“Short courses or activities embedded within a traditional, beach, touring or sightseeing type of holiday are the most likely way for specialist learning to penetrate the ‘mainstream’. ” The majority of travellers are pursuing ‘soft’ learning activities which supports Filho (2009) that mass tourist are evolving with soft adventures. Whereas Blom (2000) claims culture tourism focuses on ‘high status’ tourism such as ethic, eco, heritage and adventure. Ethnic tourism which can be portrayed as marketing tourist attractions based on the indigenous populations way of life. However stereotyping may become a label for some ethnic populations.
For example the marketing of Iban ”headhunters” in Malaysia who are caught between the demands of tour operators and tourists, Selstad (2007, p. 27). This suggests the symbolic construction and ‘staged authenticity’ becomes commodified even for the niche of tourists on destinations that depend of tourism income. However, similarities can arise between anthropological fieldwork and adventure tourist experiences. As adventure tourists who are immersing themselves in the local culture, this can be comparable to the way anthropologist study the local behaviour and actions, McCabe (2005).
This ultimately implies are there any differences between adventure tourists and explorers and do explorers still exist? Explorers in the 15th/16th century such as Christopher Columbus can suggest that they were motivated by physiological and biological needs, Maslow (1943), to search for materials, labour and markets. However this resulted in colonialism. In the business of adventure and tourism in today’s society globalisation incorporates the product marketed to tourists that is cultural themed which suggests that explores are adventure tourists seeking cultural understandings.
For example Jamaica is suggested to have developed a form of neo-colonialism as the country has attracted a trend and an increase of sex tourists, Jamaican Tourism Board (2010). In addition Mathieson ; Wall (1994, p. 103) claim that tourism aids in neo-colonialism in certain economic conditions: “… developing countries grow to depend on tourism as a means of securing revenue, a large proportion of expenditures and profits flow back to foreign investors and high leakages occur, non- locals are employed in professional and managerial positions. ”
This can imply that future trends of tourism impact on how the destination interpreted, however this can often led to superiority of one culture overtaking another which determine political motives that relate to the early explores and the classification of tourism. Overall, an important task in anthropology research is to explore the range of tourist experiences. The emphasis of the impact of mass tourism on host populations can be argued due to the interest of anthropologists in local studies. Therefore the views and experiences of tourists have major relevance for the anthropology of tourism.
As development in technology have aided in the independence of tourists this can suggest that adventure has become a trend, although consequently destinations have become less authentic due the popularity. Paying attention to how tourists interact with their social surroundings can help anthropologists expand and refine the knowledge of what tourists see and do. The adventure role which involves the tourist in interaction with a wide variety of people can determine on the type of hard or soft adventurer, however the individual tourist must ultimately be considered.
In a whole range of contexts, tourists are portrayed as second-class citizens McCabe (2005), the ambiguity of adventure and tourism overall portrays a complex entanglement which firmly poses the tourist experience as a topic for anthropological research.
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Figure 1: Comparison of Tourist Type Classifications 1977-2000 Source: Smith ; Brent (2001) Figure 2: Global Competitiveness Index – Brazil (2010-2011) Source: Global Competitiveness Report (2011) Figure 3: Dichotomies within adventure tourism Source: Swarbrooke et al (2003, p. 36) Figure 4: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Source: Reisinger, (2009: p. 272) Figure 5: Relationship between Activities Traditionally Associated with Adventure and Existing Forms of Niche Tourism Source: Swarbrooke (2003, p. 17) Figure 6: Learning on Holiday in the Past, April 2009 (Base: 2,001 adults aged 16+) Source: GMI/Mintel (2009).