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Original scientific paper

TOURIST MYTHS – A COMPARATIVE EXAMINATION

Erik Cohen ; Department of Sociology and Antropology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel


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Abstract

Taking the concept of myth in tourism seriously, this paper seeks to compare the status and dynamics of “tourist myths” in three socio-historical contexts: modern Western tourism, post-modern Western tourism and contemporary non-Western, predominantly Asian, tourism. It shows that the relationship between myth and tourism varies signifi cantly between the three contexts, and that, though tourists, as Selwyn (1996) argued, might be chasing myths, they do so in very different ways. Nostalgic modern tourists seek primarily to recover the traces of a mythical past on the margins of the contemporary world, where they have been led to believe that those traces are still reserved. Post-modern tourists, convinced of the futility of such a quest in a world of simulacra, seek to re-enact mythical themes in a seriously playful manner in contrived make-believe contexts, which confer the ancient myth with a post-modern twist. In contrast, contemporary non-Western tourists, for whom the mythical is still vitally present in the world they inhabit, seek to witness directly its occasional manifestations in that very world.

Keywords

myth; modern tourism; post-modern tourism; non-Western domestic tourism

Hrčak ID:

114426

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/114426

Publication date:

1.1.2013.

Article data in other languages: croatian

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