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http://www.mastersungroup.comThe Search forThe Authentic Other(India: As the AuthenticOther)BySarvajeet Chandra1
http://www.mastersungroup.comTABLE OF CONTENTS• Introduction1. The ‘Place’ product2. History of travel and tourism3. The b...
http://www.mastersungroup.comINTRODUCTION TOTHE AUTHENTIC OTHERTourism is the ‘ism’ that drives the largest industry of th...
http://www.mastersungroup.comcounterpart of the western tourist is the pilgrim of the east who locateshis elective centre ...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThus a useful way of looking at tourism is to look at two majormotivations propelling modern ...
http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 1Place ProductTourism is an important component of the big business of leisure thatse...
http://www.mastersungroup.comA place product is distinguished by variety of businesses and experiencesobtainable at that p...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe real locations will always continue to lure people. It will be difficultto replicate the ...
http://www.mastersungroup.comAmerica has 600 theme parks and half of the Americans have visited atleast one of them.2. Tra...
http://www.mastersungroup.comIn India, the Palace on Wheels has become an ideal example in whichthe tourists travel in a t...
http://www.mastersungroup.com11
http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 2HISTORY OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM2000 years Before Christ, in India and Mesopotamia.Trav...
http://www.mastersungroup.com500 BC, the Greek civilisationThe Greek tourists travelled to sites of healing gods. The Gree...
http://www.mastersungroup.comalso became very popular. The Romans introduced their guidebooks(itineraria), listing hotels ...
http://www.mastersungroup.comLeisure travel in India was introduced by the Mughals. The Mughalkings built luxurious palace...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe development of the spasThe spas grew in popularity in the seventeenth century in Britain ...
http://www.mastersungroup.comRole of the industrial revolution in promoting travel in the westThe rapid urbanisation due t...
http://www.mastersungroup.com• Seaside resorts began to develop different images as for day-trippers,elite, for gambling.•...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe wars increased interest in international travel. This interest wasgiven the shape of mass...
http://www.mastersungroup.com20
http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 3THE BUSINESS OF LEISURE.Leisure is the time available to the individual when work, s...
http://www.mastersungroup.com• Intellectual component• Social component• Competence mastery• Stimulus avoidanceIntellectua...
http://www.mastersungroup.comcomponents of leisure motivation. A course in wind surfing (competencemastery) can also mean ...
http://www.mastersungroup.combecame meeting points of the high society. Young aristocrats on Britaintook the Grand Tour to...
http://www.mastersungroup.commeant for health and well being; which gradually developed as pleasureresorts.The ancient Ind...
http://www.mastersungroup.com26
http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 4TOURISTHOODThe process by which a person decides to leave his ordinary, familiar lif...
http://www.mastersungroup.coma. Spatial travelb. Cross beyond home’s socio-cultural thresholdThe cross beyond home’s thres...
http://www.mastersungroup.comRepatriationIn this the tourist experiences a resurrection of former self as he travelsback t...
http://www.mastersungroup.com• Mindlessness: This is part of optimisation of experience- we retainthat memory which is suf...
http://www.mastersungroup.com31
http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 5THE LANGUAGE OF TOURISMThe language of tourism is the language of modernity, promoti...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThis authenticity is not simply the quality of the object; it is a struggle, asocial process ...
http://www.mastersungroup.comOff sight markers play an important role in stereotyping the sight .Anexample of this is the ...
http://www.mastersungroup.comdestination having little contact with the local culture or people. Mosttourists of the devel...
http://www.mastersungroup.comTourism as a language of differentiationThe language of tourism promotes familiarity-stranger...
http://www.mastersungroup.comconcept of theme park is important elements in the perspective of theplay with reality.The Di...
http://www.mastersungroup.comconverted into objects is very common to the language of tourism; adiscourse which speaks of ...
http://www.mastersungroup.com3. MonologueMost of the tourism literature is a monologue with rhetoric of moralsuperiority b...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe language of tourism uses many verbal and visual techniques foreffective expression of the...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe projection of favourable destination images may not be carried outby recognisable spokesp...
http://www.mastersungroup.com5. LanguagingLanguaging is the use of real or fictitious foreign words, of which the userhas ...
http://www.mastersungroup.comIt has been seen that the use of colour in promotional images has soughtto convey specific im...
http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 6INDIA - THE ‘OTHER’An interesting area of study concerning tourist arrivals in India...
http://www.mastersungroup.comIndian spices and beautifully crafted Indian articles came on the caravanof Arabic traders to...
http://www.mastersungroup.comFor a foreign tourist the heritage of India can be divided into thefollowing categories.• Gre...
http://www.mastersungroup.comlove of the emperor for his wife. E.g. Red Fort, Forts at Jaiselmer,Chittorgarh etc.• Deserte...
http://www.mastersungroup.com2. The inauthentic otherIndia - The Inauthentic OtherHeld by a signification section of weste...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThere is a segment in the west which has an idealistic perception ofIndia, once articulated m...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe other is a pilgrim in the real sense who explores the variousdimensions of the country in...
http://www.mastersungroup.comTantrism is concerned with practical methods and lays little stress onreligious theories, eas...
http://www.mastersungroup.comHinduism has been compared by western scholars to a jungle - whatevercan grow in it grows. It...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe growing popularity of yogaThe amazing feats of ascetics and yogic practises narrated by t...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe Sanskrit scholar Prabhupada was the founder of the movement ofKrishna consciousness abhor...
http://www.mastersungroup.comstimulus to the new age movement; as a reaction to the ideas of westernsecular materialism. T...
http://www.mastersungroup.comlength and breadth of this country to preach his message; areas that formthe parts of the Bud...
http://www.mastersungroup.comnineteenth century, with the help of accounts of Chinese travellers - FaHein and Huen Tsang.T...
http://www.mastersungroup.com• Practicality: the religion recommends a diagnosis to end sufferingwhich depends on the prac...
http://www.mastersungroup.comHimalayas and TourismHimalayas have possessed a mythic status for people of India. MostIndian...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe tale at a profound level is the authors reaction to the shortcomingsof the western civili...
http://www.mastersungroup.comTrekking through the Himalayan region and walks are not onlyimportant for their scenic beauty...
http://www.mastersungroup.comthe magic evoked by tales of the Arabian Desert - of kings dying forhonour, of wealthy mahara...
http://www.mastersungroup.comstaged in a relevant fashion will interweave with it to become aformidable attraction. Herita...
http://www.mastersungroup.comIn the Victorian age, it was a place of flesh and bodily exposure, rarelytolerated elsewhere....
http://www.mastersungroup.comBeaches with Indo-European flavour: Found in Goa, Diu etc. these beachesattract tourists look...
http://www.mastersungroup.comThe islands are characterised by their smallness and insularity. Theislands are not only geog...
http://www.mastersungroup.comHeritage and history are social constructs. Any age can reassemble andrearrange the inheritan...
http://www.mastersungroup.comimportant heritage site. Other heritage sites like deserted soviet armybases, Spanish castles...
http://www.mastersungroup.comAll over the world various events –rooted in ancient and modern heritagehave been a big touri...
http://www.mastersungroup.comtremendous draw for the foreign tourist. Many of these like the JhansiMahotsav (Jhansi) or th...
http://www.mastersungroup.comBIBLIOGRAPHY1. Chasing the Indian monsoon - Alexander Frater.2. Critical issues in tourism - ...
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Why People Travel: The Search For The Authentic Other

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Why Do People Travel ? Is it a wanderlust, a search for something or someone?

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Transcript of "Why People Travel: The Search For The Authentic Other"

  1. 1. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe Search forThe Authentic Other(India: As the AuthenticOther)BySarvajeet Chandra1
  2. 2. http://www.mastersungroup.comTABLE OF CONTENTS• Introduction1. The ‘Place’ product2. History of travel and tourism3. The business of leisure4. Touristhood5. The language of tourism6. India-the ‘other’a. India : The authentic ‘other’ countryb. India : The lure of Tantrism andHinduismc. India: The drawing force of Buddhismd.India : Himalayase. India : The desert and the seaf. India : Of heritage and events• Bibliography2
  3. 3. http://www.mastersungroup.comINTRODUCTION TOTHE AUTHENTIC OTHERTourism is the ‘ism’ that drives the largest industry of the modern world.It forms an integral component of the fast growing business of leisure.Accounting for roughly 11% of global GDP, tourism is a major‘movement’ impacting the world.The Search for the Authentic OtherA very substantial part of tourism, as we know today, is the individual’ssearch for authenticity; of people travelling away from their homesocieties to an authentic (often primitive) other; drawn by myths embeddedin folklore, heritage, religion, literature.It is this search for the authentic other that has brought tourism closer toreligion, blurring boundaries between a pilgrim and a tourist. The touristof the west, searching for the authentic other, is a pilgrim of the modernsecular world. His religion is the individualistic religion of the modernsociety, as different from the collective and organised notion of civilreligion. The tourist, fed up of the western secular materialism, locateshis elective centre ‘out there’ away from his home society. The3
  4. 4. http://www.mastersungroup.comcounterpart of the western tourist is the pilgrim of the east who locateshis elective centre in the holy places of worship.Thus, there is a great degree of similarity in the sacred pursuit ofauthenticity for a western tourist and an eastern pilgrim. This search forauthenticity, in both cases, is thwarted by the tourism industry and thereligious establishments respectively by setting up of stagedauthenticities - fake representations that are perceived as real by thepilgrim and the tourist.Tourism for RecreationThe rest of the tourism movement is driven by recreation; of peoplewhose centres are firmly rooted in their own societies, who travel toindulge in ‘play’ - a characteristic feature of post-modernistic society.These people are lured by the myths created by the tourism industry;indulge in pleasures - becoming paupers, kings, visiting miniature ancientEgypt etc.The most striking example of this kind of tourism is the concept oftheme park, notable Disneyland. The theme parks ‘recreate reality’ andcreates myths about peoples, countries, concepts, civilisations etc. Thetourist plays with these, often deriving a vicarious pleasure.4
  5. 5. http://www.mastersungroup.comThus a useful way of looking at tourism is to look at two majormotivations propelling modern tourism• The search for the authentic other (driving many tourists of the westand pilgrims of the East).• The recreation and the concept of ‘play’This booklet examines tourism in the light of what is mentioned above.The breadth of this project is restricted by its focus on ‘tourism inIndia’. However India, as we shall see, is a good example of the diversityand the complexity of the issues involved in the study of tourism.5
  6. 6. http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 1Place ProductTourism is an important component of the big business of leisure thatsells a destination or a place product.The characteristics of a place product are:• Spatial scale: a place is inevitably one component in the hierarchy ofspatial scale, a characteristic unique to the place product. The potentialholidaymaker buying Goa may be simultaneously purchasing otherlevels of hierarchy - the hotel, India, east etc. A different structuredhierarchy may create a different product.• Multi sold: The same destination, the same facilities etc. can be sold todifferent groups of consumers for different purposes.• The place may be viewed differently in tourist origin area and touristdestinations inclusive of travel in the former and exclusive in thelatter.6
  7. 7. http://www.mastersungroup.comA place product is distinguished by variety of businesses and experiencesobtainable at that place. Each individual consumes a unique selection ofthese products. As a consequence, place product is marketed bydestination agencies without a clear idea of nature of product beingconsumed.A Tourism Product = Place Product + TravelSegmentation On The Basis Of the Place ProductThe segmentation can be product focused and can therefore be done onthe basis of types of destinations. Destinations can be segmented inbroadly three segments:1. Locationsa) realb) man made( cities , theme parks )2. Travel as the destination - cruise liners, trains (toy trains).3. The stay as the destination - resorts, hotel cum palace etc.1. Locations7
  8. 8. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe real locations will always continue to lure people. It will be difficultto replicate the experience of visiting the real thing. However, the mostinventive solution is to shed history and natural environment and createdestinations from a scratch. These artificial locations can be purpose builtand can be altered to suit the requirements of changing times.One of the important examples of an artificial location is the city of LasVegas. It started from a single industry-gambling-destination. The secretof success of Las Vegas did not lie in gambling but its ability to helppeople escape to a different world. However, the secret of continuedsuccess of Las Vegas lies in its continuous innovation. Today, it hasbecome one of the top convention cities in America.Another important area in this field has been the concept of theme parkpioneered by Disneyland. They have started the process of creating look-alike of the existing destinations, or new attractions. The advantage ofcreating such destinations is that they can be bigger, more reliable thanthe existing destinations. Besides, they can be renovated, scrapped andmodified.Disneyland theme parks are the biggest tourist draws. Disney researchesthe audiences needs and then creates it. The companys biggest works aresimulation of real things, not inventions. At Disneyland in Anaheim, forexample, the company is building California Adventure, a microcosm ofthe state, which will allow the tourist to visit the state in one day.8
  9. 9. http://www.mastersungroup.comAmerica has 600 theme parks and half of the Americans have visited atleast one of them.2. Travel as a destinationIncreasingly the ship, the railway etc. are not just a means of travel: theyare the destination. With increasing popularity of cruise liners, cross-country trains, travel has emerged as an exciting destination. Besidescomfortable stay and reasonable prices, these options provide a uniqueenvironment. They provide the opportunity of seeing popular locations,often without passport or visa hassles.For the operators it is very profitable deal .The occupancy of cruise linersis higher as compared to hotels. In addition, cruise passengers, unlikehotel guests have to take meals in the ship itself, generating additionalrevenue.Modern cruise ships are floating artificial destinations offering a fullresort worth of entertainment. Like the tourism business, at large, thesecruise liners are divided into two categories: big liners for a wholesomeentertainment and small cruise liners for niche segments - nature watch,historical sites etc.9
  10. 10. http://www.mastersungroup.comIn India, the Palace on Wheels has become an ideal example in whichthe tourists travel in a train in a style reminiscent of the maharajas;where travel is the destination.3. The stay as the destination:With the increasing numbers of palaces converted into hotels, hotelstrying to recreate natural environments and resorts the stay has become adestination. The success of Sun City, with massive promotion throughbeauty pageants has made people look as hotels not merely as a place tostay but a destination. This concept is also represented in the palace cumhotels and heritage hotels in India. The hotels themselves have becomethe show.10
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  12. 12. http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 2HISTORY OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM2000 years Before Christ, in India and Mesopotamia.Travel for trade was an important feature since the beginning ofcivilisation. The port at Lothal was an important centre of trade betweenthe Indus valley civilisation and the Sumerian civilisation.600 BC and thereafterThe earliest form of leisure tourism can be traced as far back as theBabylonian and Egyptian empires. A museum of historic antiquities wasopen to the public in Babylon. The Egyptians held many religiousfestivals that attracted the devout and many people who thronged tocities to see famous works of arts and buildings.In India, as elsewhere, kings travelled for empire building. The Brahminsand the common people travelled for religious purposes. Thousands ofBrahmins and the common folk thronged Sarnath and Sravasti to begreeted by the inscrutable smile of the Enlightened One- the Buddha.12
  13. 13. http://www.mastersungroup.com500 BC, the Greek civilisationThe Greek tourists travelled to sites of healing gods. The Greeks alsoenjoyed their religious festivals that increasingly became a pursuit ofpleasure, and in particular, sport. Athens had become an important sitefor travellers visiting the major sights such as the Parthenon. Inns wereestablished in large towns and seaports to provide for travellers’ needs.Courtesans were the principal entertainment offered.This era also saw the birth of travel writing. Herodotus was the worlds’first travel writer. Guidebooks also made their appearance in the fourthcentury covering destinations such as Athens, Sparta and Troy.Advertisements in the way of signs directing people to inns are alsoknown in this period.The Roman EmpireWith no foreign borders between England and Syria, and with safe seasfrom piracy due to Roman patrols, the conditions favouring travel hadarrived. First class roads coupled with staging inns (precursors of modernmotels) promoted the growth of travel. Romans travelled to Sicily,Greece, Rhodes, Troy and Egypt. From 300 AD travel to the Holy Land13
  14. 14. http://www.mastersungroup.comalso became very popular. The Romans introduced their guidebooks(itineraria), listing hotels with symbols to identify quality.Second homes were built by the rich near Rome, occupied primarilyduring springtime social season. The most fashionable resorts were foundaround Bay of Naples. Naples attracted the retired and the intellectuals,Cumae attracted the fashionable while Baiae attracted the down markettourist, becoming noted for its rowdiness, drunkenness and all- nightsinging.Travel and Tourism were to never attain a similar status until themodern times.In the Middle AgesTravel became difficult and dangerous as people travelled for business orfor a sense of obligation and duty.Adventurers sought fame and fortune through travel. The Europeanstried to discover a sea route to India for trade purposes and in this fashiondiscovered America and explored parts of Africa. Strolling players andminstrels made their living by performing as they travelled. Missionaries,saints, etc. travelled to spread the sacred word.14
  15. 15. http://www.mastersungroup.comLeisure travel in India was introduced by the Mughals. The Mughalkings built luxurious palaces and enchanting gardens at places of naturaland scenic beauty (for example Jehangir travelled to Kashmir drawn byits beauty.Travel for empire building and pilgrimage was a regular feature.The Grand TourFrom the early seventeenth century, a new form of tourism wasdeveloped as a direct outcome of the Renaissance. Under the reign ofElizabeth 1, young men seeking positions at court were encouraged totravel to continent to finish their education. Later, it became customaryfor education of gentleman to be completed by a ‘Grand Tour’accompanied by a tutor and lasting for three or more years. Whileostensibly educational, the pleasure seeking men travelled to enjoy lifeand culture of Paris, Venice or Florence. By the end of eighteenthcentury, the custom had become institutionalised in the gentry.Gradually pleasure travel displaced educational travel. The advent ofNapoleonic wars inhibited travel for around 30 years and led to thedecline of the custom of the Grand Tour.15
  16. 16. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe development of the spasThe spas grew in popularity in the seventeenth century in Britain and alittle later in the European Continent as awareness about the therapeuticqualities of mineral water increased. Taking the cure in the spa rapidlyacquired the nature of a status symbol. The resorts changed in characteras pleasure became the motivation of visits. They became an importantcentre of social life for the high society.In the nineteenth century they were gradually replaced by the seasideresort.The sun, sand and sea resortsThe sea water became associated with health benefits. The earliestvisitors therefore drank it and did not bathe in it. By the early eighteenthcentury, small fishing resorts sprung up in England for visitors whodrank and immersed themselves in sea water. With the overcrowding ofinland spas, the new sea side resorts grew in popularity. The introductionof steamboat services in 19th century introduced more resorts in thecircuit. The seaside resort gradually became a social meeting point16
  17. 17. http://www.mastersungroup.comRole of the industrial revolution in promoting travel in the westThe rapid urbanisation due to industrialisation led to mass immigrationin cities. These people were lured into travel to escape their environmentto places of natural beauty, often to the countryside they had come fromchange of routine from a physically and psychologically stressful jobs to aleisurely pace in countryside.Highlights of travel in the nineteenth century• Advent of railway initially catalysed business travel and later leisuretravel. Gradually special trains were chartered to only take leisuretravel to their destinations.• Package tours organised by entrepreneurs such as Thomas Cook.• The European countries indulged in a lot of business travel often totheir colonies to buy raw material and sell finished goods.• The invention of photography acted as a status-enhancing tool andpromoted overseas travel.• The formation of first hotel chains; pioneered by the railwaycompanies who established great railway terminus hotels.17
  18. 18. http://www.mastersungroup.com• Seaside resorts began to develop different images as for day-trippers,elite, for gambling.• Other types of destinations-ski resorts, hill stations, mountaineeringspots etc.• The technological development in steamships promoted travelbetween North America and Europe.• The Suez Canal opened direct sea routes to India and the Far East.• The cult of the guidebook followed the development of photography.Tourism in the Twentieth CenturyThe First World War gave first hand experience of countries and arouseda sense of curiosity about international travel among less well off sectorfor the first time. The large scale of migration to the US meant a lot oftravel across the Atlantic. Private motoring began to encourage domestictravel in Europe and the west. The sea side resort became annual familyholiday destination in Britain and increased in popularity in othercountries of the west. Hotels proliferated in these destinations.The birth of air travel and after18
  19. 19. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe wars increased interest in international travel. This interest wasgiven the shape of mass tourism by the aviation industry. The surplus ofaircrafts and growth of private airlines aided the expansion of air travel.The aircraft had become comfortable, faster and steadily cheaper foroverseas travel. With the introduction of Boeing 707 jet in 1958, the age ofair travel for the masses had arrived. The beginning of chartered flightsboosted the package tour market and led to the establishment of organisedmass tourism. The Boeing 747, a 400 seat craft, brought the cost of traveldown sharply. The seaside resorts in the Mediterranean, North Africaand the Caribbean were the initial hot spots of mass tourism.A corresponding growth in hotel industry led to the establishment ofworld-wide chains. Tourism also began to diversify as people began toflock alternative destinations in the 70s. Nepal and India received athrong of tourists lured by Hare Krishna movement and transcendentalmeditation. The beginning of individual travel in a significant volumeonly occurred in the 80s. Air travel also led to a continuous growth inbusiness travel especially with the emergence of the MNCs.19
  20. 20. http://www.mastersungroup.com20
  21. 21. http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 3THE BUSINESS OF LEISURE.Leisure is the time available to the individual when work, sleep and otherneeds have been met. Leisure as a construct involves a number ofdimensions• Absorption and concentration of ongoing experience• Lessening of focus on self• Feelings of freedom and lack of restraint• Enriched perception of objects and events• Increased intensity of emotions• Increased sensitivity to feelings• Decreased sensitivity to passage of timeThe Components of Leisure MotivationBeard and Ragheb identified four motivational needs derived fromMaslow’s hierarchy of needs. These needs form the components of leisuremotivation. They are –21
  22. 22. http://www.mastersungroup.com• Intellectual component• Social component• Competence mastery• Stimulus avoidanceIntellectual component is the extent to which individuals are motivated bymental activities such as learning, exploring, discovering, thought,imaging. This can be a primary high need (a visit to Madurai to studytemple architecture) or a low need triggered by a specific event orenvironment.Social component is the need for friendship, self-esteem and interpersonalrelationship. The holidays are not only status- or ego- enhancingexperiences. There is also a sense of belonging with the place visited.People tend to identify with a place visited. This is higher for people whoare more satisfied with their holidays and for those with three or morevisits. The relationship not only involves social identification but also arelationship with the geographical place.Competence mastery component is in order to achieve, challenge, master andcompete. This is often physical (i.e. sports) but also includes fine arts andother intellectual pursuits. Competence mastery is coupled with other22
  23. 23. http://www.mastersungroup.comcomponents of leisure motivation. A course in wind surfing (competencemastery) can also mean meeting like –minded individuals (social need).Stimulus avoidance is drive to escape and get away from over-simulatinglife experiences. The most obvious component of leisure motivation, achance to rest and unwind.The components of leisure motivation vary within holidays and betweenholidays. On a holiday, a tourist may rest for few days (stimulusavoidance); thereafter explore the place (intellectual component). Theholidaymaker may assign different purposes to holidays. One holidaymight be family centred (social need), the other for playing golf(competence mastery) etc.Changing Nature of Leisure in Western Society: Fromordered recreation to the beginning of individual travelIn the 12th century monarchy there was an ordered recreation regulatedby the state. Sports like archery was promote by the monarchy forrecuperation of physical efficiency.The concept of leisure travel in the seventeenth century was restricted tothe rich. Even then, travel was undertaken as a means of recuperation aswitnessed in the growth of spas and later the seaside resorts. These23
  24. 24. http://www.mastersungroup.combecame meeting points of the high society. Young aristocrats on Britaintook the Grand Tour to educate themselves before they took onaristocratic responsibility .The concept of recreation was promoted by thewestern society as something to be managed for the ethical good of theindividual.In the 19th century the middle class organisations promoted recreationalopportunities to combat the evils of gambling and drinking. The leisuretime of the youth was provided for through organisations such as BoyScouts and Girl Guides which built an ethos of self sufficiency.With growing individualism, wealth, democratisation and advancementsin technology which reduced modes of social control, individual travel, aswe know today came into being.Kama and Leisure in Indian SocietyThe concept of Kama as one of the four principles - Dharma, Artha,Kama and Moksha - gives a very different perspective to Indian conceptof leisure, as rooted in desire. This is different from ordered recreation inwestern societies, where leisure was clothed in acceptable garb of re-creation for the ethical good of the individual. This continuous tensionwas visible in the development of spas and beach resorts, originally24
  25. 25. http://www.mastersungroup.commeant for health and well being; which gradually developed as pleasureresorts.The ancient India on the other hand accepted activities of leisure in aforthright manner and developed it as an art. Institutionalisation of theconcept of ‘ganika’ was one example in which the role of leisure in thelife of the individual was recognised and provided for. However, leisuretravel was not an important activity. This concept of Kama was to fade inthe oblivion with the beginning of Muslim rule.Leisure Today: An Indian AlternativeSince the past few years leisure has re- emerged as a thriving businesswith an Indian face. In the leisure sector, there is a whole new set ofIndian icons gaining popularity and respect. There is a pride andconfidence in all things Indian. Indians are also adapting western notionsto the requirements of changing times. This is different from merelyaping the west.This has led to growth in domestic travel which far outstrips outboundleisure travel. More Indians are gradually travelling for recreation or toescape boredom and not just meet friends and relatives.25
  26. 26. http://www.mastersungroup.com26
  27. 27. http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 4TOURISTHOODThe process by which a person decides to leave his ordinary, familiar lifeand decides to tour and thereafter his reintegration into his daily life-theprocess of Touristhood-can be divided in a few stagesThe Pre-Trip Stage of Tourism TravelCorporationThe tourist wishes a break from the ordinary life. He wishes to escape orseek something. He readies himself mentally and physically fortourism .The tourist prepares for Touristhood.The On-Trip Stage of Tourism TravelEmancipationIt means a journey from ordinary bounds of his daily life into unboundrealm of the non-ordinary .It combines27
  28. 28. http://www.mastersungroup.coma. Spatial travelb. Cross beyond home’s socio-cultural thresholdThe cross beyond home’s threshold is aided by several touristic items,mainly symbolic- suitcase, camera, travellers’ cheque. The tourist wears amask as his real identity is disguised. This mask and the symbolicsignifiers induce an emancipative magic. The new lifestyle is understoodby the tourist and recognised and understood by others.AnimationThis stage arrives when the tourist is ‘away from it all’. The touristenters an illusive state of detachment, disengagement and spontaneity.The tourist peels away the home-bound cultural layers and enters a newtime-space. The tourist may break the cultural layers. Breaking rulesbecomes one of the rules of Touristhood. The tourist assumes or knowsin this non-ordinary playground animated behaviour is acceptable. Thesociety which hosts the tourist also understands this behaviour. Manyclosed doors of the ordinary open in the land of the non-ordinary; a longlist of tourist S’s (snow, sand, sea, surf, sex etc.) is expanded to includesin.28
  29. 29. http://www.mastersungroup.comRepatriationIn this the tourist experiences a resurrection of former self as he travelsback to his ordinary world. This implies reaffirmation and yielding to theordinary world.The Post -Trip Stage of Tourism TravelIncorporationTourist becomes a part of mainstream and Touristhood is over.Touristhood and Holiday Making BehaviourThe tourist in the process of touristhood exhibits a special ‘holidaymaking behaviour’. Some characteristics of holiday making behaviour are29
  30. 30. http://www.mastersungroup.com• Mindlessness: This is part of optimisation of experience- we retainthat memory which is sufficient to meet a need. Why is there a need,for example to recall every detail while we are driving on a holidaytrip?• Adaptation: As tourists are holiday-makers and not only holidaytakers they adapt to failed expectations. They pursue things that givethem satisfaction and avoid things that do not.• Likes and dislikes: Most satisfactory activities during holidaysrelates to Maslow’s higher hierarchy of needs, while the dislikes stemsfrom perceived threats to basic needs.• Multi-motivation: The same holiday may be used to satisfy variousneeds.30
  31. 31. http://www.mastersungroup.com31
  32. 32. http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 5THE LANGUAGE OF TOURISMThe language of tourism is the language of modernity, promotion andconsumerism. The semiotics of the language of tourism is important inthe analysis of tourism advertising with its cultural coded connotations,in the study of tourism imagery and in the treatment of tourismcommunication as a discourse in myth.Some of the significant theoretical perspectives that have significantlycontributed to understanding of contemporary tourism are those based onperspectives of authenticity, stranger-hood and play.The Authenticity PerspectiveAccording to MacCanell tourists sought out ‘authentic experiences’ inother times and places. This search for meaning was a contemporaryversion for pre-modern quest for the sacred. The tourist of today is thepilgrim of the modern world. This religion was not as much as thecollective and organised notion of ‘civil religion’ but the concept ofimplicit or individual religion of and increasingly individualistic society.32
  33. 33. http://www.mastersungroup.comThis authenticity is not simply the quality of the object; it is a struggle, asocial process in which competing interests argue for their owninterpretations of history.The tourist attempts to penetrate deeper and deeper into the hidden andreal (backstage) regions of these other times and representations. Thetourist industry thwarts such a quest by covertly staging reality andauthenticity. What the tourist believes is the real thing -the backstage ofthe life of others - was the front stage, set up in advance; manipulated bythe tourist establishment. In perpetuating and creating such a sense offalsehood, the tourism industry had actually imbued the tourist with afalse sense of consciousness.Tourism as a language of authenticationA tourist attraction is a sign, that it represents (marker) something(sight) to someone (the tourist). The marker provides information(name, picture, etc.) to the sight (signified). The marker is the firstcontact the sight seer has with the sight.Markers are either off sight (e.g. travel books, travel stories) or on sight(notices). Since off sight markers anticipate the sight, they are oftensuperior to sight.33
  34. 34. http://www.mastersungroup.comOff sight markers play an important role in stereotyping the sight .Anexample of this is the must see features. Therefore sightseers do not ‘see’Delhi. They see -the red fort, the Baha’i temple, the Rashtrapati Bhavan,the old Delhi bazaars. As elements in the symbolic set called Delhi, eachof these items is a symbolic marker. Most of the off-sight and some onsight markers are formulated by the outsiders. The ‘Exotic East’ and ‘thecity of Joy’ are expressions used by the non-indigenous. Local voicesrarely constitute markers in contemporary tourism.The Stranger-Hood PerspectiveCohen believed that the dichotomy of familiarity and stranger-hoodconstituted the essential elements of tourist experience. This led to aclassification of tourism into institutionalised and non-institutionalisedtourism.Institutionalized tourismDealt with by the tourism industry- tour operators, travel agents,hoteliers etc.The organised mass tourist: Values familiarity, low on adventurousness.Anxious to maintain his/ her ‘environment bubble’ on the trip. Purchaseready-made, often cheap, packages of the shelf. Guided through34
  35. 35. http://www.mastersungroup.comdestination having little contact with the local culture or people. Mosttourists of the developing countries like India and first time tourist fall inthis category.The individual mass tourist: Similar to the organised one except that thereis more flexibility and scope for personal choice. The ‘environmentbubble’ is very much there.Non- institutionalised travelConsists of independent individual travel shunning contact with thetourism industry except wherever necessary.The explorer: Trip organised independently; gets off the beaten track.Comfortable accommodation and reliable transport. Environmentalbubble abandoned on occasions. The bubble is there to step into if thingsget tough.The drifter: Values novelty, high on adventurousness. All connectionswith the tourism industry are spurned and drifter attempts to get as farfrom home and familiarity as is possible. With no fixed itinerary, thedrifter lives with the local people, immersing himself in the local culture.35
  36. 36. http://www.mastersungroup.comTourism as a language of differentiationThe language of tourism promotes familiarity-stranger-hood dichotomyby trying to fill the gap between the tourist and the native. It strikes abalance between offering novelty and protecting from the dangers ofstrangeness. Most of the advertising that speaks of strangeness speaks ofstranger-hood also speaks about the warm echelons of familiarity withhotel chains , continental cuisine for the tourist from the west .In thestudy of travelogues, for instance, travel writers ‘manage’ unfamiliaritywith their readers ( e.g. through denigration of locals and establishingexpatriate connections.)The Play PerspectiveAdvocated by the sociologist John Urry, this view advocates the comingof the age of image-a post modern era- the age in which representation ismore important than reality; where hyper-reality is claimed to be superiorto reality. The nostalgic construction of heritage, emphasis on spectacle,36
  37. 37. http://www.mastersungroup.comconcept of theme park is important elements in the perspective of theplay with reality.The Disneyland, for example, is an out-of-time, out-of - placedeliberately contrived and artificially staged concept which authenticallyrepresents the condition of playing with reality.Tourism as a language of recreation.The tourist gaze is anticipated and directed by media which constructsand reinforces the gaze. The gaze is moulded by professional opinionformer (writer, guides etc. which tell people where to gaze). Tourismturns culture into consumer items and markets them. The language oftourism tells them to come out and play and engage in pleasures.The Characteristics of Language of Tourism1. Structure of the languageThe meaning system of the language is located in the culture of thereceiver rather than face value meaning of the message. The strategy of‘indexical transference’ of objects transferred to people and people37
  38. 38. http://www.mastersungroup.comconverted into objects is very common to the language of tourism; adiscourse which speaks of the mythical structures in the tourists’ mind.Thus in promoting nature, for example, what is supplied is the version ofnature worked over by culture and science to yield the ‘natural’.2. Tense of languageThis accentuation of time is also manifested in the hyper reverentialtowards all that is old. Further, there are the accompanying notions thatthe new spoils the old and the anxious feeling that the tourist may havearrived too late.This disenchantment with the present may be converted into an almostutopian desire for future transformed by technology. Thus in the scenariowhere the present disappear a binary opposition is established betweenthe past and the future.One strategy applied in the language of tourism is the ‘denial of time’. Itimplies emancipation from routine organised time to an animated state ofnon-ordinary time; a symbolic inversion of everyday life where theweekday becomes a weekend.The language of tourism avoids the present by pointing to the future. Thepast is often sold to the future. We are told to go where action was.38
  39. 39. http://www.mastersungroup.com3. MonologueMost of the tourism literature is a monologue with rhetoric of moralsuperiority by the addresser with more knowledge and experiences.4. EuphoriaThe discourse focuses only on the present and speaks of it in glowingterms.5. TautologyThe tourist merely confirms the discourse which persuaded them to takethe trip. They assert as true, what was shown before they departed. Thelanguage of brochure becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.The Techniques of Language of Tourism39
  40. 40. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe language of tourism uses many verbal and visual techniques foreffective expression of the language.The various verbal techniques are: simile, metaphor, languaging,humour, use of keywords, testimony and ego-targeting.1. Simile and metaphorSimile and metaphor are often used to manage the unfamiliarity of thedestination for the tourist. The strangeness of the exotic is minimised bythe use of familiar themes like the ‘Manchester of the east’ for the city ofAhmedabad, etc. This usage tends to increase in direct relationship withthe strangeness of destination being promoted.2. KeywordsThe rhetoric of advertising employs images and symbols from the sharedlanguage of the target audience and the advertiser. The rhetoric employs‘keywords’ (escape, adventure, road less travelled etc.) which are derivedfrom the fancies of tourist generating societies. The keywords relate thesearch for the authentic which stems from the condition of anomie in thehome society of the potential tourist. An advertisement for Kumaon andGarhwal (U.P. Tourism) talks of these areas as “take the road lesstravelled by”, “get there before the crowd” etc.3. Testimony40
  41. 41. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe projection of favourable destination images may not be carried outby recognisable spokespersons who can lend support to the advertisedimages. The use of Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee fame, who throughthe film comes to stand for Australia. His rugged naturalness is ideal forpromoting great outdoors and his happy-go-lucky attitude, emblematic ofthe attitude of the people, manages to give Australia an edge over itsmore staid down-under rivals. The testimony may also take the form of asatisfied customer as in the advertisement of Kathmandu’s Yak and Yetihotel where a satisfied tourist describes his experiences as - “ I almost gotlost in those huge, gorgeous grounds” , “ we went back to 18th centuryfor dinner” etc. Rounding off with “I guess that is what makes the Yakand Yeti Nepal’s finest hotel”.4. HumourHumour can be successfully employed in tourism especially in tourismemployed in the use of pun like the use of Bermuda shorts for promotingBermuda for short-break vacations like “ Bermuda shorts as a far awayland close to home” or “ Bermuda shorts . Bermuda, a short trip to aperfect holiday”.Management of unfamiliarity can also be dealt with humorously bypreparing the would-be visitor for the strange customs of destinationspeople as for example the Tibet yak milk “.....the smell of hot yak butter ,which is a good way to smell , if you like it ..”41
  42. 42. http://www.mastersungroup.com5. LanguagingLanguaging is the use of real or fictitious foreign words, of which the userhas scant knowledge to include a manipulation of the vernacular. Thisuse of particular expressions shared by the writer and the reader, withtheir occasional poetic treatment can be both ego- enhancing and memorysustaining. E.g. “Yunctan food is totally different from the rest of thecountry- instead of tacos and burritos they eat cochinita pubil,rellenonegro de para, pocchue etc.6. Ego targetingIt targets the individual, with the dialogue assuming the form of intimateconversation, often making the individual feel special, for personalisedservice. The individuals buys into the product thinking that the purchasewill make him a bit more like himself, someone specialetc........perpetrating the myth of self actualisation An advertisement forGarhwal and Kumaon by U. P. Tourism says “if you are dying for abreath of rare oxygen- Pithoragarh, Kausani are where a deep breath willmake you come alive again!”Visual techniques like the use of colour, format, visual cliché etc. alsocontribute to the language of tourism.42
  43. 43. http://www.mastersungroup.comIt has been seen that the use of colour in promotional images has soughtto convey specific images. The use of primitive colours, for example, forpromotion of third world destinations helps build up sensualist imageryof a noble savage , living close to nature - pure, innocent and authentic.The predominant colours of paradise are white and blue signifyingtranquillity and sterilisation of nature.Visual cliché is also evident in pictures which accompany the discourseon tourism. The tourists often see through these cliché, but it is a pleasantfeeling to be seduced by them again and again. . Visual clichés that can beused are - deep blue ocean, white sand, palm trees, sunset, happy &colourfully dressed locals, untouched landscapes, exciting nights etc.The verbal and visual techniques are often employed by language oftourism, often in combination, to interact with the tourist and lure himtowards staged authenticities, in his search for the authentic other.43
  44. 44. http://www.mastersungroup.comCHAPTER 6INDIA - THE ‘OTHER’An interesting area of study concerning tourist arrivals in India is themyths that exist in the westerners’ mind when he intends to visit thecountry. This has to do primarily with India being perceived as theother’. This otherness has been constructed over a long span of time, inthe numerous contacts the west has had with this country, over twothousand years.The first significant contact of India with the west was with Alexander,who invaded India in 330 BC. He was the first in the long line ofwesterners to become a disciple of an Indian guru. To him, Indiarepresented a different school of thought; a fascinating source of wisdom.However, the Greek scholars accompanying Alexander complained thatunderstanding Indian philosophy was like making mud flow throughwater. The east was beginning to be perceived as different and/orstrange. The first seeds of otherness were sown.After the invasion of Alexander there was regular trade between Indiaand the Romans until 1-2 century AD. With the decline of the RomanEmpire direct contacts between India and the west ended as the tradestopped. Thereafter, India entered into the realms of the myth… as rare44
  45. 45. http://www.mastersungroup.comIndian spices and beautifully crafted Indian articles came on the caravanof Arabic traders to the west.The search for a sea route to India (to promote direct trade with Indiaprimarily for spices) made India the magnet of European explorers in theMiddle Ages. Explorations were followed by conquest as the English,Dutch, Danes and the French colonised India.In the 18th and the 19th, century India emerged as the exotic other to theEuropean travellers. Travellers returned with tales of the fabulous andthe fantastic east. There was very little information on the history andheritage of the country. It was assumed that like all other colonies Indianeeded a civilising influence. Tales of gilded domes, kings, swordswallowing acrobats, peddlers of reincarnation, widows leaping into thepyre caused gasps of amazement and wonder. India was a glorious andglittering circus -spectacular, exciting but unreal.The initial study of Indian history and cultural heritage was done by theBritish. It is they, who pieced together its past and weaved the image ofmodern India. From a glorious circus they converted it into a fascinatingmuseum- full of tombs, temples, sculptures, study of Hinduism etc.The Heritage of India45
  46. 46. http://www.mastersungroup.comFor a foreign tourist the heritage of India can be divided into thefollowing categories.• Great places to stay- Palace cum hotels, houseboats, Clubs of theBritish era... These places have become popular because of thenostalgia, they evoke due to linkages with great kings, legends, Britishhistory. This is one area where heritage has been constructed to suitthe needs of tourists .E.g. Lake Palace Hotel (Udaipur), Taj MahalIntercontinental (Mumbai), House boats (Srinagar) etc.• Places with Indo -European Flavour - Monuments from the colonialpast, primarily British. These places seem to belong to a far off timeand evoke nostalgia. E.g. Victoria Memorial (Calcutta), FernhillPalace (Ooty), Hotel Metropole (Mysore) etc.• Nostalgia of the Hippie movements: towns with Tibetan influence,Goa etc. This town were the key centres for the Hippie movement inthe 70s: symbolising escape from the western civilisation. E.g. Goa,Dharmsala, countryside near Manali etc.• Forts and Palaces: Primarily Rajput and Mughal forts. With legends,personalities, architectural splendour, the success of such placesdepend on how easily the tourist relates to the myths associated withthis place. The Taj Mahal would not have been so popular but for the46
  47. 47. http://www.mastersungroup.comlove of the emperor for his wife. E.g. Red Fort, Forts at Jaiselmer,Chittorgarh etc.• Deserted cities: Fatehpur Sikri, Hampi. These places present ahaunting reminder of the past. As a centre of thriving empires, at onetime they evoke a nostalgia from the past; a relic of the progress ofhuman civilisation.• Interesting trips: toy trains, backwater boat rides, Palace on wheels.They are interesting rides as well as important representations ofheritage. The Palace On Wheels for example takes back the tourist inmaharajas times where he indulges in the vicarious pleasure of livinglike a maharajaIndia TodayToday, there are broadly two images of India held by the westerners. Oneof the image is grounded in a fascination for a rich heritage, aprofound civilisation; whereas the other looks at India as a place which ispoor , inward looking etc. The Indian reality probably lies in anintegration of these two images. But as far as the westerner is concerned,he exists in one of these two mythical worlds - of India being perceived as1. The authentic other47
  48. 48. http://www.mastersungroup.com2. The inauthentic otherIndia - The Inauthentic OtherHeld by a signification section of westerners, this point of view holdsthat though ancient, Indian civilisation has degenerated into a culturalcull de sac; that India has made very little contribution to make to theongoing civilisation of humanity.The Indian thought has been dominated by imagination, a mode ofknowing religion. This is inferior to the rational civilisation of the west.It is this imagination which has led to generation of myths andsuperstitions as opposed to science and rationality of the west. The westis forceful and masculine while the east is passive and feminine.The westerners harbouring this view refrain from visiting India whenone of the Indian cities Mumbai is attacked on 26/11. Most of them neverintend visiting India- a land ruled by Hindu fundamentalists, poverty etc.India-The Authentic Other48
  49. 49. http://www.mastersungroup.comThere is a segment in the west which has an idealistic perception ofIndia, once articulated most vehemently by Carl Gustav Jung -India represents the other way of civilising man, the way withoutsuppression, without violence, without rationalismThis view believes that the intuitive, mystical and symbolic Indianthinking may provide westerners with access to that part of themselvesthat they have lost. This view considers the internal spiritual factors asdecisive. It refuses to see the contradictions in Indian thinking. Thissection of people often reacts against secular materialism of west andseeks to escape into the authentic other world of Indian spiritualism.The Authentic ‘Other’ CountryThe search for the authentic ‘other’ has, broadly speaking, attracted twokinds of tourists to India.One of them derives a vicarious pleasure in trying to identify the‘authentic other’ from the staged authenticities set up by tourismindustry. He is merely content in living in a make-belief world of hismyths about the country and refuses to see indicators and realities whichrun contrary to his perceptions.49
  50. 50. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe other is a pilgrim in the real sense who explores the variousdimensions of the country in his bid to find the ‘authentic’ other. It is thistype of pilgrim which stays in ashrams, attends yoga weeks and pursues aserious study of the Indian philosophy.In the Indian context, the search for the authentic ‘other’ has manifesteditself• in the lure of Indian mysticism (Tantrism)• the drawing forces of Hinduism, Buddhism and New Age movement• The myths that surround the Himalayas, the Great Indian Desert etc.The Lure of Indian MysticismTantrism, considered repugnant by mainstream Hindus, is a traditionthat ran parallel to mainstream Brahminism. It was probably derivedfrom the fertility cult of the indigenous people. The subject of Tantrismintroduces symbols, ideas and terms exotic to the western minds.Labelled as pornography by some it has also engendered strangefascination.50
  51. 51. http://www.mastersungroup.comTantrism is concerned with practical methods and lays little stress onreligious theories, easily understood by the westerners. It focuses onShiva and Shakti; Shakti - the cosmic force which supports the universe.The act of sexual intercourse is symbolic union of Shiva-Shakti. The actof intercourse is considered a yogic exercise which creates a mystic senseof oneness. The nude female form is the representation of the goddess.Spiritual progress is achieved not by avoiding desires but by transformingthem.The most influential exponent of Tantra among the western people hasbeen the Osho - Bhagwan Rajneesh. His view of sex and mysticism was adeliberate combination of Tantrism and Jungism. His interpretation ofTantrism along with a growing awareness of Kundalini Yoga made for aformidable combination of sensuality and spiritualism. This contributedto his immense popularity in the west.The philosophy of Rajneesh is monistic, which allows for no evil. Heaccused Christian ministers of preaching sin to make people feel guiltyand inferior. He was one of the most influential of the Indian Gurus. Hisashrams continue to be of great tourist interest and a place of pilgrimagefor the Oshoiites.The Drawing Force of Hinduism51
  52. 52. http://www.mastersungroup.comHinduism has been compared by western scholars to a jungle - whatevercan grow in it grows. It has a luxuriance of intellectual thought andpractical ritual that compares and contrasts at the same time. This evokesexotic images in the eyes of the westerner.The spread of Hinduism in the westIn 1893, Vivekananda was one of the first Hindu missionaries to the west.He established a Vedanta society which had a lot of Christian converts.However it was only in the 1960s that a widespread section of the westernsociety came in contact with Hinduism. Pop musicians invited Indiangurus to preach their teaching. The ideas of Krishna as a divine lover andShiva as an erotic yogi created exotic images in the eyes of thewesterners. These two gods drew the largest following in the westernmasses.The great paradox of Shiva being both an ascetic and yogi epitomised thevery opposite of western ideas of god. Shiva is a synthesis ofcontradictions. The two aspects of Shaiviite teaching i.e. Yoga andTantra spread widely in the west. Krishna, on the other hand, inspiredthe Bhakti movement and society of Krishna consciousness.52
  53. 53. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe growing popularity of yogaThe amazing feats of ascetics and yogic practises narrated by theEuropean travellers to India in the nineteenth century led to the rise ofSanskrit scholarship and Indian philosophical studies in the universitiesof Europe. In the 1960s young people in the west started looking up toyoga for mind-expanding experiences.The most influential of these movements was the Transcendentalmeditation advocated by Mahesh Yogi. It became very popular with theinterest shown by the Beatles. The Maharishi started the spiritualregeneration movement and positioned himself as a psychotherapist andnot a Guru.Yoga has found increasing acceptance as an applied philosophy in thewest. In addition, the increased popularity of yoga has contributed to thesuccessful international yoga weeks and yoga spas in areas like Rishikesh.These places have also become important centres for study of Hinduismfor western tourists/pilgrims.Other Gurus53
  54. 54. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe Sanskrit scholar Prabhupada was the founder of the movement ofKrishna consciousness abhorring tenets of western materialism. Theother movements of Sathya Sai Baba, Swaninarayans also contributed tothe popularity of Hinduism in the west.This led to increasing number of pilgrimages to holy religious spots andashrams of Gurus by believers and tourists. The ashrams of gurus areimportant places of tourist interest like Vrindavan (Hare Krishnamovement), Sai Baba Puttaparthi etc.The lure of Hinduism has also led tourists to visit the holy cities likeVaranasi, Haridwar. The temple towns like Kanchipuram,Mahabalipuram also witness significant tourist attention.The new age movementAs early as 1873, translations of Upanishads influenced Madame HelenaBlavatsky to find the Theosophical society. This was the beginning ofthe new age movement, a movement which tried to incorporate the bestfrom the East and the West. The monistic ideas of the Upanishads cameas an intellectual boost to the philosophers of the new age movement.In 1893, Annie Besant travelled to India from Britain leaving behind thehusk of the outworn creed for something more genuine. She provided the54
  55. 55. http://www.mastersungroup.comstimulus to the new age movement; as a reaction to the ideas of westernsecular materialism. The new age movement is based on the quest forspirituality as opposed to religion.Today, ancient Indian and Chinese thought are being drawn into westernphilosophy. In 1991, 1/4 of the westerners believed in reincarnation. 15% ofthe population in Britain meditates which is more than the one that goesto church regularly. All over the west spiritual retreat centres arebecoming important destination for tourism and pilgrimage. The variousnew age symbols like Yoga acupuncture; new age authors like DeepakChopra are becoming increasingly popular.On the west coast of America, new age institutions, radio stations arebeing set up. This movement has led to a greater integration of the Eastand the West and has contributed to renewed interest in the east in awide section of Westerners.The Drawing Force of BuddhismThe life of Gautama has assumed a nature of a heroic myth. His birth islikened to the rising of another sun. The truth that Buddha awoke to wasthe law of life that has existed since time immemorial. He travelled the55
  56. 56. http://www.mastersungroup.comlength and breadth of this country to preach his message; areas that formthe parts of the Buddhist trail today.Buddhism in AsiaAbout hundred years after Buddhas death two main streams ofBuddhism developed and spread to South Asia and East Asia.Mahayana Buddhism travelled northward through the Tibet, China,Korea and Japan. This happened over two thousand years. TheMahayana, the greater vehicle, stresses on the importance of leading allpeople to enlightenment in daily life. It is Mahayana form which hasgiven Buddhism a world-wide appeal.The Hinyana Buddhism holds strictly to original doctrine and ritual.Buddha has been made a God to be worshipped and favours asked to. TheHinyana School was influenced by the native religion of the lands it wentto. Therefore it took various forms in the various countries it went to.This school of teachings spread south, through Sri Lanka, Burma andThailand.After about thousand years Buddhism began to be dogged by ritual anddogma and lost its freshness and vigour. In India, it was graduallyassimilated in Hinduism to be rediscovered by the British; in the56
  57. 57. http://www.mastersungroup.comnineteenth century, with the help of accounts of Chinese travellers - FaHein and Huen Tsang.The appeal of Buddhism in the westBuddhism is an apt solution to the flaws of western secular materialismand an attractive alternative to the metaphysical dogmas of Christianity.The form of Buddhism that is popular in the west is the Mahayana form.The Mahayana form is based on rationality that teaches man to freehimself from suffering if he believes in his own Buddhist nature.The appeal of Buddhism lies in its attack against the religious systemsthat inculcate fear and guilt.• Emphasis on experience: Buddhism takes experience as the startingpoint. There are no prerequisites of metaphysical beliefs. Itemphasises on suffering and the end of suffering, which can be knownfrom self-experience. This emphasis on self-experience makes itappealing to the individual in the west.• Rationality: The Mahayana school recognises no divinity or authority,whether religious or political. . It asks for action only when somethingmakes sense. This is in strong contrast to the strong emphasis ondivinity, faith and belief in Christianity.57
  58. 58. http://www.mastersungroup.com• Practicality: the religion recommends a diagnosis to end sufferingwhich depends on the practitioner to follow or reject .There is noconcept of damnation or sin. This emphasis on choice as an alternativeto blind belief or faith in Christianity has made a modern religion.An interesting aspect of tourism in India concerned with Buddhism isthat a majority of the international tourists it attracts come from Asia-Pacific and Sri Lanka. The countries of Asia Pacific especially Japan are agrowing market for India. A substantial number of tourists from SriLanka, which is the third most important market, are drawn byBuddhism.The tourist attractions which concern themselves with Buddhism aredivided into two categories:• The Buddhist trail: concerning holy spots relating to Buddhas life andimportant monuments. These spots attract pilgrims/tourists fromAsia-Pacific and Sri Lanka.• The rub of Buddhism: these spots bank upon the lure of Buddhismenmeshed with other myths. Buddhism forms a background for othermyths such as the story of Shangri La (covered in Himalayas andTourism). The emerging destinations in these areas are Ladakh andSikkim.58
  59. 59. http://www.mastersungroup.comHimalayas and TourismHimalayas have possessed a mythic status for people of India. MostIndians except those who live in mountains do not have a stronggeographical conception of the mountains.The Himalayas tend to be mythical rather than actual mountains.The concept of Himalayas is based on legends and myths of the Hindutradition. Himalayas are home to the holiest of shrines and the spots inthe Hindu mythology. A pilgrimage to the abode of Gods is a regularfeature of Hindu Bhakti tradition.To the west, the same region is influenced to by the currency of the newmyth, articulated in recent times by the novel of James Hilton- the LostHorizon.The novel is built around the fantasy of a paradise in the Tibetan plateaubeyond worlds highest mountains - Shangri La, a valley of the bluemoon. The Shangri La relocated itself - to Tibet, Nepal, Ladakh andBhutan- as tourists came in droves, driven by the myth. As the sanctityof each Forbidden City was violated by mass tourism, the fantasy movedfrom a sacred place to utopia or from a symbolic concentration to ageographic abstraction59
  60. 60. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe tale at a profound level is the authors reaction to the shortcomingsof the western civilisation. It is a tale of liberation from the thrall of timeand western materialism. Life at Shangri La is extraordinarily long; noneof its inhabitants hurries or exerts pressure on fellow beings. Lifeproceeds in the pursuit of aesthetic and intellectual pursuits with noconflict and competition. By association, the popular western conceptionof the countries in the Himalayan region is of romantic, mystic realmsand this image is perpetuated in literature and promotion of tourism.To quote a young Frenchman -“Ladakh is the last place where you can see what Tibet must havebeen ..... If you felt anything in these hours we have been together; anyintensity, any trust, think that it was not just from me or from us, butfrom Ladakh."The extent to which a Himalayan region remains a reminiscent ofShangri La depends on the retention of unchanged elements of the lostTibetan authenticity. This aspect was capitalised upon by the tourismdepartment of Nepal to promote itself since 70s. Today, the governmentof Bhutan has gone to great extent to preserve the myth of the ShangriLa. It has done so by restricting development, making people wearnational costume on prescribed occasions, banning television andrestricting entry to the very rich.60
  61. 61. http://www.mastersungroup.comTrekking through the Himalayan region and walks are not onlyimportant for their scenic beauty but also constitute small explorations insearch for the authentic other.The Desert and The SeaThe desert and tourismThe magnetic fascination for the deserts in some segments of the westernsociety lies in great empty spaces - the ultimate in escape from thewestern society .The lure of the desert also stems from the mythicalstructures created in the western mind in their contact with Arabianpeople and their literature. The gossip of the desert was magic, with talesof blood and feuds. It was promoted by the spread of the tales of theArabian nights-of Ali Baba and forty thieves etc.-and works of OmarKhayyam and others.The tale of the Great Indian DesertThe myth of the Thar is linked intricately to Rajputs-their valour, battlesfor honour, the majestic palaces and the impregnable forts. It is similar to61
  62. 62. http://www.mastersungroup.comthe magic evoked by tales of the Arabian Desert - of kings dying forhonour, of wealthy maharajas with many wives, of women throwingthemselves to Johar, the legend of Padmavati. And the myth lives on;consumed by the tourists in the form of travelling on the palace ofwheels, in consumption of heritage at increasingly popular heritage hotelsand palace-cum-hotels. The MacCanells tourist finds in these anauthentic another- full of virtue, grandeur, and honour and heritage.The camel safari, for example, in the desert with forts, ruins, desertedvillages, fertile oasis exercises a magical spell on the tourist- the ultimatein space from the western civilisation. The desert festival at Jaiselmerand the camel fair at Pushkar are events which add revelry, enthusiasmand colour to an already romantic mythical structures -created by theRajput valour and the emptiness of the desert.Heritage of the RajputanasThe success of painted havelis in Shekawati, of heritage hotels and palaceon wheels indicates a very lucrative market for heritage tourism inRajasthan: the success of which in the future will depend upon theinterpretation of history to suit the needs of changing times and the tastesof tourists. It is essential to build on the mythical structures in thetourist’s mind and stage authenticities like fairs, heritage sites etc. Desertwill forever remain an ultimate in escape; and heritage, if constructed and62
  63. 63. http://www.mastersungroup.comstaged in a relevant fashion will interweave with it to become aformidable attraction. Heritage when weaved with desert gives ameaning to the empty desert. This allows the tourist to escape into anauthentic ‘other’ world where time moves slowly, people die for honour,and the culture is full of liveliness, simplicity and honesty.The Sea and TourismFor centuries, the sea has fascinated human beings. The coastlines haverepresented the fringe between the known and the frighteninglyunknown.The Romans were the first ones to build villas by the sea. However, theseaside as a tourist destination is comparatively modern. In theeighteenth century, the seaside was first promoted, in England, as a placefor recuperation. Today, it has become a place of relaxation, fun andidleness.The beach: Margins of experienceBeaches are marginal littoral strips; of neither land nor the sea. They aremargins of experience. This marginality is not only geographical but alsosocial and physiological. Therefore as society changes so does themeaning and use of the beach...63
  64. 64. http://www.mastersungroup.comIn the Victorian age, it was a place of flesh and bodily exposure, rarelytolerated elsewhere. Today it has a different kind of marginalityassociated with it. Some beaches offer a sanctioned ‘escape route’ andregression into childhood for the adults; as adults play child games andeat child foods. Other beaches provide opportunities for the young to passthrough passages of rites; without the presence of younger and oldergeneration.The scenario in IndiaThe conventional sun-sand -sea resort (primarily located in theMediterranean and tropical islands) has witnessed a decrease in touristtraffic due to overcrowding and an increasing preference for other formsof tourism by western tourists. There is an increasing section of westerntourists which is looking for a resort with sun-sand -sea and a flavour /meaning attached to it .It is this category of tourists which is attracted toseaside resorts in India .In India, a few good beaches attract tourists who come for leisure travel.The beaches in India are roughly divided into few categories:64
  65. 65. http://www.mastersungroup.comBeaches with Indo-European flavour: Found in Goa, Diu etc. these beachesattract tourists looking for a good beach and those who wish to revisittheir past. They have an Indo – European flavour, which evokes nostalgiain a European tourists’ mind.A conventional sun- sand- sea resort: These beaches are typical resorts with alocal cultural flavour thrown in to add to the attraction like Kovalam,Gopalpur-on-sea, Ahmedpur Mandvi etc. The primary attraction of thesecentres is the relatively un-crowded beach woven with the excitement ofa different culture...Beaches and religion: These beaches become the epitome of escape from thewestern secular materialism. This attracts the MacCannell’s tourist.They combine the familiarity of beach experience with the lure ofreligion. They are also good attractions for domestic tourist, who lured byreligion, also happen to visit the beach .These include locations like Puri,Konark, Mahabalipuram etc.The Island65
  66. 66. http://www.mastersungroup.comThe islands are characterised by their smallness and insularity. Theislands are not only geographical identities, they are is-lands; locations ofthe present freed from the concerns of the future. In doing so theyrepresent an escape in which time stands still and future looks far away.Most islands have limited tourism resources. The island ,as a touristattraction, lacks diversity .It depends overwhelmingly on sun, sand andthe sea often with an additional attraction thrown in to differentiate itfrom an another island .The Indian scenarioThe islands with an enormous tourist potential are the Andamans andthe Nicobar islands. These islands represent the epitome of escape- faraway from the mainland and civilisation. Besides, the beaches ofAndamans and Nicobar islands have an attractive Caribbean flavour:white coral sand, gin clear water and multi-coloured fish and coral.Indian Heritage & EventsHeritage and history66
  67. 67. http://www.mastersungroup.comHeritage and history are social constructs. Any age can reassemble andrearrange the inheritance of people and places. They are truths that areheld to be known about the past. However, the past is subject tointerpretations and heritage is a three-way relationship between a site, itspresenter and audience. Heritage therefore needs to be realigned to theneeds of the times, to the taste of the present audience. A relevantrealignment of heritage to the trends of the recent times creates asuccessful tourist attraction.The telling of history involves a conveyance of untruths. The act ofinterpretation changes it. The heritage of the Ram, for example,manifested in the interpretation of the concept of Ram Rajya is a part ofreactionary revivalism, for a generation of Indians who feelimaginatively deprived in the presentThe development of Disneyland, which led to production of history andmanufacture of heritage, is an important lesson in understanding theperception and marketing of heritage. The Disney spectacle is a themedand montage display of simulations and hyper reality; to a point wheretruth and fiction become indistinguishable.In Britain, a new development in heritage called industrial heritage hasemerged. This concept celebrates the industrial sites, mining sites etc.Ironbridge, the foundation of industrial revolution, has become an67
  68. 68. http://www.mastersungroup.comimportant heritage site. Other heritage sites like deserted soviet armybases, Spanish castles cum hotels, secret armaments factory are becomingpopular. In India heritage is being staged through the development ofheritage hotels, heritage festivals, Palace on wheels, etc. India offerstremendous opportunity for development and staging of heritage.The success of Disneyland has an important lesson. It indicates thatplural interpretations of heritage will become commonplace. The scopefor multiple truths will continue to widen.Special eventsSpecial events (festivals, sport and cultural events) have deep culturalmeanings and involve unique behaviours. Licence and revelry are closelyassociated with events. Attendance at events is a leisure experience that isfreely chosen for its intrinsic rewards.Events have to compete with various attractions and activities; henceevents can be packaged and substituted. The strong competitiveadvantage of events is the social benefit of attending ‘in groups’. Eventsare participative in nature. Hence, their success to some extent dependsupon the participants. Thus what people bring to the events is asimportant as what they find there. Special events are characterised bytheir uniqueness, atmosphere and quality.68
  69. 69. http://www.mastersungroup.comAll over the world various events –rooted in ancient and modern heritagehave been a big tourist draw. Some events like the Olympic Games,Soccer world cup etc. provide excellent opportunity to the host state toboost tourism and construct and stage heritage. Various events rooted inthe past still continue to be major draws for their uniqueness andatmosphere like the Spanish bullfights.Indian Events – an embarrassment of riches.Indian events range from the modern to the ancient. They fulfil variouspurposes from recreation to religion. Most of the heritage fairs are rootedin the religious tradition or meant to be a market for business. Basically,the Indian events can be classified in a few categories:The modern festivals – the republic day parade, Independence Day etc.These provide ample opportunities for staged authenticities. The variousJhankis of states for example are representations of states and theirheritage.The religious festivals - the car festival (Puri), the festival ofgods (Kulu), Dusshera (Mysore), and the Kumbh melas provideopportunities for domestic tourists to indulge in a religious activity.These festivals attract the MacCanell’s tourists: the Heritage festivals –snake boat race (Alappuzha), desert festival (Jaiselmer), camel fair(Pushkar) etc. Many of these festivals are rooted in tradition and are a69
  70. 70. http://www.mastersungroup.comtremendous draw for the foreign tourist. Many of these like the JhansiMahotsav (Jhansi) or the festival of Lucknow are staged versions ofauthenticities constructed by the tourism departments.There is an enormous opportunity for staging authenticity andinterpreting heritage through events. Events are gradually becoming veryimportant in itineraries of the tourists. Due to their strong participativenature and social exuberance they are a unique attraction.70
  71. 71. http://www.mastersungroup.comBIBLIOGRAPHY1. Chasing the Indian monsoon - Alexander Frater.2. Critical issues in tourism - Gareth Shaw and Alan M. Williams.3. Encyclopaedia of hospitality in tourism - Michael Olsen andMahmood Khan.4. Hinduism in Great Britain - Edited by Richard Burghart.5. Hospitality and travel marketing - Alastair Morrison6. India file - Trevor Fishcock7. Marketing tourism places- Edited by Gregory Ashworth and BrianGoodall.8. Northern India and Southern India - Nelles Verg9. Portrait of India - Ved Mehta10. The business of tourism - J. Christopher Holloway.11. The desert and the sown-Gertrude Bell12. The development and marketing of visitor attractions- JohnSwarbrooke.13. The spirit of Hinduism - David Burnett14. The theory and practise of tourism- Keith Waterhouse.15. The tourist business- Donald E. Lundberg16. The tourist experience- Edited by Chris Ryan17. The tourist image - Edited by Tom Selwyn18. Travel industry yearbook- Somerset R. Waters19. Tourism, principles and practise- Chris Cooper, J. Fletcher, D. Gilbertand S. Wanhill.20. Tourism today : A geographical analysis- Douglas Pearce71

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