Critical Tourism Sample Essay Paper.
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· Read the required supplemental reading for this assignment. It is found in the course reserves section of the course and alongside this assignment in myls.
· Once you have read the reading, answer the following questions. Make sure you follow the success criteria in the rubric (found after the questions).
· Assignment length: Overall length guideline – 750-1000 words. This is merely a guide, as long as you answer the questions with critical thought and reference to the reading and course material you should be fine.
Requirements: 750-1000 words
Critical Tourism Assignment
Critical Tourism Assignment
- Describe how Strachan (2002) is comparing the Bahamian tourist economy to the Bahamian plantation. Many critics of tourism in the Caribbean make these comparisons because of the neocolonialism of tourism in this region. What are your perspectives on this?
Strachan likens the tourism economy to a Bahamian plantation as the two are similar in several aspects. For decades, the Bahamas has thrived in tourism, with over three million visitors every year since 1986. Of all Caribbean islands, the Bahamas stands out in its rich tourism attraction sites, with many referring to is as the ideal destination for a vacation or sabbatical. Its climate is likened to having summer all year round, and the environment is associated with lazing around with no work to do. Since it is the backbone of the economy, people in authority and the elite have treated it as a plantation, with the tourist being the center of focus. All effort is geared towards ensuring their comfort and happiness.
Just as a farmer intensively cultivating a certain crop due to its high yield would not let any harm come its way, so does tourism get treated y the government and the rich who control the affairs of the state. Strachan writes, “What sugar once was to the West Indies, tourism is today to Nassau,” quoting Gordon Lewis (Strachan, 2002). Bahamian tourism is now the center of the daily lives of the citizens, and the elite community has been coined ‘paranoid tourism-worshippers.’I would, however, not side with the critics, as I find no flaw in this. The people have simply mastered the art of seizing an opportunity and making the most of it, as people do in other situations in life. After all, the world is competitive, and there is a need to sustain their economic development. Since the climate is suitable, the shores are with plenty of sand, fish is in abundance, and this is what it takes for people to pour out money from their pockets; who would not have done the same? It is economically wise to maximize free resources with maximum returns, and the Bahamian government and elite have done this with vigour and passion.
- Tourism marketing literature – especially in the past – has often used terms such as ‘unspoiled’, ‘virginal’, ‘exotic’, ‘pure’, ‘untouched’, and ‘wild’ to describe natural landscapes for beach tourism, wilderness tourism, and ecotourism. What are your perspectives on how these terms might create gendered landscapes; sexualizing and exoticizing the Caribbean for the commodification of tourism for the pleasure of the North?
Tourism literature has in the past used gendered words in relation to describing landscape such as virginal, exotic, untouched, among others. The terms are often used in relation to mean that the land has not been depleted of its natural beauty or resources by human activities but instead still has the appeal of its unexplored nature. I find no relation in corrupting the perception or understanding of a person; neither is it a deeper commodification of tourism for the pleasure of the North. The words have been used for landscapes that are also not as appealing or as relaxing. For example, virgin lands within the Amazon are full of potential harm, undiscovered animals that may be venomous, and even dense vegetation making it impossible to walk or drive through. The words are simply adjectives describing a noun and are not sexist in any way. I find them to add appeal as they create a picture of a calm and peaceful environment, with significant emphasis on the ambiance.
- Compare/contrast some of the past colonial writings about travel in the Caribbean along with the tourist brochure imagery discussed in Strachan (2002) with more current tourism imagery through online and social media of the Bahamas (https://www.bahamas.com among others).
Past colonial writings related to travel in the Caribbean vastly contrast with modern-day social media advertisement brochures, but still, they share the flaws. The brochures were initially used as a method of communication and informing of the manner of life of the Caribbean and gradually became tools of advertisement. They depict a corrupt image of the way of life on the island, and despite terming it as a destination, tourists only visit but would not want to live or stay there. There are mosquitos, and the heat is at times unbearable (Strachan, 2002). The picture shown of a native boy enjoying the calm waters of the coconut fruit paint a view that the land is that or little or no labor, where the locals do not strive or work to get access to essential commodities. Unlike the ‘modernized’ western nation where relaxing only comes after hard work, the Bahamas is a land of plenty where one can laze around all day. Strachan explains the same following the picture of a boy holding a giant fish. They all fail to depict the real life in the land and the effort put in by the residents.
In modern channels such as websites, the focus is also misguided. First, there is no mention of the native community or its input in making the Bahamas ideal. Instead, they use photos of smiling tourists, happy children, and even swimming pigs to show the extent of relaxation in the area. They neglect the very heart that makes Bahamas beautiful- the people. Native writers, when including the natives, only described them as docile and peaceful to attract the rich visit would be safe from harm (Strachan, 2002. pg 102). The colonialist mindset s very racist and discriminatory. It is misguided and very simple-minded of them to ignore the white natives within the Bahamas as they are not ‘a new site to behold.’ In a nutshell, literature has simply failed to depict The Caribbeans in all their wholesomeness. Instead, the discipline has become a channel of discrimination and biased knowledge.
4. There are deeply ingrained legacies of race and colonialism in the Bahamas. Discuss whether Bahamians can make place for themselves through opposing the dominant narratives of mass tourism by developing eco- and social tourism. And, whether there is potential to contradict the commodification of culture (perhaps by taking back Junkanoo) dominated by the power dynamics associated with marketing paradise. Can people and place have power over paradise?
There are indeed ingrained legacies of tace and colonialism in the Bahamas. The focus has been on the environment and landscapes, with a particular interest in the clear oceans and sandy beaches. It is on this land that the economy has thrived and not on the diversity of the people. If the people were to take back the focus, the impact would be felt decades to come. It is because the present tourism market views the Bahamas as a paradise resort. When the word is mentioned to anyone, the immediate association is of the beaches, sipping cold drinks while getting a tan, and occasional boat rides. It will become difficult, almost impossible, to change this rooted perception, and it can only get achieved when integrated with existing attraction sites. The local government can start changing the faces and strategies of their advertisement and campaigns, creating a gradual shift where people soon identify and link the Bahamas with more than just the breathtaking scenery.
Strachan, I.G. (2002). Paradise and Plantation: Tourism and Culture in the Anglophone Caribbean. Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Press. Chapter 3 – pages 92 – 137.