Vol 6, Nº 14 (junio/junho 2013)


Maximiliano E. Korstanje (CV)

Anthropologists and ethnologists are accustomed to be in contact with diversity and aborigines. At some extent, their travels generate a rupture between the modern world and nature. For some reasons, the otherness not only is labelled under some romantic stereotypes but also subordinated to the domain of culture. Of course, the term aborigine refers to indigenous people but in a broad sense of the word it denotes residency, nativity and attachment to their own place of birth too; after all, “we all are aborigines” from elsewhere, from homeland. Quite aside from this, the question why aborigines are arbitrarily linked to culture and heritage seems to be a problem unresolved up to date. The current body of knowledge in cultural tourism is based on this old prejudice denoting that aborigines are often considered the key-note speakers of their cultures. This assumption links culture to pristine and primitive life while the urban citizens move beyond the boundaries of what can be marketed as a product. This begs a interesting question ¿what does specialized literature mean by cultural tourism?.

This essay-review is substantially aimed at exploring not only the legacy of anthropology in tourism fields, but also the strong interests for scholars in culture-tourism for studying aboriginal-related tourism under the label of cultural tourism. From a critical view, this conceptual paper describes how cultural tourism has been associated to aborigines in order to create an elaborated-product for consumption. Far for being a point of connecdtness between diversity and cross-cultural customs, this new type of tourism sets the conditions for the advent of a new hegemony over peripheral nations. The role of aborigines, through cultural tourism discourses, seems to be negotiated under new forms of discrimination where their bodies are not punished as a couple of centuries back, but also visually consumed.

Under the lens of protection, the cultural tourism encourages implicitly an ethnocentric narrative. Whether aborigines have been historically discriminated by State is not new but behind cultural-tourism, Western-States are now re-building a new discourse of racism based on multiculturalism and diversity. If the classical racism overtly subjugated the ethnic-minorities to a secondary position by means of exclusion and coactions, the current one over-valorises their roles and characteristics under a label. Under such a context, the present paper is polemically centred on the assumptions that it is necessary to re-consider the role of culture and heritage-tourism. It is unfortunate to see how anthropology, a scientific discipline originally designed to be critique, contributed to the construction of a radicalized-otherness alternating a mixture of curiosity with paternalism which not only passed the threshold of time, but also was borrowed for tourism and hospitality. One important aspect to discuss here is this paper does not represent a criticism against cultural or heritage tourism, but to the ad-hoc assumptions that connect culture to aboriginality.

Literature Review
The British Sociologist John Urry (2002) was undoubtedly a pioneer in these types of issues. His thesis argues that tourists are moved by their curiosity and needs of being captivated by landscapes, experiences and other aspects of aesthetic values. However, this sentiment was subject to the role of mobility and of course globalization. The quest for culture and images as well as the compulsion for mobility are palpable in the tourism industry. Most surely, Urry is convinced that culture echoes to new forms and technologies for mobility. The nationality is a precondition to expand the understanding on the importance of travel to culture. Taking his cue from Bhabha, Urry considers that national stories put communities to forget their own pastime (Urry, (because heritage is invented following marketing purposes) but in his development, Urry (2001) is more interested in studying the globalization (assuming that we are more mobile than centuries ago) than the inter-classes relationships.

The conception of culture in modern world seems to be associated with the advent of nation-states and the invention of heritage. The legacy but first of all the heritage were significant concepts that connect groups that had nothing to do themselves. With this in mind, heritage-management plays a crucial role in the configuration of industrialized powers. A common-history not only finished with centuries of local wars, but determined the hegemony of the law over religion and Christianity. The main goal of legacy and culture was in medieval times to confer some sense to the surrounding world. As the previous background given, heritage-management can be defined as a “processes by which heritage managers attempt to make sense of a complex web of relationships surrounding heritage in a manner which meets the values and interests of many of the key stakeholders” (Tucker and Emge, 2010: 42). For this view, culture played was functional to revitalize the local economy of communities but first and foremost to protect the environment (Gray, 1982; Vitry, 2003; Aguirre, 2004; Dos-Santos and Antonini, 2004; Mondino, 2004; Espeitx, 2004; Toselli, 2006; Fernandez and Ramos, 2010); in addition, some scholars have certainly emphasized tourism as an efficient instrument for improving the conditions of life of aborigines and other ethnic-minorities. In this vein, sustainable development was another troublesome term scholarship somehow associated to cultural tourism.  Abundant journals in tourism and hospitality have made of the cultural tourism paradigm a new vehicle towards sustainability (Altman, 1989) (Zeppel, 1998)  (Moscardo and Pierce, 1999) (Simmons, 2000) (Ryan and Huyton, 2002) (Hohl and Tisdell, 1995) (White and White, 2009) (Davis and Weiler, 1992) (Dyer, Aberdeen and Schuler, 2003), even many studies have devoted considerable attention to the negative effects of colonialism and tourism (Clark, 2010) or denouncing the existent influence of ethnocentrism between tourist-delivering and receiving countries (Palmer, 1994) (Caton and Almeida-Santos, 2008) (Bandyopadhyay and Morais, 2005) (Almeida-Santos, 2006) (Cahir and Clark, 2010), less attention was given to the question earlier noted on the introductory section. The fact seems to be that development, culture, colonialism and heritage are inextricably intertwined. The heritage opens the door to create aspects of distinction between ethnicities. The needs for reminding a fabricated history of past is combined with other discourses based on superiority. The culture in this process is viewed not only as a form of backwardness, but also as a way of nostalgia. Developed societies deposit in periphery a type of symbolic boundary that marks the dichotomy between civilization and wilderness. What is cultural in one point immobilizes peripheral voices. Since the lords never are marked, their hegemony is not based for what they say but silence. Whenever specialized literature emphasizes on the necessities to protect aborigines adopting tourism as a main industry, these studies not only accept that these groups are unable to change the adverse situation on their own but also appeals to educate them under the paradigm of West. Therefore, the concept of cultural tourism is often linked to protection and heritage management.
            Currently, tourism and heritage show serious limitations to be articulated in all-encompassed manner simply because whereas the former seems to be a product of modernity, the latter is attached to tradition/lore. Further criticisms has been pointed out that tourism as an economic activity, develops a commoditized sense of heritage; but at least  Weaver is convinced that the probability of commercial success warrants the sustainability of local places  and landscapes otherwise will be exhausted. Questions of sustainability and ecology are inextricably associated to heritage in specialized literature (Weaver, 2011). In this vein, Weaver (2011) distinguishes four element of heritage:  

  1. In situ representations based on the memory of tourism and other events by means of plaques, markers, and festivals.
  2. Ex situ original sites refers to fabricated places where events have not taken room as museums.
  3. In Situ original nodes bespeaks of former infrastructure aimed at making heritage tourism possible as preserved-hotels, or recycled train-stations.
  4. In Situ original corridors are represented by protected-tourism strips.

            Even though too much has been written about heritage-definitions, three main lines can be found if one traces the current body of knowledge: a) heritage can stimulate the consumption of lore and tradition based on the destination attractiveness (Zeppel and Hall, 1991), b) heritage is re-defined from consumer’s perspective and not from the visited place (Poria, Bulter and Airey, thus c) heritage-tourism should be interpreted as the encounter between a demand eager for knowing further about a cultural-otherness and a offer that are shaped by sites whose identities have been passed down from one to another generation in form of tradition and lore (Richards, 2002) (Richards and Wilson, 2004) (Timothy and Boyd, 2003). Furthermore, for expanding the understanding of heritage-tourism motivation, D. Chaabra (2010) adopts the previous Fakeye and Crompton’s contributions along with push and pull model. If push-factors are explained by the desire of physical and mental displacement, the pull factors are determined by the different destination facilities that makes more attractive than others.  From Chaabra´s (2010) perspective, some of the relevant aspects that motivate visitors towards heritage-sites are:

  1. To learn further about history
  2. Education
  3. Heritage Experience and Curiosity
  4. Relief from psychological distress.
  5. Cultural amenities and transportation.
  6. Building friendship
  7. Reputation and Prestige.
  8. Culinary and food amenities.
  9. Authenticity.

The connection between heritage, history and cultural tourism sites seems to be unquestionable for many scholars (Macannell, 2003) (Espeitx, 2004) (Ryan and Huyton, 2002). In addition, travellers who arrive to these types of sites seek authenticity and uniqueness. For instance, Duman and Kozak stress on the importance of culture in contributing to heritage tourism and preservation of archaeological sites. From their stance, cultural values not only can be commoditized in order for involving community to alleviate poverty and other financial problems but also for aborigines to have a site wherein their handicraft can be sold (Duman and Kozak, 2009). Moscardo and Pierce examined the ethnic tourism from the perspective of hosts finding that ethnic-motivated visitors combine different feelings and expectances to balance their desire for contact with uncomfortable sensations (Moscardo and Phillip, 1999). Lovelock argues that cultural tourism should be promoted under an atmosphere of the respect for otherness where stakeholder interests with legal and human right issues converge (Lovelock, 2008). 

The negative effects of culture in local communities not only are observable but also widely studied in tourism and hospitality. These unexpected aftermaths range from demonstration effects, comodification, towards change of moral values and communication problems. In this vein, Lori-Pennington-Grey et al, seems not to be wrong when writes “Tourists impact hosts and hosts impact tourists. The level of impact or the rate of cultural change in the host community is of great concern. Fragile indigenous and ethnic communities are most vulnerable, as the impact is more pronounced when there is greater cultural development between the host and the guest” (Pennington-Gray et al, 2005: 267);

Like this many other studies advocate for transform tourism in an instrument to ameliorate the socio-cultural effects in vulnerable communities. Nonetheless, the question that still remains unresolved in this idea seems to be why the current discourse in tourism fields associates cultural issues to aborigines. Other similar studies agree in emphasizing on the role of culture to revitalize the life of ethnic minorities. Timothy and Nyaupane are concerned about the division of World and the role played by the uneven wealthy distribution between industrialized and non-industrialized countries. Under such a context, heritage is of paramount important to boost the maturity of local economy. Classifying heritage as an efficient instrument in order for visitors to enhance learning, and curiosity, authors consider that three type of heritage should be discussed: culture-focused, culture-attentive, and culture-appreciative. Enrooted in the past, heritage-sites update the psychological motivations of visitors to vivify certain allegory or mythical discourse. “Historic cities and built heritage are another important resource in the less-developed parts of the world. Built Heritage in non-industrialized states can be classified in general terms into two forms: indigenous/natives or colonial,  (Timothy and Nyaupane, 2009: 10). Opposed to cultural-tourism, one might realizes that urban tourism is often associated to mega-cities or high-dense populated areas. This binomial aborigine vs. urbanity is underpinned in the core of heritage studies from long time ago but first of all, it was a product of certain old prejudices coined by ethnology and anthropology during the European power expansions in XIXth.  What is important here to debate is for one hand, heritage is commoditized as a instrument, a resource, for poverty-relief but and of upmost importance is the fact, the culture is strictly circumscribed to aboriginality.

One might realize that these cultural-related studies are in part valuable and shed light on environmental issues but some limitations should be beforehand discussed. First and foremost, the existent research in cultural issues seems to be aimed at focusing on those negative aspects to improve the image of tourist-destinations in lieu of seeking a sociological explanation. Secondly, there is an evident prone to associate cultural tourism to aborigines.  Heritage and sustainability are conceptual elaborations tied to attractiveness issues that determine the numbers of investors or the potentiality of a certain place.  Most certainly, we come across with a contradictory situation because for one hand, these sites are affordable for mass-consumption but on another, the representation of heritage-places is exclusively needed from authenticity. What is important to note in the Tucker and Emge´s (2010) research is the penchant to consider aborigines and hosts as valuable and fertile resources for cultural or heritage tourism. This troublesome view not only is present in whole specialized literature now but like anthropology a couple of centuries ago, tourism now is reconstructing thanks to a radicalized image of otherness.

The most pervasive strategies of exotization and exclusion are present in cultural-tourism. Locals, aborigines and mestizos are represented as beings that evolved in an untamed wildness, in pristine worlds wherein the spirituality rules in opposite to urban citizens who are socialized in an atmosphere of high-secularism. In this vein, being indigenous is a sufficient category not only to denote conceptual binaries as civilized/uncivilized, guest/host, spirituality/secularization but to activate a form of paternalism that presents heritage in colonial terms. C. Holman explains convincingly that: “this paternalistic, neocolonial us and them representation reflects well Pratt’s concept of the anti-conquest, whereby the European subject (in this case Souther) attempts to secure what Pratt terms his innocence-by employing, donating and contributing to the struggling locals- at the same time he asserts his Western, capitalist hegemony. Thus, the unnamed locals who receive donations to their unnamed town are represented as passivated social actors, who serve as a the affected or beneficiary the ones who are affected…” (Holman, 2011: 103).

To some extent, these studies created a pervasive discourse since it legitimizes the behavior of investors under promises of improvement while they lead involuntarily minorities to be commoditized as a product affordable to be consumed. As the previous argument given, cultural-tourism is unable to explain why those policies for getting out local actors from poverty often failed. Financial problems have been found in almost all programs financed and promoted by international organisms for development in Third World. This questions to what extent the capital is part of the solution for some stakeholders?.

The encounter moved by tourism needs from two elements, hosts and guests. While the former are invited to play a secondary and passive role in the game, the latter ones appeals to create a visual bridge between the landscapes and their expectances. Modern tourists are the administrators of tourism industry whereas the locals are circumscribed to be consumed as goods. Whenever Maccannell said that aborigines often are reduced to a consciousness of staged-authenticity, he was thinking on this idea. Tourism does not open the door to synthesizes a concrete dialogue but makes the discourse of white lords stronger (Maccannell, 2003) (Lane and Waitt, 2007) (Aceredo-Grunewald, 2002a; 2002b) (Belhassen, Caton and Stewart, 2008). This brutal machinery commercializes bodies, signs, landscapes in detriment of host´s interests. More than discussing this point (well-studied in specialized journals) in quantitative terms, this review-essay explores the essence of cultural tourism and reconnects it with the historical influence of anthropology for preservation and culture. Rather, the main thesis to discuss here is that existent necessities for associating aborigines to culture works as preconditions for nourishing a well-defined ethnocentric discourse by continuing the legacy of European paternalism enrooted in XIXth century, in a moment where anthropology played a pivotal role to expand the colonial order. In that conjuncture, scholarship was substantially concerned for the future of aboriginal cultures. The first ethnologists thought that colonized cultures were in danger of disappearance. In order for expanding the existent knowledge about the invention of culture, it is important to review the roots of anthropology and its connection with colonialism.
The Legacy of Anthropology
What does culture tourism also mean?, and how can the culture be defined? are two of the questions that specialized literature in tourism and hospitality do not focus with accuracy on. From their onset in XIXth and XXth respectively, anthropology and ethnology were concerned to the disappearance of primitive-related cultures. These concerns led these discipline to be inextricably intertwined to colonial administrators. This does not mean of course that these disciplines were functional to the European imperialism, anyway suspicions of collaboration between anthropology and Colonial officers has been well documented by Marvel Harris (2006).

            Amidst XIXth century, the main powers of Europe launched to colonize different strategic points of the globe in order for them to improve the existent conditions of life. In doing so, central countries have taken military presence in their colonies. This encounter with other non-white cultures generated a serious curiosity in some scholars (ethnologists) who were initially recruited with the end of bettering the colonial administrations. Therefore, the historical liaison between anthropology and colonialism were inextricably intertwined. The conceptual differences between civilized and primitive societies were one of the primary aspects that drew the attention of social anthropology.  The field-work, a technique created by B. Malinowski, allowed incorporating a set of new elements not only useful for the advance of science, but also for the knowledge of colonies. Most certainly, anthropology based its theoretical framework on two beliefs: a) whether scholars do not collate all artifacts, customs and cultural expressions sooner, aborigine culture ran serious risks to be gone by the advance of modernity; b) there was a tendency to consider the European societies as civilized, anomic but complex, while local cultures were defined as pristine, primitive and irrational. The juxtaposition of these ideas gave as a result a pervasive paternalism which for one hand prioritized the security of aborigines but for the other, subordinated their style of life to Western education  (Racdliffe-Brown, 1975) (Pritchard-Evans, 1977) (Mauss, 1979) (Boas, 1982) (Malinowski, 1986) (Tylor, 1995)  (Durkheim, 2003).  

Often associated to a lack of writing skills and rationale, aborigines were considered inferior and weaker than Western cultures. Besides, the concept of culture, central to anthropology and ethnology, was certainly introduced to denote all encompassing human artifacts, customs, values, beliefs and myths which created a sense of identity and continuity in the threshold of time. In efforts for understanding the behaviors of otherness, there were serious problems to dissociate the scientific interests from the political context where first ethnologies were embedded in. As a product of English and German Romanticisms, anthropology and ethnology hoisted the “good” cause of protection that not only endured up to date but also paved the pathways for the expansion of colonial order world-wide.  

            From that day onwards, many definitions of culture and ethnicity were discussed in academy but what seems to be most important is that ideology set the pace to tourism which adopted the paradigm of culture tourism as its primary concern. The times have changed, but discourses have really survived under other guises.  Following this explanation, it is important to exert criticism not only on the legacy of anthropology but also how ideology worked and evolved in the threshold of time. S. Zizek argues that ideology exerts influence in daily life not necessarily by its message, nor discourse but precisely for what it occults (Zizek, 2009). 

Empires often build their legitimacy around an ethnocentric discourse which leads citizens to think their values are superior to the rest of world. One of the problems of imperialism seems to be subject to the way of accepting, digesting or rejecting the otherness.  The encounter of ethnicities corresponds with an ongoing negotiation which not always arrives to a safest port. Under certain circumstances, the other is overtly rejected whilst sometimes is temporarily accepted. The main point of entry in this discussion is frequently that ethnocentrism over-valorizes the role of minorities since they are marked under certain etiquette (Afro-American, Latin-American, Asians, aborigines, or even cultural tourism) but by occulting to the existent privileged actors (Korstanje, 2010).

In this token, C. Briones explained convincingly that nation-states are based on what she denominated “metha-pragmatic indexation”. Her development is originally aimed at criticizing the hierarchal order of ethnicities in the classical anthropological theory surfaced after the end of second World. Underpinned in the proposition that race, ethnicity and gender are social construes created to denote questions of genealogy (this can be explained simply because first ethnologists were lawyers), social sciences have given to these taken-for-granted categories too much attention. However, the problem of otherness is always an interrogation for self-hood. In accordance to this belief, Briones emphasizes on the role played by the nation-state and Science in the onset of ethnicities. From her point of view, human groups are classified, labeled and distributed within the nation-hood following certain politic criteria which lack of scientific basis. Logically, the narrative of otherness (of course with its lore, history and tradition) follows a much broader socio-structural process enrooted in economy. Starting from the premise that otherness is fruitful to mark the boundaries of selfhood, our anthropologist is not wrong when acknowledges that the metha-pragmatic indexation should be defined as a process of labeling wherein actors are socializing toward specific roles and identities but far away of being flat, these markers are extremely mobile (Briones, 1998).

The history is witness how ethnocentrism with the passing of years has played a crucial role in creating asymmetries among human beings which paradoxically are based on an idea of normalcy excluding any marker.  This supposed-normalcy is often reserved by elites (WASP for US) who monopolized the usage of markers to denote the present of others. This physic and symbolic-violence is circumscribed to what psychologists know as label or stereotypes (Wright-Mills, 2000). Why we connect aborigines directly to culture?, and why specialized literature does not focus on the role of aristocracies in the formation of heritage-sites?. Whilst the Navajo’s reserve is a synonymous of cultural or ethnic-tourism, white-destinations are not labeled. By naming the other (in this case aborigines), is a way of gaining more legitimacy and remain cognizant of the own hegemony. This represents a way of intellectualizing the otherness by means of different symbolic mechanisms denoting expropriation, legitimacy and authority. Last but not least, the machinery of imperialism created an all-encompassed discourse around the concept of cultural tourism that showed to be functional to the market. Aborigines and other ethnicities are subject to be commoditized in a much broader sociological process which transforms them in an elaborated-good ready for consumption (Bauman, 2007). 

Why Culture is important.
            The importance of culture upsurges after the end of Second War, thru 1950s and 1960s, as a form to re-construction of nation-hood. Enrooted in popular wisdom as a universal value, the culture played a pivotal role not only to diminishing the influence of racism, which was really wreaking havoc in Germany but remained in USA, but also as a vehicle for understanding among countries. In parallel with this, United States introduced (in the Truman’s discourse) the concept of development precisely for making a difference between developing and developed nations. This boundary, undoubtedly, would justify the intervention of this surfacing power to assist other governments for reaching a higher degree of development and education. In so doing, international Financial Organisms (IMF and World-Bank) issued unlimited loans for solicitant countries but these aids were unfortunately based on higher rates of interests.

As a result of this, peripheral nations were between the wall and blue sea, and American strategies for expanding development and technological advance worldwide loudly failed. Anthropologists, experts and Economists involved in these plans were placed under the lens of scrutiny. Their response rested on the foundation that financial failures for developing countries to shorten the uneven wealth distribution, can be explained by cultural-issues ranging from political instability towards corruption or social anomy (Escobar, 1997) (Viola, 2000) (Esteva, 2000) (Korstanje, 2010).  Under such a context, aborigines as well as their customs and history passed to be of paramount importance for tourism simply because they acted as commodities and fertile resources to warrant the success of potential investors.

This does not mean that culture has no positive effects in the local form of life. Bandarin, Hosagrahar and Sailer-Albernaz delved into a set of benefits resulted from the implementation of strategies of heritage and development in third-world. Ranging from social cohesion, pride, identity, resilience towards reduction in mortality rates, tourism and heritage played a pivotal role for real development. “Can a cultural heritage which once divided and separated different communities act as means for finding common ground and shared purpose?. The answer is yes. Cultural heritage has been seen to play crucial roles in processes of recovery and reconstruction not only in the wake of natural disasters, but also in the framework of post-conflict reconciliation endeavours. It clearly endows those afflicted with newfound sense of purpose, identity and belonging. Cultural festivals, for one, have proven effective as opportunities to strike up dialogue to overcome barriers between different cultures” (Bandarin, Hosagrahar and Sailer-Albernaz, 2011: 9). To some extent, the concept of sustainability may very well be applied in endogenous-controlled conditions; anyway, for underdeveloped nations the possibility to reach the sufficient capital to head a plan of development seems to be a utopia.

Once again and like many decades before, culture, heritage and imperialism were inextricably intertwined.  UNESCO even promoted world heritage site and tourism giving economic incentives to peripheral countries under the premise that local management practices, building capacities and heritage can be projected in new opportunities to create employment and revitalizing local economies. With the passing of years, scholars realized that the promises of development worsened not only the fragile situation of developing countries but an economic and symbolic dependence at adopting tourism as mainstream industry. Nonetheless the concept of development, cultural tourism and heritage cannot be correctly understood unless the role of mobility and travels in the world is examined first.            

            C. Mansfield (2008) argues that for understanding cultural curiosity we need for revisiting our concept of travels. It is often assumed that writers and thinker elicited of writing not only to reflect other customs but also as a form of prestige and social distinction. Travel-Writings as a French custom, was certainly initiated by Diderot through 1770, reveals the potentialities of a journey to decode the convergence between the auto-biography and social conjuncture. It is important not to loose the sight this new style will be present in the inception of ethnology and anthropology during XIXth and XXth centuries. For some reason, travel writing, as a new genre of literature, paved the pathways not only for the emerging of ethnology but mass-tourism. This happened simply because this genre promoted two new types of necessities: control and knowledge. Whereas the former gave origin to the market the latter did the same with the scientific advance. This means that both are a result of imperialism. In perspective, travel-writing allowed creating a meta-narrative where the own biography, expectances, emotions and impressions of visited places converged.The agency of travels corresponded with the proper practices of travelers who involuntarily reified the same observed-reality (Mansfield, 2008).

The tension between objectivity and subjectivity certainly opens a complex door in regards to travel writing as a scientific genre. In addition, it is important to note that the involving classical writers seeing in travelling an efficient resource for accumulating vital information, which otherwise cannot be retrieved. As the previous argument given, the body of a writer should be circumscribed to specific space and place, which blurs the existent boundaries between “lived time of journey” and text.  Psychological needs to rediscover what covert is, seem to be one of primary concern of travels. As the previous backdrop given, Mansfield indicates that texts work similarly to a souvenir because it is strongly associated to the identity of passengers. Underpinned in the assumption that a souvenir is linked to a wider sentiment of nostalgia, our British scholar leads us to an underexplored argument: souvenir works as a mechanism of return transforming the physical distance in emotional proximity (Mansfield, 2008).

            As the previous argument given, Osagie and Buzinde (2011) explored the problematic connection between hosts and guests and their respective interpellations. Centered their remarks on text authored by Jamaica Kincaid, authors go on to admit that tourists tend to dehumanize locals by imposing a narrative almost always created at home. These one-sided stereotypes are enrooted in the language and shape the tourist-perceptive. Tours and Guides re-symbolize these types of marks in order to reinforce the previous dependence between tourism-delivering and receiving countries. In accordance with this argument, Osagie and Buzinde are convinced tourism historicizes a romantic view of events. Insensibility about local sufferings and previous conditions of dominancy make from tourism something else than an instrument of colonization, tourism seems to be in the Kincaid’s eyes a pretext to alleviate the burden of European ambition for wealth. In other terms, tourism represents a way of negotiating a past of slavery and its ethical quandaries. For that, tourist-destinations are ahistoricized to the extent of being a site of pleasure. In this case, the power of ideology consists in presenting tourism as the only mechanism capable to leave developing countries from their situations.

Analyzing the Antigua’s case, Osagie and Buzinde write, “the Colonial myth persists and thrives through tourism’s static depiction of beauty and in so doing it ahistoricizes the Island. Indeed, the unreal time frame into which tourism has thrown the nation further complicate the distorted reality of Antigua’s slave past… at a glance, on might view Antigua as excised from the global network because tourism, like colonialism and imperialism before it, imposes a static view. Kincaid dismisses this a-historical view by illustrating how her island nation is connected to the larger scheme of international politics and history. She suggests that as long as the government glorifies Antiguan poverty and decadence as tourist resources, its people continue to be trapped in the small framed picture of underdevelopment” (Osagie and Buzinde, 2011: 224). If tourism is functional to the exoticization of otherness, the influence of colonialism survived the passing of years. As explained in this paper, cultural-tourism is not part of the solution, but it is part of the problem. Their abilities for coding and decoding are one of the best strategies of elites.

After further examination, it is safe to say that Cultural-Tourism has been erroneously adopted by scholarship in tourism fields simply because a) this theory precludes that culture and aborigines are exclusively interrelated, and b) it reinforces the invisibility of elites.   Therefore, this conceptual approach reminds reader about the importance of placing the concept of cultural tourism and heritage under the lens of scrutiny. From their inceptions, anthropology and social science emphasized on the needs to explore issues linked to vulnerability and poverty but less attention has given to the invisible influence exerted by power-elite in such a project.  Ultimately, this point widely examined by Charles W. Mills should be continued respecting to issues of heritage and cultural tourism. Particularly, the concept of cultural tourism is applied to conditions which involve aborigines and other ethnic-minorities almost always situated in rural areas. However, it is surprising to see how tourism in Europe and United States is not considered “White-Tourism”.

It has been showed how the theory of markers and “methapragmatic indexation” explain the connection between terms, language and hegemony.  As afore-explained, Empires have historically recurred to the creation of narratives that worked successfully articulating a wide-range of markers and marks. The position between both allows understanding how some concepts are commercialized to sustain the control over some groups. Since ethnic-diversity often jeopardizes the one-sided gaze imposed to separate the civilization, proper of State, from barbarity, the otherness became in troublesome figure to digest for ethnocentrism. This paper supports the thesis that labeling is one of the strategies to invisibilize the role of others. That way, cultural tourism says that cultural tourism is another new form of subtle discourse functional to the neo-colonialism or we may say eco-colonialism?.

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Recibido: 19/4/2013
Aeptado: 6/5/2013
Publicado: Junio 2013

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