2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Tourist Gaze (Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society) (Paperback)
I read Urry's tourist gaze a couple of years ago when I first started studying tourism. His ideas offered a frame work that many tourism researchers refer to. It was very exciting for me then.
Since I first read the first edition, I have also read many criticisms against his thoughts. Urry acknowledges these criticisms but he still largely ignores these charges in this new book. That is puzzling to me. So, in the second edition of his "classic", Urry revises or more accurately, merely tinkers with his original tourist gaze ideas.
Tourism research today has moved towards tourism experiences. Urry seems to be stucked with his visual gazes. I therefore wonder why one should buy his second edition even though his examples are now more international (I bought it because I do not own the first edition).
Other tourism researchers, such as Richard Prentice (on heritage interpretation), and Can-Seng Ooi (on mediated tourism consumption) have shown that the tourist gaze, as a concept, is highly inadequate. There is a need to look at the many different ways tourists interpret and consume tourism products beyond the visual. Such researchers emphasise the point that tourism is an industry that sells experiences. Urry seems to be stuck with just selling visual sights.
Nonetheless, Urry's conceptualisation remains central in tourism research. Almost every tourism article and book quotes him. It has become a classic and all tourism students must own a copy. Maybe it is time for a new classic. The three stars are for his original contribution to the debate.
(2 customer reviews)