Journal Article


Gavan Titley


Journalism & Mass Media

culture english media theatre studies economic global global economy space tourist industry market

Global Theory and Touristic Encounters (2000)

Abstract According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the tourist industry is providing one in nine jobs and eighty per cent of travellers come from just twenty countries. In other words, in a changing global economy, tourism is a matter of economic imperative for the Majority World, and privileged mobility for the Minority. The economic dependency of the Eastern Caribbean on tourism has been well- documented (Ferguson 1997, Lea 1998, Patullo 1996). A large element of its attractiveness depends on its connotations of paradise in the Minority World, and therefore it is an economic necessity that paradise is continually simulatable. The widespread development of all-inclusive resorts, or what Bauman has termed ‘reservation-style experiences’ (1998: 58), organises social space as a simulacra of widely circulated images, and it is a structuration which approaches culture as a factor of risk and uncertainty. Furthermore, not only does a large amount of tourist/host contact take place within this confinement, but it is increasingly the normative setting for representations of the Caribbean in media texts. In this paper I do not wish to re-examine arguments concerning the social unsustainability of this form of tourism, as I think that can be taken as read. My focus will be the way in which this kind of tourism provides a framework for imagining and gazing upon the Caribbean, and the problems this presents for island identities. Central to this is the question of identity and globalisation, that nebulous process which drives the increase in the type of tourism which is under discussion. An influential current in global theory is to analyse the way in which processes engendered in the economic sphere result in cultural phenomenon which are delinked from any simplistic notion of economic causality. While this is generally sustainable, I wish to argue that the precise form of tourism which defines the Caribbean’s entry into this global market has a structuring influence on the cultural, precisely because it is the cultural which has been fundamentally commodified
Collections Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Subject = Arts, Celtic Studies & Philosophy
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Subject = Arts, Celtic Studies & Philosophy: English, Media & Theatre Studies
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Type = Article
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Status = Published

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Gavan Titley

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Gavan Titley
Maynooth University
Total Publications: 22