Tourism and Visual Culture – Term Paper Example

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The paper "Tourism and Visual Culture" is a great example of a term paper on tourism. There are two distinct cultural formations namely visual culture and tourism. There exist some diverse ways in which visual practices and representations have been associated with the rituals and experiences of tourism. Most historians and geographers argued that images have a crucial and formative function in the practices of tourism. The tourists do respond to the images that are in circulation that concerns their touristic destinations. The contemporary cultural identity has been enhanced with the interaction between tourism and visual culture. Literature review Theoretical platforms used in the socio-cultural study of tourism The concept of gaze emphasized the visual nature of tourism.

For instance, the way in which tourists can seek out and consume the visual images and also the means by which the tourism industry organizes and direct consumption. In this concept, the sights consumed by tourists are normally selected, stage-managed and directed by the tourism industry (Urry, 1990). In order to appreciate views, tourists do take photographs or buy pictures postcards of every place they visit. Pleasure piers, hotel balconies, scenic viewpoints in national parks and extensive tourism media encompass types of equipment and structures that can direct the tourist gaze.

The participation of tourists in the provided gaze follows its lead during the structuring of space, the spectacle, and culture. The language of views and panoramas recommended a specific visual structure of the experience The tourist gaze does not include images of waste, disease, poverty, sewage, and despoilation (Urry, 2002). Photography is crucial to the construction of the tourist gaze and the overall development of tourism. Indeed photography allows the visual consumption of places and also produces social relations.

The objects of tourism gaze ought to be unique and have particular tourism signs in order to be different from the experiences at home. Other features of those objects include; unfamiliar aspects of that which are familiar, ordinary aspects of life seen in unusual contexts, familiar tasks undertaken against unusual backgrounds (MacCannell, 1999). The concept of authenticity derives the quality of being ‘ other’ to the tourists. The object of the gaze can be people, natural or built environments.

The concept enables tourists to gaze at the local people having a colorful national costume or performing out traditional rituals. The gaze can be experienced by tourists within varied social contexts such as individuals or in crowds (Urry, 1990). Theoretical understandings to contemporary tourism issues The visual cultures of tourism contextualize representations, prioritize destinations, direct ways of seeing and provide points of departure for the tourist. Furthermore, it may constitute the site/sight itself as it was displayed in New York’ s and Bilbao’ s Guggenheim museums and a Balinese festival (Urry, 1990).

The visual spectacle was fundamental to the rituals of modern tourism (MacCannell, 1999). Tourism is visually represented as physical and it involves spaces and visiting of concrete places. Alternatively, the visual culture can construct ideas and desires of the experiences of tourism and also of imagined places. Characteristics of an encounter may be triggered by particular visual images (Lash & Urry, 1994). However, an individual incorporates visual materials such as paintings, photographs, television images and brochures with other contextual elements during the refiguring process. Visual culture gets implicated in the possibility of its temporary ownership.

The tourism assumes the exchange of finance for temporary visual property especially when the visitors acquire the temporary rights to possess places away from home (Lash & Urry, 1994). Nonetheless, the visual culture may be deconstructed by either an artist or photographer from its original meaning and may be rendered completely different (Urry, 1990).

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