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Envisioning Eden

Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing Imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond

Noel B. Salazar
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Envisioning Eden
    Book Description:

    As tourism service standards become more homogeneous, travel destinations worldwide are conforming yet still trying to maintain, or even increase, their distinctiveness. Based on more than two years of fieldwork in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and Arusha, Tanzania, this book offers an in-depth investigation of the local-to-global dynamics of contemporary tourism. Each destination offers examples that illustrate how tour guide narratives and practices are informed by widely circulating imaginaries of the past as well as personal imaginings of the future.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-661-0
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. viii-ix)
  4. FOREWORD: Circulating Culture
    (pp. x-xiv)
    Edward M. Bruner

    My first ethnological research in Indonesia was conducted among the Toba Batak, an ethnic group located in the highlands of North Sumatra. I lived in a village community and subsequently extended my work among the Batak to those who had migrated to the coastal city of Medan, to Jakarta and Bandung on the island of Java, and even to Batak settlements in Denpasar, Bali. My objective was to study how Batak culture and identity had changed in different localities and settings.

    In the 1980s, I shifted my research focus to the study of tourism in Bali and elsewhere, but I...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xv-xxii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
    Noel B. Salazar
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxv-xxv)
  8. Maps
    (pp. xxvi-xxvi)
  9. 1 Preparing a Roadmap
    (pp. 1-20)

    The notion of globalization functions as an omnipotent metaphor, evoking images of a world in continuous motion, with people, cultures, goods, money, businesses, diseases, media, images and ideas flowing in every direction across the planet.¹ The phenomena and processes that we think of as global refer implicitly or directly to border-crossing mobilities (cf. Urry 2007).² The scholarly literature is replete with concepts and metaphors attempting to clarify altered or intensified spatial and temporal realities, including the experience of large-scale movements: deterritorialization and scapes; time–space compression; the network society and its space of flows; cosmopolitanism, and the possibility of leading...

  10. 2 Two Destinations, One Destiny
    (pp. 21-46)

    You might be misled by thinking the tag lines above are taken from a stylish tourism brochure or upscale travel website. In reality, they are Starbucks Coffee descriptors used in the company’s global marketing literature (Elliott 2001: 377). Reading these catchphrases reinforced my impression that signs of exoticized difference are present all around us. Undeniably, international tourism is ‘the quintessential business of “difference projection” and the interpretive vehicle of “othering” par excellence’ (Hollinshead 1998: 121). No matter what budget you possess or how much time you have, the range of possibilities offered by the tourism and travel sector to spend...

  11. 3 ‘Seducation’
    (pp. 47-77)

    Are you sold yet? Ready to book a luxurious safari and spend your next vacation exploring the wonders of East Africa? While the quotation above could have come straight from a glossy travel brochure promoting Tanzania’s natural and cultural heritage, it is actually taken from an old report of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, entitledTourism in Eastern Africa, in which the author colourfully describes Tanzania’s enormous tourism potential (Popovic 1972: 151).

    Ponder this for a moment. Tourism offers prospective tourist-consumers a rather unusual type of commodity, because travel for leisure exists only as a projected future activity at...

  12. 4 Imaging and Imagining Other Worlds
    (pp. 78-110)

    Fill a mixing glass, cocktail shaker or pitcher two-thirds full with ice cubes. Add two parts citrus-flavoured vodka, one part Cointreau, one part cranberry juice, and half a part lime juice. Stir well and pour into large cocktail glasses … You have created a ‘cosmopolitan’; the cocktail, that is. Preparing or drinking it, though, does not automatically make you a cosmopolite or world citizen, and neither does readingCosmopolitanmagazine.¹ If you want to achieve ‘real’ cosmopolitan status, you should consider travelling abroad. You already contemplated a cheap package deal around continental Europe or an overbooked Caribbean cruise? No, aim...

  13. 5 Guiding Roles and Rules
    (pp. 111-138)

    Paulo Coelho—who, apart from being a prolific writer, is also a seasoned traveller—acknowledges that tour guides can make or break a trip. His experience tells him not to trust guides employed by tour operators; their interpretative practices are perceived as less authentic because they are mediated and controlled by company and government authorities with vested stakes in what guides say and how they say it. How has the role of professional tour guide evolved over time? What guiding roles have been identified in the literature? What is ‘local’ about local tour guiding? These are some of the questions...

  14. 6 Fantasy Meets Reality
    (pp. 139-169)

    As the previous chapter and the evocative quote above reveal, guiding foreign tourists in developing countries cannot be a politically neutral matter. In contrast to other types of tourism, guided tours do not take place in a sociopolitical vacuum or well-protected tourism bubble. The players involved, the tourists, guides and locals (and, behind the scene, tour operators, government agencies and law enforcement), all interact in ways that involve complex dynamics of power, positionality and agency. Destination residents who have contact with tourists (and become part of the attraction) have often been described in passive terms, for examplevisitee(Bruner 1991),...

  15. 7 Coming Home
    (pp. 170-183)

    Eve, like so many other tourists, had a fantastic holiday on Java. This was partly thanks to the flexibility and kindness of Hawa, her driver and guide-to-be in and around Jogja. Most likely, Eve is spreading the word among relatives and friends that, despite the almost constant stream of negative Indonesian imagery in the media, Java is truly a Garden of Eden. For Hawa, the encounter with Eve was momentous in a number of ways: Apart from earning good money, it gave her a unique chance to practice her intercultural communication, social networking and guiding skills.¹ To her surprise, it...

  16. Endnotes
    (pp. 184-200)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 201-217)
  18. Index
    (pp. 218-224)