Scholars and students of tourism have long struggled against the common assumption that their subject is somehow trivial in its association with leisure and brief encounters. This volume goes a long way in demonstrating the multiple ways in which global tourism is fundamentally redefining local and regional economies and broadly shaping the ways in which virtually all the world's peoples are learning to re-present their heritage and identity to others. There is nothing trivial about it. (Erve Chambers, University of Maryland)
These [chapters] challenge traditional writings in tourism studies that the editors and others have found to be caught in the bind of rehashing old conceptual orientations to the extent that the ideas are stale and in need of new thinking. The chapters outline these themes in a logical progression to address ideas of heritage, identity, and sustainability from the origins of tourism in particular locals, host/guest encounters, recognition of practices promoting the empowerment of women in tourism, and concerns about the environment through “staycations” to reduce the carbon impact of flying. Questions are carefully posed to engage the reader in the contemporary problems arising in tourism. Who benefits? What does the tourist gain from the experience? Does the practice of staged authenticity destroy the meaning and significance of the original practice or re-enforce understanding for a new generation? What is ecotourism? A refreshing view of these issues is provided through the lens of economic anthropology. (Sue Taylor, Public Anthropologist in Residence, American University)
About the Author
E. Christian Wells is associate professor of anthropology, director of the Office of Sustainability, and deputy director of the Patel School of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida.