Tourism mobilities: pursuing a new approach on tourism studies”
Start date : 4 February 2019 12:00
End date : 4 February 2019 14:30
Where : Lancaster | Royaume-Uni
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Tourism mobilities: pursuing a new approach on tourism studies.
Brazil in focus
The universe of certain leisure activities – including tourism – has only recently become part of the daily lives of a significant part of the world’s population – especially in the highly-populated nations of the so-called Global South. Combined with historically-consolidated tourism flows, it has been fuelling the expansion of new and larger infrastructures (airports, highways, resort complexes, tourist services in general, etc), increasing tourism and non-tourist supply to endless hordes of domestic and foreign travellers. In other words, as new waves of Chinese- for instance- take to the stage, no fewer Europeans will abandon their travel habits.
At the same time, when over-tourism rages in Europe, concerns about sustainability reach alarming levels, which does not fit the consumption increase of new segments of tourists eager for experiences. Thus, the clashes over the “right to tourism” in the context of multi-scale mobilities go beyond the well-known field of economics and bring about new references to cope with global tourism conceptually and empirically. All this is without forgetting the constrains between forced mobilities – which has never ceased in the history of mankind in the form of migrations, diasporas, etc- and the recent booming of desired mobilities (such as tourism, second homes and a large array of “lifestyle mobilities”).
In Brazil, recent changes offer fertile elements that raise new issues regarding tourism studies. If, on the one hand, socioeconomic changes allowed new types of consumption (including tourism) and the country was at the centre of a so-called “megaevents era” (World Cup 2014 and Rio 2016 Olympics), on the other, racist and classist structures remain, constraining the incorporation of the this new tourist – along with the “new middle-classes” – in the daily life of the country. For instance, while air traffic more than tripled from 2000-2015, there have been documented cases of prejudice against passengers whose behaviour is not deemed to fit a society driven by elitist standards.
How, then, can we understand theoretically, in the light of the mobility turn and the New Mobilities Paradigm, a phenomenon that has been consolidating for over 200 years, but has been covered by such complex contours in the dawn of the 21st century?
An analytical review is then proposed: besides a commercial object, tourism is a human phenomenon, involving the obvious flows of people, but also the constitution of images and models, impacting spaces and social groups in many ways worldwide. In other words, it is urgent to reconsider the functionalist rationale on tourism, disseminated by multilateral agencies and global capitalism, towards a more sensitive approach. To support this discussion, the Brazilian context will be presented, as an attempt to deepen the complexity that tourism encompasses, as opposed to the mainstream culture of tourism. To this end, the literature on tourism mobilities – if emerging, not large – will be taken into account.