Dynamic texts and tourist gaze: Death, bones and buffalo

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119 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary cultural studies, including tourism research, have largely avoided analysing the effects of texts upon individuals. This gap is addressed by examining the dynamic relationships between guidebooks and tourists through interviews carried out in Tana Toraja, Indonesia. Reliance upon a limited number of international guidebooks led to a commodified experience and gaze, these sources "tutoring" tourists to gaze at aspects of Tana Toraja either comparatively, enthusiastically, or with disinterest, in order to realise an "authentic exotic" Other. A model linking the relationship between guidebooks, spoken communication, and the conceptual spheres dominating tourists' perceptions is developed, arguing for greater recognition of the dynamism of texts in both tourism and cultural studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-50
Number of pages24
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Experience
  • Guidebooks
  • Perception
  • Tana Toraja
  • Text
  • Tourist gaze


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