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Theorising tourism in crisis: Writing and relating in place

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Recent headline events ��� most notably the COVID-19 pandemic ��� have illustrated the fragility of tourism capitalism, prompting forward-looking analyses among critical scholars. While grappling with political and philosophical implications, commentaries have tended towards the prescriptive and general: contemplating the collapse of tourism as-we-know-it, and foregrounding opportunities to reconstitute more sustainable, resilient and inclusive forms of tourism. Heeding Haraway���s call to ���stay with the trouble���, I briefly outline three sympathetic critiques, integrating insights from more-than-human theory, disaster studies and climate change adaptation literatures. First, I unsettle temporalities of disruption and change that emphasise singular moments, such as lockdowns, rather than multiple temporalities of vulnerability and resilience. Second, a lurking species exceptionalism, which positions humans as the locus of agency, is contrasted with nonhuman capacities to shape unfurling events. Third, speculations on tourism���s future that rest on normative categories, disembodied from lived experience, are contrasted with First Nations ontologies, and the messiness of tourism���s relatings in place. Theorising tourism, within and beyond crisis, must evolve iteratively from the ethnographic. To illustrate, I ���write from��� the east coast of Australia, where an otherwise steady-growth tourism economy has experienced profound disruption in 2020, not just from coronavirus-related travel restrictions, but from climate-change-amplified catastrophic bushfires. From this vantage point, multiple traumas refract tourism industry responses, while hope commingles with caution, tempering strident proclamations on the future. The nonhuman, political-economic, and emotional are inextricably entwined in the fabric of tourism. The fraught navigation of lived (more-than-human) experience must figure more prominently in our scholarly reckonings.

Publication Date


  • 2021

Citation


  • Gibson, C. (2021). Theorising tourism in crisis: Writing and relating in place. Tourist Studies, 21(1), 84-95. doi:10.1177/1468797621989218

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85100548775

Start Page


  • 84

End Page


  • 95

Volume


  • 21

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • Recent headline events ��� most notably the COVID-19 pandemic ��� have illustrated the fragility of tourism capitalism, prompting forward-looking analyses among critical scholars. While grappling with political and philosophical implications, commentaries have tended towards the prescriptive and general: contemplating the collapse of tourism as-we-know-it, and foregrounding opportunities to reconstitute more sustainable, resilient and inclusive forms of tourism. Heeding Haraway���s call to ���stay with the trouble���, I briefly outline three sympathetic critiques, integrating insights from more-than-human theory, disaster studies and climate change adaptation literatures. First, I unsettle temporalities of disruption and change that emphasise singular moments, such as lockdowns, rather than multiple temporalities of vulnerability and resilience. Second, a lurking species exceptionalism, which positions humans as the locus of agency, is contrasted with nonhuman capacities to shape unfurling events. Third, speculations on tourism���s future that rest on normative categories, disembodied from lived experience, are contrasted with First Nations ontologies, and the messiness of tourism���s relatings in place. Theorising tourism, within and beyond crisis, must evolve iteratively from the ethnographic. To illustrate, I ���write from��� the east coast of Australia, where an otherwise steady-growth tourism economy has experienced profound disruption in 2020, not just from coronavirus-related travel restrictions, but from climate-change-amplified catastrophic bushfires. From this vantage point, multiple traumas refract tourism industry responses, while hope commingles with caution, tempering strident proclamations on the future. The nonhuman, political-economic, and emotional are inextricably entwined in the fabric of tourism. The fraught navigation of lived (more-than-human) experience must figure more prominently in our scholarly reckonings.

Publication Date


  • 2021

Citation


  • Gibson, C. (2021). Theorising tourism in crisis: Writing and relating in place. Tourist Studies, 21(1), 84-95. doi:10.1177/1468797621989218

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85100548775

Start Page


  • 84

End Page


  • 95

Volume


  • 21

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication