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Mutations and Transformations: The Contested Discourses in Contemporary Cultural Tourism

International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Systems

Volume 7 Issue 1

Published: 2014
Author(s) Name: Deepak Raj Gupta, Zubair Ahmad Dada | Author(s) Affiliation: Department of Tourism & Travel Mgt., Central University of Jammu, Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir, Indi
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As a global agent of communication, cultural tourism must position itself as an agent of sustainable development, applying itself to the core values of public education, respect for differences, authenticity of projects, and protection of heritage. Many writers have written about important political dimensions of tourism on a range of topics. However, it is being recognized that the political nature of this massive global industry, at both macro and micro political levels, is under acknowledged. Tourism as an international system of exchange displays particular tensions around the interface between space and experience that reaches into the conceptual heart of globalization. The global structural realities of tourism are very much framed by the idea of the nation state and have their roots in the modern political geographies and nation-building agendas of the late 19th, and the first decades of the 20th century. Despite growing interest in the notion of regionalism whereby the region acts as the focal point for culture building and identification, it is the idea of the nation that still holds primacy in the meta-narratives of international tourism. Each nation, no matter what their position in any notional global political league table, promotes tourism as an actual and potential source of external revenue, a marker of political status that draws upon cultural capital, and as a means to legitimize itself as a territorial entity. The paper provides some degree of context for the concept of cultural tourism and explores the ways in which culture(s) is/are mobilized for tourists and read by tourists within particular settings. In utilizing the term cultural tourism we are explicitly acknowledging both the cultural nature of, and the role of, tourism as a process and set of practices that revolve around the behavioral pragmatics of societies, and the learning and transmission of meanings through symbols and embodied through objects.

Keywords: Conceptual Transformations, Cultural Tourism, Cultural Resourcefulness, National Cultural Projection

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