This panel assesses the contribution of anthropology to understandings of tourism. The panel considers key areas of social life including culture, identity, development and social relations within the context of 'host-guest' relationships and the interface between industry and touristic practices.
Anthropology has been at the forefront of enquiry into tourism since the subject first entered the academic arena. Classic texts such as Smith's Hosts and Guests helped to shape the research agenda. What the papers in that particular book did was to extend the reach of existing anthropological enquiry by considering, within the context of leisured/pleasure travel, the complexities of human culture. As tourism developed and develops so did and does the scope of anthropological work in this area. Tourism is a lens on the social world and as such the focus of enquiry is necessarily broad incorporating: issues of cultural practices, representations in both material and non-material forms, power relations, constructions of identity, economic development and so forth. At the same time tourism is also a collection of industries. As such this panel invites papers from any area of the anthropology of tourism that addresses issues of touristic practice, tourism development, 'host-guest' relationships and encounters, representations of peoples and places, local voices, tourism industry practices and relations . The panel also welcomes papers that focus on the practice of ethnographic research in tourism studies.