The Routledge handbook of cultural tourism pages:34-39
As with many other activities – reading novels, playing games, watching movies, telling stories, daydreaming, et cetera – planning a vacation and going on holidays involve the human capacity to imagine or to enter into the imaginings of others. Seductive images and discourses about peoples and places are so predominant that without them there would be little tourism, if any at all. I conceptualize such imaginaries as socially transmitted representational assemblages that interact with people’s personal imaginings and are used as meaning-making and world-shaping devices. In this chapter, I discuss the multiple links between cultural tourism and the imaginary, paying particular attention to institutionally grounded imaginaries implying power, hierarchy and hegemony. I focus on how otherwise lived spaces are shaped by and are shaping tourism practices and fantasies (the original Greek word for imaginaries). The Indonesian case study nicely illustrates how the critical analysis of cultural tourism imaginaries offers a powerful deconstruction device of ideological, political, and socio-cultural stereotypes and clichés.