that she lost her sight, along with their evaluation as either positive or negative in nature. The conclusion briefly shows what the tourism industry is doing to cater to this disadvantaged group and additional material is briefly supplied to highlight a growing awareness of its situation.

Key words: Deafblind tourists; Reflexivity; Touch; Taste; Smell; Hearing

1An earlier version of this paper “Sightseeing for the Sightless and Soundless: Tourism Experiences of the Dual Sensory Impaired” was published in Études et Rapports, vol. 16, November 2011, by the Centre International de Recherches et D’Études Touristiques in Aixen-Provence. An extensively revised form is reproduced here with the kind permission of its Director, Dr René Baretje, to whom gratitude is expressed by the authors of this article as well as by the editors of Tourism, Culture & Communication. Those interested in the first author’s poems about her condition, as also the associated medical details, should consult the earlier version.

Address correspondence to Graham M. S. Dann, Balloon House, 50 Bedford St, Hitchin, Herts SG5 2JG, United Kingdom. Tel: 44 1462 438829; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 12, pp. 141–157
1098-304X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830413X13575858951284
E-ISSN 1943-4146
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Critical Review

The Use and Abuse of “Clearly” in Tourism Research

Graham M. S. Dann

Professor Emeritus, Department of Tourism, Finnmark University College, Alta, Norway

In this critical review article, Professor Dann analyzes the pervasive and unjustifiable overuse of the word “clearly” in Anglophone daily life, to the point where he maintains it has become almost devoid of meaning. His argument proceeds in four stages. First, the etymology of “clearly” is explored by examining various dictionary and thesaurus meanings of the word along with its employment in a number of Internet sites. Second, its uncritical acceptance in everyday English speech is demonstrated in a few typical broadcast and print media news accounts, ranging for example from George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq to smoking bans in public places. Third, and most importantly, the spill-over into tourism research is shown to rest on several ideological assumptions—those of growth, causality, focus, definition, theory, presentation, and evaluation. Finally and crucially, a recommended exercise in reflexivity is undertaken by Professor Dann that highlights instances of self-invoked “clarity” in his own work over the past 35 years in topics as diverse as motivation, nostalgia, and olfactory tourism. It is thus maintained that, because tourism research (including his own) is replete with instances of opaque discourse sheltering under the shaky positivist umbrella of presumed clarity, it is arguably time to eliminate this linguistic prop of research dissemination and substitute it with genuine interpersonal exchange of interpretative understanding. (Editor’s introduction)

Key words: Clearly; Etymology; Everyday speech; Ideological assumptions; Reflexivity; Tourism research

Address correspondence to Graham M. S. Dann, Balloon House, 50 Bedford St, Hitchin, Herts SG5 2JG, United Kingdom. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 12, pp. 159–171
1098-304X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830413X13575858951329
E-ISSN 1943-4146
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Critical Review

Message From Paradise: Critical Reflections on the Tourism Academy in Jerusalem

Rami K. Isaac,* Vincent Platenkamp,* and Erdinç Çakmak†

*Cross-Cultural Understanding, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences. Breda, The Netherlands
†Tourism Destination Management, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences. Breda, The Netherlands

In this critical review article an adopted framework from critical theorists will be introduced in order to question the alleged neutral objectivity in social scientific discussion. This old discussion—on value free science—becomes increasingly evident through the illustration of the relevant example of how academics concealed their positions of neutrality just before the 86th annual tourism conference of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), October 2010 in Jerusalem. This critical review article continues by analyzing the relatively high amount of email reactions to a Palestinian tourism scholar who called for support from the tourism academic community for the rejection of Jerusalem as the place where the conference will be held. On the basis of this material, three categories of reactions will be introduced and organized as a normative, critical discussion. In this discourse, an emancipatory perspective on this topic will be presented. This emancipator knowledge will give voice to the marginalized and less heard voices in this region. With these voices a counterdiscourse can be organized in this region in which Arendt’s “agora” will be introduced as a place of plural discussions. The intention of this revitalized critical discussion is to create a climate of broader enlightenment that ultimately goes beyond the perspectives of individual parties. (Editor’s introduction)

Key words: Palestine; Jerusalem; Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conference; Slow questions; Social theory of knowledge; Counterdiscourse

Address correspondence to Rami K. Isaac, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Mgr. Hopmanstraat 1: 4817 JT Breda, The Netherlands. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 12, pp. 173–186
1098-304X/13 $60.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830413X13575858951365
E-ISSN 1943-4146
Copyright © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Critical Review

Ethnography of Hope in Extreme Places: Ahrendt’s Agora in Controversial Tourism Destinations

Rami K. Isaac and Vincent Platenkamp

Centre for Cross-cultural Understanding, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands

In this critical review article, Isaac and Platenkamp present the case that tourism is not isolated from the world’s dramatic situations in which humanity is at stake. Their argument principally centers on the devastating historical and contemporary conflict in Palestine and its relations with tourism. In this article, Isaac and Platenkamp maintain that (in relation to current happenings in Palestine) ethical and moral argumentation would be beside the point, and might even be a ”cynical” exercise. They suggest that the conflict there is imbued with many kinds of normative argumentation. It is their view that positions need to be taken with regard to ”Palestine,” as in all extreme circumstances, where at the same time respect for the other positions becomes crucial. In this critical review article, therefore, Arendt’s idea of “agora” will be introduced, in order to create a space where these “respectful positions” can be taken in a public arena and in order to contribute to a possible peaceful development. To Isaac and Platenkamp, tourism could enable this sort of “peaceful development” and could promote or help empower conditions where violence would be excluded, and where different sorts of “argumentation” could be generated and heard about these so-called “controversial spaces.” In these respects, they maintain that tourism is a challenging field, because it has (itself) many faces—and they argue that such scenarios for “tourism” indeed could apply/should be applied for many controversial other spaces like Nepal and Burma (for instance) where (as in Palestine) the original population has no say in any economic development, such as that of tourism. But Isaac and Platenkamp recognize that (even in Burma) resistance against injustice can never be destroyed. Their own principal focus remains targeted upon Palestine, though. There, tourism is known to have “an incredibly high potential,” despite the fact that (in their view) a strong and powerful “Israeli self” indeed controls the “humiliated Palestinian other.” Thus, to our two reviewers in the Netherlands, therefore, tourism seems to be a communicative activity that might enable the implementation of Arendt’s idea of and about “the agora.” Isaac and Platenkamp suggest that there is no violence in the agora, itself, because only the force of argumentation rules . . . there. (Editor’s Introduction)

Key words: Agora; Critical Theory; Pluralist normativity; Mode 3; Self-other; Tourism opportunities

Address correspondence to Rami K. Isaac, Ph.D., Centre for Cross-Cultural Understanding, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Mgr. Hopmanstraat 1: 4817 JT Breda, The Netherlands. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it