Commodifying Tourism

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Commodifying Tourism

Ekaterina Dogodkina
Elizaveta Medvedeva
Shahriyar Humbatov

Assignment paper in International Tourism Management Master Program for the course International Tourism Management
held by
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt

|25746, Heide |1st semester ITM | | | | |Germany |28 January 2013 | Contents

I. Abbreviations and Acronyms2
II. Tables and Figures4

1. Introduction5
2. Shopping and Tourism12
3. Commodification of cultures18
4. Commodification of Mass Tourism25
5. Hyper-real commodified spaces29
5.1. Simulation and hyper-reality phenomenon29
5.2. American’s hyper-real places32
5.3. Hyper-real Orient37
6. Conclusions41

III. References42
IV. Eidesstattliche Erklärung48

I. Abbreviations and Acronyms

MENAMiddle East and North Africa
NGONon-governmental organization
SME Small-Medium enterprises
UNWTO United Nations World Tourism Organization
WHO World Health Organization

II. Tables and Figures

Figure 1. RSA - critical evaluation…………………………………………………23

1. Introduction

There is a very close connection between the tourism industry and a process of commodification which, by-turn relates to the cultural issues rather tightly. Claire Bougot (2011) states that ‘in most cases, culture is staged to satisfy tourists in order to create an income for host populations; it is therefore commodified’. Cohen (1988 cited in Bougot, 2011) defines the process of commodification (or commoditization) as the ‘process by which things (and activities) come to be evaluated primarily in terms of their exchange value, in a context of trade, thereby becoming goods (and services); developed exchange systems in which the exchange value of things (and activities) is stated in terms of prices form a market.’ Thus, the aim of this paper is to analyze the commodification processes in tourism and the way it influences societies and communities. Indeed, it is obvious that most tourist activities involve the consumption of commodities, for example, staying in the hotel or going to the restaurant. However, not every tourist activity implies consumption. So the explanation of the exact meaning of the commodity and its difference from a mere object is needed here. ‘The major difference between a commodity and an object is that a commodity has an exchange value in addition to its use value. A commodity is thus purchasable and is subject to market forces.” (Knox and Hannam, 2010, p. 38) Nowadays, most objects and spaces can be commodified. For example, the Eiffel Tower is a site of consumption now as people have to pay to enter it. But still not every object is exposed to commodification yet. Knox and Hannam (2010) mention that some local recreational areas like parks in England are still protected by government from selling them to private sector, and the entrance is free of charge for the pubic. However, there is no single view about what is more beneficial for the object itself – to be commodified or not. On the one hand, non-commodification creates such disadvantages for the space as poor condition of the attraction and lack of investments. While on the other hand, the received income helps managers to keep the site in an appropriate state and support the heritage. But not only objects are being commodified. What also serves as an example is a local culture which is probably undergoes the most intensive...
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