WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE A TOURIST

Abstract

Based on ethnographic data gathered through observations made as a tour guide in the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion, I explore “what it feels like to be a tourist”. My aim is to articulate observations of subjective tourist experience with theory about the structural frames of tourism culture and the touristic realms these have brought about. I argue that the individual experience of sites evolves within broadly shared aesthetic cultures, but that the emotions generated by the encounter of such sites are negotiated through highly personalised stories. Tourism attractions in this tropical island indicate the presence of shared aesthetic dispositions and feelings of national
belonging among the German tourists observed there, while tourists struggle for words to affirm the individuality, authenticity and magic of their experiences.

Keywords

transformation, German national romanticism, La Réunion, experience, tourism

How to Cite

Picard, D., (2013) “WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE A TOURIST”, Ethnologia Europaea 43(1), p.5-18. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1104

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.

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Authors

David Picard (University of La Réunion)

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