On voyage: new directions in tourism theory vol:CD-ROM
On voyage: New directions in tourism theory location:University of California at Berkeley date:7-9 October 2005
Tourist destinations worldwide are adapting themselves to the homogenizing culture of the global tourism industry at the same time as trying to commoditize their local distinct-iveness. These twin processes of globalization and localization play out clearly in the practices and narratives of local tour guides, often the only ‘local people’ with whom tour-ists interact for a considerable amount of time during their trip.
Applying a combination of grounded ethnographic and discourse-centered approaches to fieldwork data from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and Arusha, Tanzania, this paper examines how guides learn to tell tourists seducing tourism tales. Paradoxically, guides rely on popular globally circulating discourses to represent and sell natural and cultural heritage as authentically ‘local’. However, in the interaction with tourists they do not merely re-produce but become themselves creative producers of narratives, often subtly altering or even contesting the normative global templates. The use of a comparative case study approach to examine tour guiding narratives and practices in two different destinations is an innovative way to study and theorize the com-plex interconnections between the local, national, and global layers of tourism in general.