Tourism is a polymorphic object which provides the possibility to renew our conception of globalisation, especially with the rise in tourism from Southern countries. This panel seeks to capture tourism through comparative analysis of the practices and identities of tourists from the North and South.
For anthropologists the study of tourism provides a means of understanding the transformations which accompany globalisation. Tourism not only favours a kind of interconnectedness between people and populations, it is also an important issue from an economic and political point of view. Tourism implies multiple representations of otherness and it questions the different values a society holds. As a polymorphic object, tourism provides us the possibility to renew our conception of globalisation, especially as regards to "traditional" themes such as: identities and cultures, the construction of marketplaces and the crafting of public policies, and North-South relationships. Historically and economically speaking, the image of the tourist has long been associated with a Westerner who travels to Northern or Southern countries. Yet, recent figures show that Southern countries have started producing tourists as well. What are the consequences of these transformations on the construction of academic research, especially when most researchers (sociologists, anthropologists) are also Westerners? How should we analyze the practices of these new tourists? Do their attitudes and behaviour differ from practices which characterize Western tourists? Rather than referring to any single, formal definition of the activities and profiles of the tourist, this panel seeks to capture tourism through a great diversity of contemporary examples, and through a comparative point of view. The contributions in their entirety, then, are hoped to provide a new multifaceted perspective on tourists' identities, from both the North and the South.