American Anthropological Association Abstracts vol:102
Annual Meeting edition:102 location:Chicago, USA date:19-23 November 2003
Tourism is a rapidly growing global phenomenon. Together with other border-crossing processes, it facilitates the interplay between the ‘global’ and the ‘local’. Every tourist destination finds itself in a constant process of ‘glocalization’, by adapting itself to global flows, while at the same time trying to maintain, or even increase, its distinctive local features. Local tour guides are first-line agents of ‘glocalization’, playing a crucial intermediary role in this paradoxical process. Based on fieldwork in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, this paper investigates how tour guides creatively deal with the tensions between the ‘global’ and the ‘local’ in their daily practices. The findings suggest that the use of ‘glocalized’ narratives and behaviors helps tour guides to turn their business into a more profitable enterprise. However, it does not necessarily make them better ‘culture brokers’.