This panel of the IUAES Commission on the Anthropology of Tourism aims at bringing tourism and the anthropological study of it to the centre of the discipline by presenting a provoking set of papers that reflect critically on the relationship between tourism (scholarship) and mainstream anthropology
Fieldwork-based anthropology and long-haul tourism share remarkably similar genealogies. Scholars have analysed in great detail the common historical roots of anthropology and tourism in romanticism, capitalist industrialisation, colonialism and the like. This partially explains why mainstream anthropology did, for a long time, despise tourism, both as a social reality and as an object of study. Today, anthropologists play active roles in tourism research as well as in planning and development, as guides, researchers, consultants, analysts or policy makers. The origins of the anthropological study of tourism date back to the 1960s. In those fifty years, dedicated colleagues have produced a rich set of analytical concepts and theories that have been widely influential within the interdisciplinary field of tourism studies. Within mainstream anthropology, however, tourism research still has difficulty shedding its reputation as being merely applied scholarship and tourism is rarely at the centre stage of the discipline. This panel of the IUAES Commission on the Anthropology of Tourism aims at changing this situation by presenting a set of thought-provoking papers that reflect critically on the dynamic relationship between tourism and mainstream anthropology. The participants address the following questions: Which innovative concepts and theories developed within the anthropology of tourism are relevant for the discipline at large and can shed new lights on important disciplinary debates? How can tourism and the anthropological study of it contribute to the development of ethnographic methods and methodologies? How can the anthropology of tourism play a leading role in advancing anthropological theory and practice?