Title: “Enough talking! Can you take a picture of us instead?” Asian tourists redefining the role of local tour guides
Authors: Salazar, Noel B. #
Issue Date: Sep-2006
Publisher: Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
Host Document: “Of Asian origin”: rethinking tourism in contemporary Asia vol:CD-ROM
Conference: “Of Asian origin”: rethinking tourism in contemporary Asia location:Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore date:7-9 September 2006
Abstract: Asian tourism hot spots, like destinations elsewhere in the world, constantly have to adapt themselves to rapidly changing tourist populations and consumer patterns. This involves actively (re)creating a distinctive local identity, attractive for the targeted markets, and ensuring that the goods and services provided meet the standards set by the global tourism industrial-complex. Local tour
guides are key players in mediating the tensions between these concurrent processes of localization and globalization. Drawing on ongoing fieldwork in
Yogyakarta, Indonesia, this paper explores how Indonesian guides adapt their narratives and practices to serve and please Asian clients. By way of an in-depth
ethnographic study of Yogyakarta’s tourism sector in general and the local guiding scene in particular, I examine how the recent surge in tourists of Asian
origin redefines the roles commonly assigned to guides in the literature (which is mainly based on research of Western tourists). Preliminary findings seem to suggest that the different ways guides deal with Western and Asian tourists should not be explained only culturally. Structural characteristics of the way Asian tourism is currently organized have to be taken into account as well. The empirical data illustrate that, while the Indonesian guides are fine-tuning their narratives and practices to accommodate Asian cultural sensibilities and interests,
broader power dynamics of the global tourism-industrial complex frame the encounter. As such, this case study reaffirms that tourism of Asian origin is both shaping and being shaped by the currently dominant models of global tourism.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre
# (joint) last author

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