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Accepted Paper:

Consuming local tourism and building futures elsewhere. Narratives and daily interactions of tourist guides in coastal Senegal.  
Stefano degli Uberti (National Research Council, Italy)

Paper short abstract:

The paper examines the two faces of the “tourismification” in the coastal area of Petite Côte (Senegal) and discusses how the local tourist guides reinterpret their present and carve out their imagined futures elsewhere by focusing on narratives and daily interactions with foreign European tourists.

Paper long abstract:

Since 2005 while most of the littoral towns of Senegal became the points of departure of thousands of Western Africans who set off for the Canary Islands – the so-called “boat migrations” –, the coastal area of the Petite Côte, stretching south of Dakar for approximately 150 kilometres, has increasingly become one of the main areas of destination for cultural and seaside tourism of Europeans. Over the last two decades the progressive “tourismification” (Wang 2000; Salazar 2009) of this coastline has brought attention on its great societal as well as environmental impact in shaping the forms of consumption, perception as well as daily experiences of the spaces, not only among tourists.

Drawing from the ethnographic fieldwork in the towns of M’bour and Saly, the paper examines the relationship between tourists and local guides and aims at shedding light on how the touristic experience does not only become a liminal space to reframe the social perception of the places where locals live, but it informs the social construction of their desire of being elsewhere. Narrowing down the attention to the narratives and daily interactions with the Europeans, the paper discusses how through the touristic processes the local guides reinterpret their present and carve out their imagined futures elsewhere. The paper discusses the relationship between migration, tourism and imagination, showing how the imagined futures elsewhere are often cultural rather than geographical experiences of mobility.

Panel Anth23
Tourism and the future - performances, expectations and resistance
  Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -