The Intentional Structure of Tourist Imagery

Dean MacCannell

in The Ethics of Sightseeing

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520257825
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948655 | DOI:
The Intentional Structure of Tourist Imagery

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Travel imagery exists as an adjunct of tourist fantasy. It is the postmodern version of predestination. The refuge of tourist “experience” is the imaginary. This requires systematic efforts to shut down perception in the presence of an attraction. The tourist ego is the virtual focal point of the travel poster. The tourist imaginary depends on systematic restrictions and exclusions. Something almost never depicted in travel poster imagery is the one thing most noticeable at popular tourist destinations: crowds. Travel imagery produces a fantasy parallel universe inhabited by tourists, and can also function as the circular mirror for an ideal ego. In tourist imagery, the greatest potential opening that might alter a perfect travelogue scene is the arrival of another human being, a local or even another tourist, who transforms or disrupts the travel poster ideal.

Keywords: travel imagery; tourist fantasy; perception; attraction; tourist ego; travel poster imagery

Chapter.  5088 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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