Issue 8(2) was published in December, 2015. Find all article downloads below!
- Tourism and Development in Southeast Asia – Claudia Dolezal & Alexander Trupp
Aktuelle Südostasienforschung / Current Research on Southeast Asia
- Exploring the Poverty Reduction Potential of Social Marketing in Tourism Development – Dao V. Truong & Michael Hall
Download PDF–Although social marketing has been demonstrated to be an effective tool of behavior change in a variety of contexts, its poverty reduction potential in tourism development has captured limited research attention. This paper explores the potential contribution of social marketing to tourism-related poverty alleviation in Sapa, Vietnam. It does so by creating an understanding of how local residents perceive poverty, then exploring whether social marketing could be a potential solution in the case of Sapa. Through participant observations and semi-structured interviews, this study reveals that local people perceive poverty as a lack of rice and/or income and ascribe it to both internal and external factors. Local women often follow tourists to sell handicrafts, causing discomfort for tourists and driving them away from certain destinations. Insufficient capital and farming land are also identified as a critical barrier to poverty reduction. This study argues that by understanding the poor people’s perspectives on poverty, we can identify meaningful approaches to poverty alleviation. Thereby, social marketing can be one of the tools to bring the marginalized voice of poor people to the attention of decision-makers.
Keywords: Behavior Change; Poverty Alleviation; Social Marketing; Sustainable Tourism; Vietnam
- Sailing to Komodo: Contradictions of Tourism and Development in Eastern Indonesia – Maribeth Erb
Download PDF –Tourism is often pinpointed as a sector of growth for countries in the developing world, and this perspective has been readily accepted in Indonesia. Government officials in poorer sections of the country, such as Nusa Tenggara Timur province (NTT) in eastern Indonesia, have high hopes for the role that tourism can play in developing these poorer regions. This is not surprising, given the increasing renown of the Komodo National Park, just west of the island of Flores, where the world famous Komodo dragons reside. However, how exactly tourism is supposed to raise the standard of living and aid in development in NTT province is often unclear. In this paper I want to critically look at ideas about tourism and development in NTT, by focusing on the ‘Sail Komodo’ yacht rally, a major tourism event that took place from August to September 2013. Sail Komodo was as a marine tourism event expected to boost tourist numbers, lift the standard of living of people in this province and lower poverty levels. I critically analyze this event within the context of a ‘mega event’, and show how the contradictory ideas about how the event was meant to lead to prosperity for the poor can indicate the sometimes misguided relationship posited between tourism and development.
Keywords: Development; Indonesia; Mega Events; Sail Komodo; Tourism
- The Tourism Encounter in Community-Based Tourism in Northern Thailand: Empty Meeting Ground or Space for Change? – Claudia Dolezal
Download PDF –This article offers a contribution to the anthropology of tourism by investigating the tourism encounter in community-based tourism (CBT) in Northern Thailand. It does so by discussing MacCannell’s (1992) idea of the Empty Meeting Grounds and Said’s Orientalism (1978), two works that contributed to research on power inequalities between tourists and residents in the developing world. By establishing a relationship between the two and embedding these in the wider literature on the tourism encounter, this article suggests moving away from binaries towards understanding the space of the tourism encounter and its potential for change. Building on empirical research conducted in Ban Mae Kampong, a CBT village in Northern Thailand, findings suggest that CBT shows signs of resident-host interactions that are based on understanding and learning rather than exploitation. While also in CBT friendships and meaning take time to emerge and the ‘Other’ is used as attraction, villagers’ agency and control over tourism are acknowledged. This paper therefore calls for a revisiting of the theoretical grounding that influences our understanding of the tourism encounter and argues for an investigation of community power relations in connection to the tourism encounter and its potential for residents’ empowerment in CBT.
Keywords: Community-Based Tourism; Empowerment; Northern Thailand; Orientalism; Tourism Encounter
- Commodification and Politicization of Heritage: Implications for Heritage Tourism at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hanoi (Vietnam) – Huong T. Bui & Timothy J. Lee
Download PDF –The current study deconstructs the process of turning heritage resources into tourism products. A case study of the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi, provides an in-depth understanding of the plural use of heritage. Findings from the study reveal issues of heritage dissonance inherent in the process of resource selection, interpretation, and targeting for different audiences. It is apparent that commodification cannot be separated from the politicization of heritage. In the case of heritage of national importance and international significance, politicization has been prioritized and results in diminishing the utilization of heritage for commercial purposes such as tourism.
Keywords: Commodification; Heritage; Identity; Tourism; UNESCO World Heritage
Forschungswerkstatt / Research Workshop
- Shaping Southeast Asia: Tracing Tourism Imaginaries in Guidebooks and Travel Blogs – Felix M. Bergmeister
Download PDF –Tourism constitutes both an economic activity and a cultural force that involves a dynamic interplay between travelers and their ideas about the societies they visit. This paper traces the construction and negotiation of “tourism imaginaries” (Salazar, 2012) in popular guidebooks and independent travel-blogs, critically examining questions of representation and power relations in a Southeast Asian context. Employing critical discourse analysis, this paper investigates how particular Southeast Asian destinations are represented from a Western perspective. Whereas long-established commercial media such as guidebooks function mainly to communicate destination images to the reader, recent participatory media formats (e.g. travel-blogs) are more experienced-based and enable tourists to form ideas about foreign places in idiosyncratic ways. The preliminary insights of this study show that hegemonic narratives from guidebooks are rather reproduced than critically challenged and subverted in the examples under review.
Keywords: Guidebooks; Power; Tourism and Destination Images; Tourism Imaginaries; Travel-Blogs
Im Dialog / In Dialogue
- Change and Challenges for Foreign Retirees in Thailand. An Interview with Nancy Lindley – Christina Vogler
Download PDF –The northern city of Chiang Mai in Thailand has become a popular destination for national and international tourists as well as for a growing number of expatriates and retirement migrants. Compared to Thailand’s southern destinations such as Phuket or Pattaya, Chiang Mai features a cooler climate and interesting cultural and environmental surroundings. Therefore, since 2006/07, the city continues to attract many retired expats from several countries all over the world. Nancy Lindley is the head of the Chiang Mai Expats Club and the coordinator of Lanna Care Net, a network, which provides advice and assistance for elderly foreigners. As a retirement migrant from the USA, she gives insight into the expats’ community, reports on the challenges for foreign retirees in Chiang Mai and talks about the elder care system for foreigners. The interview took place in November 2014 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Keywords: Elderly Care; Expatriates; Retirement Migration; Thailand
Netzwerk Südostasien / Network Southeast Asia
- Conference Report: Land Grabbing, Conflict, and Agrarian-Environmental Transformations: Perspectives From East and Southeast Asia, 5-6 June 2015, Chiang Mai University – Rainer Einzenberger
- Reflections on the 8th EuroSEAS Conference, 11-14 August, Vienna – Duncan McCargo
- Konferenzbericht: Die Schattenseiten des Wirtschaftswachstums in Südostasien. 19.-20. Juni 2015, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a. M. – Heinz Gödde
Rezensionen / Book Reviews
- Book Review: Köster, U., Trong, P. L., & Grein, C. (Eds.). (2014). Handbuch Myanmar. Gesellschaft, Politik, Wirtschaft, Kultur, Entwicklung – Gunnar Stange
- Book Review: Creak, S. (2015). Embodied Nation. Sport, Masculinity, and the Making of Modern Laos. – Vedad Lubenovic