The unbearable lightness of tourism … as violence:an afterword

Noel B. Salazar
Cultural Mobilities Research (CuMoRe),
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
This Afterword reviews the special issue of the Journal of SustainableTourism on Critical Geographies, which focuses on the intricate relationships between tourism and various forms of tourism related violence. It notes the slippery and complex concept of violence in tourism, and that it is typically seen from the viewpoint of the tourist, with researchers working from the anthropological host and guests relationship model as a way of negotiating kinship and friendship between societies, with broader aspects of tourism’s power play withsocio-cultural change perhaps conveniently forgotten. Tourism andtourists are seen as hiding their corporate and personal violence behinddestination branding, tourism imaginaries and saleable commodification.While the innovative approaches adopted by papers in the special issueare commended, two key and still outstanding issues are highlighted. Tourism researchers must find ways to share their work more effectivelyacross all stakeholders, as well as publishing in academic journals. Andresearchers should become more self reflexive and critical of themselves,seeking to address the complex practical challenges for sustainabletourism thinkers and doers of creating better links between the visitorsand businesses of developed societies, and the culture and communitiesof developing societies.


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