The context of cultural expressions
The following report will critically analyse the extent of relevance to the anthropology in the business of adventure and tourism. According to Kottak (2000, p. 3) anthropology explores the scientific and humanistic study of the human species and can be divided into four subfields: culture, archaeological, biological and linguistic. However, for the purpose of this research anthropology will be identified and explored within the cultural and social sector from a tourism spectrum. Traditional anthropology focuses on the small isolated societies, for example Australian Aborigines, as oppose to modern study.
This contemporary anthropology comprehends the aspects concentrating on the large-scale societies, that depend on a widespread of “highly specialised interchanges of goods, ideas, and people”, Howard (1996, p. 4). This can be shown as the basis stage for tourism. The anthropological study of tourism can be useful on the social and communicative relations of the impacts of tourists, providing experiences concerned in the development of tourism, Selstad (2007, p. 19). The research of anthropology presents a contribution to the interdisciplinary study of tourism. However, Nash (1996, p. 1) proposes that:
“Anthropological research on tourism has not grown at a pace that matches the significance of the subject. ” In contrast, Sharpley (2003, p. 1) claims that over the years there has become an extensive range of tourism literature based on the academic fields of anthropology. Yet to understand the relevance of anthropology on adventure, the phenomenon of tourism needs to be primarily investigated. The foundation of tourism as people and society consist of a holistic view of human associations and the practice of cross-culture analysis (Smith & Brent 2001: Sharpley 2003). To support, McCabe (2005, p.
86) suggests that the term ‘tourist’ is used as a concept to convey meanings about social life and activities within the context of wider social dialogues. However, Wall & Mathieson (2006, p. 17) argue that the range of the ‘tourist’ is complicated and has been expanded with the rise of tourism research. The ambiguity surrounding the concept provides a diverse result in human behaviour associated with leisure travel, consequently a typology of tourists can be derived, McCabe (2005, p. 87). Cohen (1972) developed four tourist typologies: “the organized mass tourist, the individual mass tourist, the explorer and the drifter.
” These are based on tourists travel patterns and are a way to segment tourists into different groups which ultimately terms ‘tourist classifications’. Subsequently, the interpretation of Cohen (1972) tourist typologies was elaborated and replicated into Smith (2000) table on the ‘comparison of tourist type classification’ (see appendix: Figure 1). This table emphasizes that the classification of an explorer/adventure tourist would be perceived with a high status, whereas a mass tourist would be shown as low status in society as various factors including the characteristics of each tourist types has noticeable differences.
This suggests that different types of tourists will have altered understandings on the destinations and culture which shows differences between ‘adventure’ tourists and ‘mass’ tourists. According to Urry (2008, p. 16) the growth of tourism represents a ‘democratisation’ of travel, as travel was seen as socially selective and a marker of social status up until the 19th century. However in 1845, Thomas Cook invented the development of mass travel by train in Britain, Thomas Cook (2011).
In addition, the tourism development of the standardized holiday packages combining accommodation and transport, marketed by new types of tour operators has ultimately furthered geographical movement for all classes of society, Cortes et al (2007, p. 728). Yet, Ponds et al (2009, p. 2) proposes mass tourism is central to the western civilization where cheap package holidays have become the most visible manifestation especially in the Mediterranean locations for example Benidorm.
Benidorm built mass multi-story hotels as a way of maximizing economies of scale, to accommodate large amounts of tourists near to the beach as possible, Cortes et al (2007, p. 730). To support, Bramwell (2004, p. 7) suggests that mass tourism adopts an economic and managerial perspective on resort development, growth and increasingly, sustainability. Relating back to Cohen (1972) tourist typology, the organised mass tourist – will have minimal engagement with locals and relatively little inter-cultural contact as they remain in the environmental bubble, Burn (1999 p.
44) This can interpret mass tourism as a cycle of paradoxes. The emergence of mass tourism has integrated within a global set of cultural, social and economic networks however the tourist experiences may contain elements of invention, therefore that cultural expressions are deliberately constructed to attract the interest of tourists hence ‘staged authenticity’. This can impact upon the present attitudes of the local societies for the negativity would undermine touristic experience and the expression of local identities through industry practice e. g. the skills and knowledge of tourist guides, MacCannell (1999).
In addition, Chhabra et al (2003, p. 703) claim the authenticity of events and attractions is staged and distorted to suit the needs of both the ‘guest’ and their ‘host’ therefore with mass tourism it develops into a new cultural formation that mixes global, national and local influences and can no longer be classed as authentic, McCabe (2005, p. 87). However, this can suggest that mass tourism excludes from anthropology because evidently destinations become inauthentic and human behaviour is more controlled. Although, the meaning of ‘authentic’ culture depends on the context of cultural expressions.
The expressions of tourists and natives have to be interpreted in a wider context of interests and creative actions. However perceptions vary cross-culturally becomes part of a wider discussion of tourist involvement in events around the world, Burns (1999, p. 33). According to McCabe (2005, p. 86) the tourist incorporates a range of ideas, images and knowledge about the world and predetermines a perception of what is to be expected for example the choreographed dance of the Ainu people in Japan is already confirmed through stereotypes of what is ”native” and ”exotic”.