P068
Imaginaries, media and tourism

Convenors:
Nelson Graburn (University of California, Berkeley)
Isabelle Boof-Vermesse (University of Lille)
Location:
SO-E413
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel seeks research on the new ways tourist imaginaries are constructed and exchanged, with a focus on new forms of ritualized mediation (like the social media) emphasizing increased participation and feedback, in commercial as well as in personal communications.

Long abstract:

Tourism imaginaries, as repositories of perceptions, experiences, anticipations and prescriptions, are themselves engaged in the movement of circulation that tourism is all about . Shared images and narratives about places as attractions and destinations, they have been transmitted through word of mouth, education, literature, newspapers, art, and photography , as well as through film, television, comics (manga and comics). Their contemporary distribution is largely through electronic media, web sites, and especially social media, both as commercial products and personal feedback. Contemporary tourism involves new rituals of exchange . Early anthropological of imaginaries focused more on their origins, contents and nature especially as applied to alterity, and on intermediaries such as tour guides, rather than on the types, constraints and effects of the mass media. This panel solicits cross-cultural and global research papers on the contemporary roles of different media in the construction and dissemination of tourism imaginaries. Media may transmit informational or entertaining scenes and stories, or may be commercially and politically promotional with stereotypic messages tailored to special cultural, age and genders groups. Personal media, with nearly two billion users, may influence individual and group relations, though feedback to the commercial realm has also been burgeoning in the past fifteen years. The conflict between contradictory reports about the same places warrants careful attention in a context of awareness of "fake news." Recently the mass media have also been warning against "overtourism" itself, which suggests the need to revise and reconstruct the function and image of tourism; what comes next ?