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11 January 2011



TOWARDS A POLITICS OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM Cultural Policy Brief Nº 2 Establishing alternative tourism: innovative tourism products

Document established by the Directorate of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage

KI(2011)02 2 Contents: Background 3 Changing public and policy discourse of ‘tourism industry’ Questions of values: towards genuine sustainability Alternative tourism creating values by taking value positions: going beyond ‘old wine in new bottles’ Appendix of web site of examples of Maori indigenous businesses 3 5 5 8 .

it began with the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and ended amidst the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Characterised by the influential writer Richard Florida (2010) as ‘The Great Reset’.org) that demands creation of a more caring and spiritual global economy based on the powers of our hearts and social and environmental responsibility (Judith. Whatever it is. Some say it’s the end of the capitalist industrial age in America and the West and the beginning of something else. the amount of spam in those emails had increased by a quarter on 2008 (royal. 2009).3 Towards a politics of sustainable tourism KI(2011)02 Cultural Policy Brief: ESTABLISHING ALTERNATIVE TOURISM: INNOVATIVE TOURISM PRODUCTS Dr Irena Ateljevic. Ateljevic. environmental and social) sustainability. Many are describing our era one of regime change. the SARS and avian and swine flu outbreaks. Changing public and policy discourse of ‘tourism industry’ In this overwhelming context of a true urgency for human (economic. It is becoming harder to distinguish what is significant.7 billion internet users watched a billion YouTube videos and sent 247 million emails every single day. system flip or paradigm shift (http://www. they lack relevance or stand-out in our changing world. Wageningen University. whilst last year the world’s 1. While we may try to envision many different scenarios for our future we can perhaps be certain of only one thing: that the competition for relevance and resources will be fiercer than ever. the coming years promise to be tough ones for the industry. where so many places position themselves as ‘a great place to work. Ours has become a cluttered world of the long tail. the Netherlands Background The first decade of the twenty-first century was one of ‘many perfect storms for the travel and tourism industry’ (Chiesa 2009). Today there are almost 250 million websites and 126 million blogs. 2009).pingdom. The decade saw war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Lubbers. At the same time. The collapse of real estate and stock markets around the world has left consumer confidence low and unemployment high in the world’s more economically developed economies and as tourism growth rates are closely correlated with economic business cycles. Some call it the age of globalization. the dominant interpretations of tourism as being nothing more than frivolous leisure activity or yet another form of economic development need to be seriously challenged. that it becomes ever more important but harder to achieve stand-out. The creativity and originality of tourism products and places will reside in the full embrace and awareness that tourism has the potentialities to contribute to many local and . and devastating natural and human-induced environmental disasters too many to list. we’ve been in the middle of it for a while. Just take the world wide 2010). these are sharply transitional times. authentic and worthy of our attention in our information-heavy but knowledge-light world. live and play’ and so many tourist destinations promise a multitude of experiences and products. 2006. Socio-Spatial Analysis. There does seem to be something hugely significant going on out there in the world. and the recently termed ‘Great Recession’ has brought it into stark relief. Yet others predict the dawning of a new transmodern age of planetary responsibility (Ghisi. which may well prove to be a generational period of economic and social change during which individuals and places will need to find new ways of living and working. Too many destinations have in fact become ‘anycountry’ – communicated by marketing cliché. others the information age or the knowledge or experience economy. 2008.stockholmresilience.

In his motivation to genuinely connect the human community.g. he has initiated numerous projects by creating the Oxford Muse Foundation. Zeldin argues that hotels (like corporations) have not changed their basic goals since the late 19th century. with servants ministering to your every whim. a number of hotels in Britain. hospitality and events (see web site http://www. Firstly. (and consequently) tourism has genuine powers to help the world in reaching higher level of consciousness and greater cultural understanding as it has been claimed that to travel is to discover that human beings in other lands and cultures are also people with whom we can share our laughter and our tears.htm). political and socio-cultural level. http://transitiontowns. one can easily see the enormous political power of such shift in the public discourse of Tourism enterprises combined with rejuvenations of local (agri)culture often represent a significant part of economic resilience and transitional strategies in those communities and towns. and that what we have in common is a great deal more than the sum of all our differences (Silf. after they have fitted every kind of gold tap. Independent of Oxford Muse there has been a similar concept already put in practice by Suzanne Oxenaar. Secondly. For Spain and the USA have expressed an interest in using some of the ideas of the Muse to enrich the experience of their guests and to make their hotels into a new sort of cultural centres (http://www.KI(2011)02 4 global processes and problems at economic. he initiated the concept of socalled Muse hotels in order to redesign the very idea of a Another good example can be found in broader initiatives. A good example of promoting such potentialities is epthe initiative aiming to explore peace through http://transitionnetwork. that meant to be able to enjoy luxury and to live like royalty. a regular BBC speaker) who is interested in human development potential. The network aims ‘to create a way of living that's significantly more connected. a Dutch woman who had a vision of combining her cultural curator/artist . France. 2009). Therefore. tourism producers and consumers begin to recognise such deeper meanings of tourism potentialities. for example. we need to recognise that changing market trends of ‘special interest (eco) tourisms’ are not just forms of market and product diversification but rather key indicators that manifest the global shift in human aspirations for greater social and cultural empathy and environmental responsibility (Ray and Anderson. One that has been creating an increasing world-wide popularity is ‘transition towns network’ established in 2006 and today involves around 655 towns and communities from over 30 countries. if governments. Theodore Zeldin is an Oxford-based historian and public intellectual (e. giving tourists a chance to do what conventional ambassadors cannot’. civil society. tourism establishments can seriously challenge the assumed meaning of their essential business purpose. 2000.oxfordmuse. more vibrant and more in touch with local environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today’ (see their web sites. Thirdly. and create a model for how any business can rethink from scratch what it is doing. For example. Good examples can be found in the hotel industry initiated by creative and visionary individuals.epthe. To that end. when César Ritz said that the purpose of his hotel was to ‘teach you how to live’. which attempt to develop community resilience in the light of peak oil and climate change crisis. Apparently. Ateljevic. and in doing so challenges the traditional ideas of work and human conversations. If the contemporary tourism phenomenon indicates the new step in development of human global consciousness. tourism can become a leader ‘industry’ in the emerging concept of caring/spiritual global economy. One of those Muse projects relates to his interest of raising the potentiality of tourism to help more open human dialogue at the global scale (Ateljevic. electronic gadget and leisure facility? Zeldin asks and immediately replies that: ‘they could become important cultural institutions. 2006). 2009). playing a significant part in the dialogue of civilizations. But where can they go next.

behaviour will not be either. fashion.lloydhotel.’ Albert Einstein (attributed).are made possible by interior human motivators that make us voluntarily want to bring about these changes. and food. His challenge to think and believe differently is a powerful path to bringing about the long-term change elucidated by the grand vision of sustainability. futurist and consultant strategist for sustainability. a shift in our beliefs. US (German-born) physicist (1879 . claims that our fundamental beliefs form the very behaviours which threaten humanity’s future well-being. Therefore. Alternative tourism creating values by taking value positions: going beyond ‘old wine in new bottles’ The above outlined general discussion on importance of values and cultures has been given in the light of general recognition that ‘greening and responsibilizing’ our unsustainable development (whereby mass tourism represents just one of its many expressions) is often ‘old wine in new bottles’. land.5 KI(2011)02 heart with the hospitality http://www. clean air. the exterior results we desire cannot come about with any degree of permanence. hence further expanding the business into two recently opened new hotels (another in Amsterdam and one in Japan (see web site (http://www.1955) There is a prevalent belief that our social.opportunities. To that objective in 2004 together with Otto Nam she turned local Amsterdam prison building into the first ‘one to five star’ hotel of the world and cultural embassy. poverty alleviation. The hotel’s Cultural Embassy offers various services in communal spaces. The establishment is organised into two units of a commercial enterprise (hotel) and the notfor-profit foundation (cultural embassy).Indeed tourism research shows that keys to genuine sustainability of alternative tourism lie in the deliberate rejection of the full . that we need a mindset change. designers and architects. culture and local cultural projects. Situated above restaurant the Cultural Embassy informs guests and interested parties on topics such as art. motivations and cultures. Admission is always free for everybody. there is no system without the interior culture that supports it. culturally and environmentally sensitive development. health. In conjunction with the Lloyd Hotel the Cultural Embassy and its members organise projects and cultural activities: performances. world cultures and importance of dreaming through the hotel industry has proved to be a very innovative and successful business strategy. Hardin Tibbs (2002). Unless these motivations are tapped. design. working together with Dutch artists. even survival. for collectives. if individual behaviour and society’s systems in the exterior world need to change for SDv to arise. and economic problems have arisen because of our current values. Owner’s philosophy of promoting art. All of the exterior things that sustainable development (SDv) calls for . It has been said that we face a values crisis.html Questions of values: towards genuine sustainability ‘The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them. . industries with zero harmful emissions. For individuals. there is no behaviour without the interior motivation that drives it. If these motivators are not geared toward sustainability. water. the greatest leverage for changing these behaviours and systems may lie in the interior world . mostly created by smart marketing professionals and publicity studio (as noted by Russo in his general introduction) .com/attachment-1603-en.lloydhotel. and education for all. small exhibitions and presentations. environmental. or that we have to evolve our social values. zero population growth.

Culture and industry activities are articulated via representative relations. Figure 1. In elaborating ‘old market economy’ paradigm versus ‘new responsible/caring economy’ paradigm 4 key areas can be defined as pertaining to different value positions: 1) 2) 3) 4) Organisational Cultural The market (tourist/visitor/guest) Industry Broadly speaking. 2000). franchised) OwnerOperator Personal interaction Flat management Counterpoint ‘Inside’ Uncompromising Personally mediated Meaningful ‘Traveller’ Reciprocity Symbiotic Production (innovation) Autonomous /networked Quality of life Trust Business Community Inclusive Sense of place Natural Environment Social worth Profit maximisation Contractual Corporate Ends CULTURE Capitalistic INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVE RELATIONS Source: Ateljevic and Doorne (2000). as distinct from purely tourism related issues affecting and influencing market and industry environments. This conceptualization of corresponding values as per ‘alternative tourism paradigm’ (within the circle) versus. ‘mainstream market paradigm’ (outside of the circle) is visually presented in Figure 1. including industry groups.KI(2011)02 6 market-driven paradigm in favour of reciprocity and lifestyle which then in itself creates its own niche market of consumers actively seeking products which convey these values and eco-social orientation (for New Zealand examples see Ateljevic and Doorne. . Further access can be identified between socio-environmental issues expressed in terms of organisational practice and cultural values. the relationships surrounding the organisation and the market can be expressed in terms of personal relations concerning interactions between individuals. community groups and wider economic structures. Perceived Value Positions PERSONAL RELATIONS Strategy ORGANISATION Top-down Competitive Conformity Pyramidic Organisational Management Hierarchical Mainstream ‘Outside’ Homogenous Identity Exclusivity Globalised Landscapes of Consumption Material value Global (urban) MARKET Packaged/Pre-planned Bottom-up Collaborative Individualistic Spontaneity Educational Values aware Hedonistic Value for money Compromised values Industry mediated Frivolity ‘Tourist’ Market exchange Parasitic (Re)production (imitation) Integrated (Contracted.

In other words. PhD thesis dissertation. as Spiller (2009: 241) describes the notion of ‘enhanced value’ – ‘wherein people inject. in contrast to the usual ‘arms-length’ approaches that typify many commercial transactions (Spiller et. Spiller. USA. R. 97105. 378-392. Ghisi. cultural empathy. pp. (2009) former Dutch Prime-Minister (1982-1994). something of your self. optimistic and persistent engagement opens many business doors and creates network values based on the qualitative nature of relationships and long term outlook of shared goals. as it were. This research demonstrates how ethics of care based on values of reciprocity. (2000) The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World. chapter 16. Ray. New Zealand. yet appear to be crucial ingredients for our long-term sustainability of humanity and development of alternative tourism in developing and transition regions for that matter. diversity. India: Stone Hill Foundation. Lubbers. I. integrated goals. University of Auckland. In doing so. 'Staying within the fence’ Lifestyle Entrepreneurship. L. mutuality. (2009) ‘Navigating yet another perfect storm: The promise of sustainable travel & tourism’. Bristol: Channel View Publications. (2009) Transmodernity – remaking our (tourism) world? in Tribe. 278300. Ateljevic. To conclude from the policy point of view. resource preservation. . (2006) Waking the Global Heart: Humanity’s rite of passage from the love of power to the power of love. (ed) (2009) Philosophical Issues of Tourism. Chiesa.M. (2009) How Maori cultural tourism businesses create authentic and sustainable well-being. J. Harper. in The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report. (2008) The Knowledge Society: A Breakthrough Towards Genuine Sustainability. CA: Elite Books.. bonding element of universe. but it is a giving of oneself so that relationships have a healthy life force. H. A. C. trust. T.P. Santa Rosa. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 8 (5). Minister of State and Earth Charter commissioner: ‘Human unity. New York. uplift. transparency and innovation are the key values in creating ‘the value’ for ‘producers’ and ‘consumers’ of experiences. a keynote at the international conference: ‘Leadership for a sustainable world’. proactive. and Anderson. World Economic Forum. awake. it is absolutely essential to recognise the necessary recognition and promotion of those values that do not easily fit into the measurable indicators of the growth market philosophy. New York: Harmony Books. Florida (2010) The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post Crash Prosperity. life principle. sustainability and spirituality’. I. The Hague. pp. and Doorne. Judith. Ateljevic. The preference for trust-based relationships that cohere around shared purpose appears to provide a distinct advantage for many Maori companies.7 KI(2011)02 The importance of ‘alternative tourism value positions’ in creating innovative products and unique experiences has been further established by recent research in New Zealand on Maori indigenous tourism business and their aspirations to create authentic and sustainable well-being for both Maori communities and their visitors (Spiller et al. S. June 5. respect. M. Netherlands. value-added approach is not a mechanical product-oriented thing. S. 2010). 2010:15). of your own life and energy of your personal Mauri (life force. conscious) into your work’.al.R.

. South Africa. Maori places.waimaramaori.php/writing/global-prospects/ Appendix of web site of examples of Maori indigenous businesses http://www. 2010 from http://www. Journal of Business Ethics. Tena Koutou Katoa! Genuine New Zealand Maori hospitality with Maori Tours Kaikoura. M. People and Place” in Aotearoa-New Whirinaki Rainforest Experiences. http://www. and Pio.navigatortours. haere mai ki Navigator Tours: Bringing You the World of the Maori People. http://www. Culture.KI(2011)02 8 . Our guiding staff are all Maori. 2010 awarded SUPREME Award for Overall Best Attraction in NZ by Rankers. (2002). Henare. http://www. Retrieved December 1.whakarewarewa. M.htm The story of Wairakei Terraces. As such. http://www. 153-169. The spiritual environment of the Waipoua Forest provides a natural stage for an unforgettable Footprints Waipoua encounter with some of the largest remaining kauri trees in the world.footprintswaipoua. whose whakapapa (ancestry) is traced to the iwi (tribes) of the Central North Island region. The enjoyment of a visit is based on three key elements: Maori people.html Tena Koutou.maoritours. Nau mai. you will be receiving a truly authentic indigenous cultural experience.hardintibbs.wairakeiterraces. Mother Nature (Papatuanuku) must now take her course to perfect the production of colours and overlaying of silica to form magnificent terraces reminiscent of the Tarawera pink and white versions that were destroyed in 1886. and Maori hospitality http://www. H. Ngati Tuwharetoa …The terraces have been initially fashioned by mans hand. 98(1). the heart of the North Island. Saving the world slowly: Impressions of the United Nations world summit on sustainable development in Voted Best Cultural Activity in New Zealand 2009 & 2010. Lj. E. (2010) Relational Well-being and Wealth: Maori Businesses and an Ethic of Care. is the story of Ngatoroirangi. hot thermal springs and hot bubbling mud pools is the Living Maori village of Whakarewarewa situated in Set amidst a landscape of erupting geothermal activity. At last a tourism company that understands and represents the indigenous view of “Nature. Erakovic.

learning about native flora and fauna from a Maori and local Stewart Island Awa Tours operate guided canoe trips on New Zealands spectacular Whanganui River providing a Maori Cultural and Environmental experience..potikiadventures.A Boutique Maori Cultural Experience. evolving and relevant in mainstream society. Most importantly as well as teaching about traditional life. http://wakatours. we showcase Maori culture as .com/ Potiki Adventures is a boutique Maori owned and operated company based in Auckland City. get to know our people and feel the power of our sacred native landscape.who just happens to be named after the Explore Ulva Island with Ulva's Guided Walks on Stewart Island. Ulva's Guided Walks was named by the owner. vibrant.9 KI(2011)02 Waimarama Maori Tours at Hakikino . New Zealand. we will provide you with a unique experience. You will gain a unique perspective as we introduce ‘our Auckland and our Aotearoa (New Zealand)’ through local eyes. http://www. We offer a range of small group tours where you will be introduced to contemporary Maori culture and beautiful local landscapes. Ulva and her team of local guides would love to share this experience with you. Share our culture.the 15th century Maori Heritage and Archaeological Site . http://www.ulva. Ulva Goodwillie . Ulva is a direct descendant of the first Maori peoples of Stewart Island and is passionate and very knowledgeable about this special place..