Contested Tourism Commodities : What's for Sale

Tomazos, Konstantinos (2020) Contested Tourism Commodities : What's for Sale. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. ISBN 978-1-5275-5000-1

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This book discusses tourism niches as contested commodities that have grown and become part of the tourist setting on many destinations. Over time, they develop organically, and, in some cases, underground before they explode into the mainstream, and more often than not, cause controversy. We trace the roots of different tourism trends, using examples from industry and the literature, revealing the importance of understanding their key drivers, dynamics and impacts. It is in managers’ interest to monitor such trends and tourist pursuits as they crossover because they hold the potential to comprise new markets, as destinations diversify their tourist offering. Different tourism niches, including slum tourism, trophy hunting tourism, cosmetic surgery tourism, volunteer tourism, and sex tourism, to name a few are being explored. This book shows that the margins between contested commodity and mainstream acceptance are fluid and relative, becoming increasingly blurred. In this environment, it is easy for a seemingly marginal tourist pursuit to cross into the mainstream. What is pivotal in this emerging picture is that, as the understanding of each niche matures into the broader public’s consciousness, and supply grows, it becomes another experience that can be replicated, homogenised and sold. Turning these niches into tourism products requires enough understanding of them to be sold commercially and further segmented to benefit as many stakeholders as possible. In this reality, it is paramount that the tourism industry maintains an open mind and explores the potential of turning new trends into products for tourist consumption.