Edited by Dallen J. Timothy
Chapter 8: Colonialism and its tourism legacies
Arguing that an understanding of colonialism’s legacies is central to considerations of global processes and power relations in tourism, this chapter outlines the ways in which global tourism relationships today are an echo of, and indeed perpetuating of, global relations of domination and subordination that have their roots in the history of modern European colonialism. Firstly, it is argued that neo-colonial core-periphery relationships persist in the global structuring and economy of tourism in that, for example, tourism developments in many of the former colonized nations are owned by foreign, often former colonizer, interests. The discussion then moves on to consideration of the colonial roots underpinning notions of difference and exoticism upon which much global tourism is based. In tourism imagery, colonial structures of language and representation have created particular conceptions of ‘truth’ and ‘reality’ so that colonialism could be argued to underpin much of global tourism’s ideas and imagery about difference and ‘otherness’. Finally, the chapter considers the ways in which tourism can offer oppositional narratives of resistance to colonial narratives and representations. Therefore, whilst colonialism’s legacies in tourism are undoubtedly profound and far-reaching, it is important to recognize the role that tourism can play in contesting and reconstructing the legacies of colonialism.
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