Cultural geographies in tourism

post by : Grothe Noa

Crang, M. (2004). Cultural geographies of tourism. A companion to tourism5, 74.

Tourism is seen as a destructive force, but also as a productive and transformative process. It is a reflexive process form which all can learn from. It brings culture back to life. The encouragement of cultural activities has created cultural renewal: people want to become modern as well as stay in touch with their roots. Tourism culture takes different forms, such as the masculine endeavor: the discovery of wild Canada is associated with masculine achievement. Or else people search for natural scenery. The Niagara Falls have been associated to honeymoons. Tourism culture is also about texts written by tourists on their journey. A semiotic analysis of these materials can tell us something of how a place is being shaped, by examining who or what is depicted. Sacralization of some places depend on texts and stories that circulate elsewhere or around the site so that our sense of having visited somewhere special is premised upon other signs and texts. Markers create the sites and destinations are shaped for tourist in a special way.

Destination also have to do with practice done by tourists, like for instance the evolution of beach resort. Tourism is a set of skills and competence, and most definitely not something innate or natural. For some the aim of effects of travel is not just experience a destination but to change our “self” as part of a more or less explicit project of “self-creation”. Travel is a way to be ourselves: it can be done through a gap-year, as means to “find ourselves” and “who we are”. We bring our backgrounds and desires, but also impacts on our sense of self. Different holidays have different values according to people doing it.To conclude, Crang says that places are made, done, and performed and through making, doing and performing, the tourists become, well, tourists. In other words, places and tourists are processual. Identities are formed through process of identification and self-realization. Tourism of geography is not a set of fixed boundaries, but rather about a set of practices that constitute notions of “over there” and “over here”.




Grothe, Noa - 702_e (2015)



  • M. Crang, M. (2009). Cultural geographies of tourism. In Lew, A., Hall, C. M. & Williams, A. M. (eds.) A Companion to Tourism..(pp. 74-84). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.