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Anthropology of tourism

online course in responsible tourism development session #02

Alessandro Bazzanella

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The framework: tourism as a major industry A definition of the item Why do humans need to travel? The push factors in tourism Genius loci, identity and pull factors The art of encounter: the host & guest relationship Some marketing implications

Tourism: the world biggest industry? Some facts&figures

Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, food products or automobiles. From 1950 to 2005, international tourism arrivals expanded at an annual rate of 6.5%, growing from 25 million to 806 million travellers. The income generated by these arrivals grew at an even stronger rate reaching 11.2% during the same period, outgrowing the world economy, reaching around US$ 680 billion in 2005. By 2020 international arrivals are expected to surpass 1.5 billion people Source: UNWTO

The good effects of tourism on places

Creates employment opportunities for local people Many local facilities and infrastucture built to sustain tourism developement could lead to better education, health care, employment opportunities; Promotes cultural awareness and can help preserve local culture and traditions Income generated from tourism can be used to develop local infrastructure and services e.g. new roads and airports. Conservation of the local cultural heritage and the rebirth of its crafts, traditions, etc. Natural features that attract tourists can be protected using income from tourism

and the bad effects.

The increase in air travel has contributed towards increased carbon dioxide emissions. On a local level natural features that attract tourists are themselves under threat due to human actions. Often local people are employed in low skill, poorly paid work in unsatisfactory working conditions Travel agents, airline companies and hoteliers benefit more than local companies when holidays are booked to destinations Help destroy local culture and traditions

The good, the bad andthe responsible

Responsible tourism Tha main aim is generating greater economic benefits for local people and enhancing the well being of host communities improves working conditions and access to the industry involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues provides access for physically challenged people is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence (Cape Town Declaration, 2002)

What is anthropology of tourism?

people who "travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes "

Anthropology is the scientific study of the origin and behavior of mankind, including the development of societies and cultures.

Anthropology of tourism is the discipline that studies human beings while they are travelling

Why is important?
We saw that tourism is a big and pervasive industry. To better plan tourism and to make it more sustainable and responsible, is important to understand the role of the human factor in tourism The human factor is very important. In any travelling experience the tourists establish many relations with many people. Lets try to analize the travelling experience of a tourist from the search of information about a place to the coming back to home. Its quite complex


The travelling experience begins before the trip and finishes after
SEARCHING FOR INFOS BOOKING TRAVEL TO THE DESTINATION ACCOMODATION RESTAURANTS During a travel experience the guest interacts with many operators of tourism (travel agency, hotels, restaurants, guides, mobility, shopping, ) The satisfaction of guests depends on all the interactions he has during his trip Is a very complex problemwith a lot of actors involved This is the reason why the HUMAN FACTOR Is so important in tourism


Diapositiva 9 s1
stefano.andreotti; 11/05/2011

Why do we travel? A brief history of + tourism(of Europe)

In Europe, the first tourists (in 19 century) were seeking warmer places and thermal baths to cure illness During the 60 economic boom, people discovered the pleasure of staying in holyday after a year of hard work In the 80 tourism becomes a mass phenomenon In the 90 tourism becomes a global phenomenon At our times tourism is a very complex industry and the mass market is replaced by the niche markets



The push factors in tourism

What makes people travel?
Working overload Pollution and urban life conditions Restlessness Nostalgia for the lost paradise Boredom/Routine Relaxation Prestige Exploration and evaluation of self


The pull factors in tourism


Images, signs and stereotypes

Places are chosen to be gazed upon because there is anticipation of intense pleasures, constructed and sustained through a variety of non-tourist practices, such as film, Tv, literature, magazines, etc The tourist gaze is directed to features of landscape and townscape which separate them off from everyday experience. The gaze is constructed through signs, and tourism involves the collection of signs. When tourists see two people kissing in Paris what they capture in the gaze is 'timeless romantic Paris'. When a small village in England is seen, what they gaze upon is the 'real old England'. The tourists are fanning out in search of the signs of Frenchness, typical Italian behaviour, exemplary oriental scenes, typical American thruways, traditional English pubs'


The power of images


Tourism paradoxes
Travellers destroy what they seek Tourists dontt love tourists Tourism destinations promise eden uncorrupted by tourists themselves Tourists escape from their everyday life to find the perfect copy of their reality (in the environmental bubbles) Tourists seek destinations with good connections and accessibility, but they dont like crowd at all


Genius loci
For a destination is very important to recognize and empower its traditions, its identity, its unique way of life In other words: its important to discover and to enhance its genius loci Genius loci is a latin term meaning the genius of the place, in modern terms is the distinctive atmosphere or pervading spirit of a place. The genius loci is not static in time, but it changes


How to meet the genius loci

The ingredients of the identity Environment Architecture Food & cuisine Religion






Exercise: try to define the genius loci of the place you live in

Lets find no more than 5 terms that could define the genius loci of the place you live in I do it, too: The genius loci of my region, Trentino, is Austere, reliable, friendly, sincere, inspiring

Please post your terms on the wiki page dedicated to the course:


Hosts and guests

The anthropology of the encounter
Host and guest have multiple and largely similar derivations, including the Latin hostis and the German gast: stranger, foreigner, enemy. Also the word travel comes from travaille, a french-latin word that means suffering So the root of the two words is the same and has a negative connotation and the relationship between host and guest connotes a sense of ambivalent hostility and friendship Oxford English Dictionary define hospitality as the act or practice of being hospitable; the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers, with liberality and goodwill


Host sentiments towards tourists

Euphoria Apathy Annoyance Antagonism Resignation
Visitors and investors welcome Visitors taken for granted More formal relationships between hosts and guests Residents misgiving about tourism Irritations openly expressed Residents perceive tourists as cause of problems Resignation to the problems, avoiding contacts with tourists


Resident-visitor exchange



Some determinants of the social relations that are established between 'hosts' and 'guests'.
The number of tourists visiting a place in relationship to the size of the host population
The predominant object of the tourist gaze, whether it is a landscape, a townscape, an ethnic group, a lifestyle, historical artefacts, bases of recreation (golf, ski), or simply sand, sun and sea The organization of the industry that develops to service the mass gaze: whether-it is private or publicly owned and financed; whether it is locally owned or involves significant overseas interests; whether the capital involved is predominantly small- or large-scale; The effects of tourism upon the pre-existing agricultural and industrial activities. The economic and social differences between the visitors and the majority of the hosts. The degree to which the mass of visitors demand particular standards of accommodation and service,' that they should be enclosed in an environmental bubble to provide protection from many of the features of the host society. The degree to which the state in a given country actively seeks to promote tourist developments or alternatively endeavours to prevent them.


J. Urry, The tourist gaze


Some marketing implications

A better understanding of the differences between host and and guests allow to better manage the host-guest relationship. And every destination could find its own way to mangage this interaction, starting from its own factors of uniqueness. The more you enhance the genus loci, the more you will provide to the tourists a unique esperience. The only thing that no one could replicate is your places identity. Every place on earth has its own genetic code Before creating a offer in your destination, ask yourself: why does someone choose me? Analize what are the motivations and evaluate if you can satisfy the expectations of the potential clients. Images are very powerful tools to strike the imagination of customers, choose them carefully to promote your destination Tourists seek for experiences and emotions, not only services. Be aware of this Never stop measuring guests satisfaction In the social web age, satisfied guests are the best testimonials of your destination

Thank you very much!
Alessandro Bazzanella mail: skype: alessandro.bazzanella