make some bullet point notes on the key arguments in the reading

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make a bullet point notes on the key arguents in the” Pitfalls of the ‘tourist gaze’Ecotourist dialogues and the politics of global resistance”, do it in MLA format, and i will attatch the reading as pdf

Pitfalls of the ‘tourist gaze’
Ecotourist dialogues and the
politics of global resistance
1996 saw the global success of The Beach, a novel by Alex Garland that has been translated into 25 languages and sold millions ofcopies around the world (Gluckman 1999c). A decade later we may claim that the book has become a contemporary classic. It did not come as a surprise that in the second halfof the 1990s Hollywood expressed an interest in adapting the story for global cinematic consumption. The core narrative encompassed the trajectory of travel experience, the pain of unrequited love and the horrors of social dysfunction -fantastic scenarios in a powerful combination that would normally appeal to movie viewers. The finished product, however, did nor enthuse audiences, because it failed to live up to the magical story that Garland had contrived. The manipulation of the novel’s plot was received by many viewers as a manifestation of Hollywood’s cultural imperialism: in the film the protagonist, a British backpacker, was turned into an American who is looking for adventure in an exotic land. Such revisions were deemed to be addressed exclusively to American viewers and offended the sensibilities of Garland’s fans. The diversity of responses that were registered online by audiences form a wealth of material for this study. Central to reviewer comments were questions thar modern travellers often ask: how is it possible to gain an authentic experience from and through travel? When is an inner, spiritual, journey ‘authentic’ and how is it complemented by corporeal travel?
Although the film deviated from the novel, it still followed the original narrative in brush strokes. Richard, a young American traveller, decides to visi t Thailand to escape the monotonous and repetitive life of his homeland. In Bangkok he meets Mr Daffy, a drug addict who speaks of a spectacular beach hidden away from the eyes of Western tourists. The idea of visiting an unspoilt paradise lures Richard, now equipped with Mr Daffy’s map, to search for this legendary place. Together with two young French travellers, Etienne and Francoise, they trace the island of ‘the beach’. There, behind a marijuana plantation maintained by Thai
28 Pitjal]: ofthe ‘tourist gaze’
drug dealers, they find a self-sufficient community of Westerners who live on the island, but the joy of arriving at their destination and joining the group will soon be replaced by disillusion and terror, Nothing is as it seems. While a series of mishaps lead to the collapse of communal solidarity, Richard’s sanity is in danger and the dream of inhabiting an earthly Eden falls apart. When sharks attack two members of the group, the group leader refuses to allow their transportation to the city, fearing that the secret of their island will be disclosed. This decision affects community morale and brews conflict and resentment among its members. Richard, who had shared the map with two fellow backpackers, watches them being murdered by Thai plantation guards when they track the island down. Finally, the drug dealers turn against the community and demand its departure so that they can be rid of foreign intrusion and further trouble from newcomers. The survivors of the ensuing tragedy find their way back to the civilized world, bearing with them the scars of memory for the rest ottheir lives,
If the cold reception of the film was unexpected, the film’s impact on Thai tourism was not. The island that figures in The Beach (Phi Phi Leh, Maya Bay) eventually became a popular tourist destination for Leonardo DiCaprio (the cinematic Richard) fans and for deluded travellers who sought to reproduce his cinematic adventure by visiting the island. Moreover, The Beach assisred in the promotion of tourism in the Phuker region by international holiday providers, especially those who maintain websites. It must be noted that Garland’s story itselfwas intended more as a satire of backpack travel (see Wall StreetJournal, 1999; Gluckman 1999c) and counter-cultural tourism, an alternative type of tourism that emerged in the later part of the 1960s and the 1970s (Cohen 1988b). Counter-cultural tourism was popular among the hippie communities and involved long-term visits to underdeveloped Asian countries for spiritual betterment and experiential authenticity. Many such countries were consequently added to the itineraries of backpackers, for whom travel was more a way of living and a shared value (Schwartz (991) than a brief break from work. It has been argued that backpack travel to Asia and beyond differs from conventional tourism in that its disciples operate outside the structures of organized tourism: even if they have a list of desired destination visits in their diary, they do not follow an organized programme decided in advance (Feifer 1986: 2). More controversially, it has been argued that travellers always express an interest in the values, customs and ideas of the host culture, although they never manage to ‘live like the locals’ (Westerhausen 2002: 6). However, as some viewers observed, the cinematic adaptation of Garland’s novel had a more ambiguous agenda, because it promoted a confusion of backpack travel with tll, implicit conner
This implici global sign ind packaged and travellers. Thes film and the ve Century Fox, a authorities, Fa: did not fit the an area protecte locally, nations viewers. Under plere the produ on a publicity c Both director] published onli:
In this chapt response and di invited film vii the film. Cyber activism ‘on 10 environmental political agend could be said tI in the field of 5 that a change nature of the n websires, rife ~ global, nation stabiliry’ (Ger activists need« claim that the wars. Intormar munities that Subsequently, mirrored in rh culturally ern]: The main bur, campalgnlOg 0 Internet to can and Ward 199~
/esrerners who on and joining Nothing is as of communal .inhabiting an s of the group, he city, fearing ecision affects nt among Its w backpackers, Then they track he community 1 intrusion and isuing tragedy em the scars of
lrn’s impact on b(Phi Phi Leh, .n for Leonardo travellers who ng the island. •in the Phuket :who maintain intended more 99; Gluckman oftourism that :=ohen 1988b). ~ communities 1 countries for such countries .ers, for whom =hwartz 1991) kpack travel to rat its disciples .n if they have not follow an
2). More conress an interest although they ~: 6). However, and’s novel had on of backpack
Pitfalls 0/the ‘tourist gaze’ 29
travel with the pleasures of conventional tourism, uncovering their implicit connections.
This irnplicit cross-reference of travel and tourism was exploited by global sign industries for the establishment ofa tourist site that was also packaged and presented as a destination for prospective alternative travellers. These developments were shadowed by a controversy over the film and the very presence of the Hollywood production company, 20th Century Fox, on the island. After achieving an agreement with the Thai authorities, Fox decided to ‘modify’ the natural backdrops because they did not fit the fantasy of a tropical idyll. These blatant interventions in an area protected by environmental laws generated a great deal ofreaction locally, nationally and globally, and angered environmentally friendly viewers. Under pressure to retain ‘high consumer satisfaction’ and complete the production process that stumbled upon protests, Fox embarked on a publicity campaign to counter accusations of ecological destruction. Both director Danny Boyle and DiCaprio were involved in interviews, published online, in an attempt to turn the tide in their favour.
In this chapter I am going to follow the controversy and Hollywood’s response and discuss the development ofcyberacrivist communities that invited film viewers and other fellow activists to partake in boycotting the film. Cyber-acrivism, I claim, contributed to the organization ofactual activism ‘on location’, because it enabled local and other international environmental pressure groups to identify a cause and present a coherent political agenda that then made its way back to online publications. It could be said that The Beach online wars exemplify recent developments in the field of social movements, but I do not want to support the idea that a change in the medium of communication radically altered the nature of the movements, only that it multiplied their appeal. Activist websites, rife with publicly available material on the episodes, provided global, national and local environmental groups with a ‘marker of stability’ (Germann Moltz 2004: 171), a symbolic home which the activists needed to counterbalance Fox’s publicity campaigns. I will not claim that the Internet ‘materialized’ the activist groups of The Beach wars. Information networks linked up already established activist communities that meet regularly on a geographical basis (Lax 2004: 225). Subsequently, the ‘network’ nature of actual activist communities was mirrored in their use of the Internet, which has ‘technologically and culturally embedded properties of inreractiviry’ (Castells 1996: 358). The main burden of this campaign was shouldered by international campaigning organizations such as Greenpeace that cusrornarily use the Internet to complement their existing organizational structures (Gibson and Ward] 999). Another question that follows from these developments
30 Pitfalls of the ‘tourist gaze’
is how pivotal were external activist initiatives (on and offline) for the local Thai cause. To answer this I will examine the anti-statist nature of Thai environmental movements and the responses of state agents to local reactions. Following Utry (2003) I atgue that The Bead]protests activated a process of ‘glocalization’ (2003: 85) that drew the Phi Phi island communities into global tensions and flows of ideas, sustaining a phenomenal relationship of solidariry and interdependence between foreign and domestic activist cultures (Melucci 1996: 1i3).
Authenticity, c:ommunitas and travel
Tourism activates a spatiotemporal segregation from organized work (Urry 1990: 2-3), because the routines that define our everyday lives grind to a halt and we live in suspended time. Taking time off work’ to travel is, after all, often associated with seeing new, non-ordinary places and cultures (Urry 1992; Chaney 2002). At the same time travel, just like leisure literature, performs a compensatory function, providing the individual with the opportunity to avoid standardized practices and lifestyles It is interesting that in film reviews experiential authenticity was translated into an engagement with yourh culture. ‘The beaches, the bars, the snake blood, the dope, the parties’, a mixture ofRichard’s urban and communal expc ‘Many from New; on “The Great OE true for many Aust youth’ UMDB, 24 Another viewer call 30 September 200( between the Beach in Thailand’ (IMDB film as a documents location (see for exar travel is, of course, people. It marks the and self-sustained entering the realm foteign countries at also Bell 2002 l.
Flgllre 2.1 Richard w Source: 20th Century F
line) for the local .t nature of Thai agents to local rotests activated Phi island com19a phenomenal ~en foreign ancl
organized work r everyday lives :ime off work’ to i-ordinary places e travel, just like , providing the ed practices and )llows this logic, on to escape his .rst experience of es the traveller’s clubbing, traffic onfuse the younb’; This produces a l: 4), equating begins when he :for authenticity. in the one hand the limits of his tall international
partakes in the m-what Wang eing’ (1999: 359,
; the viewer with e viewers’ vocabch received more I construction of
.uthentiri ty was “he beaches, the ~Richard’surban
Pitfalls ofthe ‘tourist gaze’ 31
and communal experiences, belong to the performance ofyouth identity. ‘Many from New Zealand head off in their late teens/early twenties on “The Great OE” (Overseas Experience). The same is undoubtedly true for many Australians and Brits, if not so commonly for American youth’ (lMOB, 24 January 2002), says a viewer from New Zealand. Another viewer calls the film ‘a narcissistic youth fantasy’ (IMOB, USA, 30 September 2000) whereas an American found the ‘sharp contrasts between the Beach and the town … very true about young westerners in Thailand’ (lMOB, 20 December 2001). Young viewers even treated the film as a documentary worth seeing before catching a f1ib’;ht to an exotic location (see for example IMOB, California, 1 February 2004). Backpack travel is, of course, an established ritual in X1estern societies for younb’; people. It marks the passage from adolescence to the world of independent and self-sustained b’;rown ups with professional occupations. Before entering the realm of work youths enjoy prolonged leisure by visiting foreign countries and familiarizing themselves with other cultures (see also Bell 2002).
Figure2.1 Richard wanders in the touristified streets of Bangkok. Source: 20th Century Fox/Phorotesr. ©20th Century Fox Film Corp.
32 Pitfalls of the ‘tourist gaze’
Some reviewers discussed the community of the secret island as a subcultural enclave. Following Garland, a viewer is surprised to find out that ‘the paradise’ is ‘full of hippies’ and wonders whether this is an allusion to the ‘Vietnam era’ (IMDB, US, 5 December 2004). An Australian suggests that the film leaves behind ‘pop culture’ ‘for an alternative culture’ (IMDB, 20 August 20(1), and an American sees in the island community the model for a ‘pacifist, anarchist society’ (IMDB, 8 March 2004; see also San Francisco, California, 10 September 2(02). Travel is thus for viewers a rite ofPmJage (Van Gennep 19(6) that accompanies a process ofspiritual change. Rites of passage used to be performed in preindustrial societies in order to consolidate changing positions (marriage, puberty, change ofpolitical status) in the social order. They involved the ritual separation of the initiate (or the group) from the social, their existence in a stage of ‘in-betweenness’ (what Turner [l969} termed liminality) and finally their reaggregation to the social fabric as carriers of new identities. However, rites of passage also occur in postindustrial societies, especially in subcultural contexts. Their function is to establish boundaries between the inside (who belongs to the group) and the outside, securing the distinctive identity of the group. Victor Turner employed the term liminoid to describe these phenomena, differentiating them from the liminal, as they are ‘not obligatory ritualjs] [but} a playseparated-from-work’ (Turner 1974: 74). The liminoid phase is voluntary, unlike the liminal, which is prescribed from outside, the structural environment. Turner operationalized this concept in his examination of various subcultures, among them the hippies, who construct their own system ofbeliefs in opposition to given norms and values. Despite the fact that their liminoid state of being is not recognized or ‘classified’ by outsiders, such subcultures develop their own patterns of collective self recognition -what he termed COI1l11lUnitm.
These anthropological models can be mobilized in our understanding of reviewer comments. On an individual level, Richard’s journey to Thailand resembles a puberty rite. After his pilgrimage to the beach, he is an adult, alert to the dangers of transgression. At the same time the viewers recognize in the island group to which Richard belongs the antistructural element ofcommunitas that tourists enjoy while traveling. The dramatization of the story on a beach further stresses this: as Shields (1991) hasargued,the beachis the’locusofanassemblage of[…}behaviors and patternsofinteractionoutsidethe norms ofeverydaybehavior'(1991:75). I must stress here that for some viewers the comrnunitas of the island enclave does not belong to travel but to the tourist experience. Holiday time is free from everyday constraints and voluntarily spent in enjoyable ways (Wagner 1977; Jafari 1987). As we will see below, many viewers believe that all the” community (very c cinematic plot. Wl dance in pop rhytlu plantation. Divorcii context enables, in these ‘hippyish’ W. story, the young gn of tourist experienc
The scenes of lei: ceptions of hippy c discourses of the ~ discourse, present tal ism’ (Carrier 19? as the place of diso It forms the voice 1 within the rigid st Thailand exists in brochure, an ernbo the secrets of the ( because of its pron hippy communes experiential touris because it promo and investment. 1 ‘tak[ing} a concent clever images ofrn Los Angeles, 7 Fe
10 October 2001) which film is reac Western desire for pressures of everyd authenticity. So, c through the film, mentation that p12 contrasts between I the beach bears w conformity promo to resist or invert t
The complaints full of’spoiled teen principles’ (IMDB
J as a subd out that n allusion mstralian lrernarive the island ,8 March . Travel is mpames a led in pre’marriage, volved the cial, their 1) termed as carriers industrial ) establish ,) and the :or Turner renriating ut] a playvoluntary, tural enviination of their own ite the fact ssified’ by lective self
ersranding iourney to ~ beach, he e time the ;s the antieling. The .lds(1991) iaviors and 1991: 75). the island
e. Holiday I enjoyable ny viewers
Pit/allJ of the ‘tourist gaze’ 33
believe that all the work-related activities and the division oflabour in the community (very central to Garland’s narrative), are written out of the cinematic plot. What is left is a group of young people on a beach who dance in pop rhythms while smoking marijuana that they stole from the plantation. Divorcing subcultural activities from their historical and social context enables, in Roland Barrhes’ terms (1993), the mythologization of these ‘hippyish’ Westerners, On the second order, mythical level of the story, the young group of the beach embodies the archetypal community of tourist experience.
The scenes of leisure bear a striking resemblance to stereotypical perceptions of hippy culture as decadent and apolitical, popular in foreign discourses of the West as the place of vice and lack of moral order. This discourse, present in some reviews, becomes the backlash of ‘occidenralisrn’ (Carrier 1995), a response to Western denigration of the Orient as the place ofdisorder, lack of civilization and immorality (Said 1978). It forms the voice that attacks tourist orientalizations of countries from within the rigid structures of Western discourse, On a structural level, Thailand exists in Western consumption practices only as a tourist brochure, an embodiment of hedonism and a promise for initiation into the secrets of the Orient. Young Western tourists often visit the place because of its promised sensual qualities; the country has been hosting hippy communes for decades. This transposition of Orientalism into experiential tourism complements its exposed political counterpart, because it promotes discursive fixities through emotional fixation and investment. The comments of viewers who praised the film for ‘takjing] a concentrated look at the misery of urbanity’, and ‘offering up clever images of mechanization, population, and capitalization’ (IMDB, Los Angeles, 7 February 200 I) and ‘antimaterialism’ (IMDB, USA, 10 October 2001) confirm that this project can influence the ways in which film is read. At the same time viewer comments uncover the Western desire for a rediscovery of the self away from the stresses and pressures of everyday life and function as a lamentation for the ‘loss’ of authenticity. So, despite their conformist nature, which is promoted through the film, these comments highlight the alienation and fragmentation that plagues modern societies. Online discussion of cultural contrasts between the urban environment of Bangkok and the serenity of the beach bears witness to a paradox: the very industry that produces conformity promotes the idea of the authentic Self as an ideal ‘that acts to resist or invert the dominant order’ (Wang 2000: 60),
The complaints of some other viewers that the island community is full of’spoiled teenagers’ with no social skills or ‘political convictions and principles’ (IMDB, 23 October 2003) echo these discourses of Western
34 Pitfalls 0/the ‘tourist gaze’
decline from which committed travellers want to escape, Here we move away from the notion of organized, package tourism, favoured by young clubbers, and enter the domain of travel as a form of’pilgrimage’ (Graburn 1977), an individual project of spiritual change that lost its religious connotations with the advent of rationalization (Bell 2002), This invites us to differentiate modern organized tourism from travel, an earlier form ofacculturation that found its expression in the grand tour (Urry 1990), Travel experience is transgressive and destabilizing, unlike organized tourism that operates as ‘a system for managing pleasure and keeping danger and destabilization at bay’ (Chard 1999: 208), Travel of course provided the economic and ideological framework for the development of tourism as an escape to peripheral and exotic countries (Brodsky-Porges 1981 ),
A brief history of travel and tourism in Asia supports the analytical distinction between them: in the late 1960s many young Westerners followed the ‘Hippie Trail’ to Asian countries in search of a different lifestyle. By the early 1970s this type of travel had acquired the character ofa youth culture, replacing the hippy endeavours of the previous decade. The new travellers would use means of transport that were safer than those of the previous generation, resembling in their exploits and travel styles the wealthy youths of the grand tour (Westerhausen 2002: 25): organized enough to avoid unpleasant surprises along the way, yet free from parental constraints and able to enjoy the ‘unknown’ (often with parental financial contribution). More importantly, the popularization of travel Bights during this decade consolidated the institution of a structured tourist system that by the 1980s had overtaken youth, drifter-style, travel. Although backpack travel survived these Western socioeconomic changes, conventional tourist visits to places like Thailand are the rule today. Historical changes in travel and tourism in Asia were registered in the film by viewers, because backpack travel and tourism still coexist in Western societies. Preferences to either vary: for some viewers travel is regarded as a rite that must be performed properly, without deviating from the protocol. For example, a viewer disliked the uncivilized attitude of the island group, exclaiming that ‘if this is what would happen in a paradise setting with so-called “civilized” people, I’ll take savage headhunting tribes any day’ (IMDB, USA, 25 July 20(0). Another explained triumphantly that ‘the best part of the film is the ending when all these pathetic, craven softies from civilization, who fancy themselves rugged individualists, get their final comeuppance’ (IMDB, USA, 30 September 2000). Conclusively, the absence of the trials and tribulations oftravel from the cinematic story was unacceptable for some viewers -mostly Americans. According to them, not unlike Adler’s ‘anchorite pilgri wilderness, Rich, debased socializai
This categories the constraints of because it compri travel. The film It as the island corm failure acquires tv commumty to m. involves the grip 1 leaders decide tha name of humariit of the communit that despite pron compared the sto tat ion of a novel group of youngstl savagery -a classi social solidarity cc that both films, state of nature (i.1 that accompany collective psyche’ moral message e disappearance of r situations’ (lMDE 18 February 200; Canada, 12 Febru
We could clair anomaly of the i addiction and the to the comments: ceases to be the UI not escape arrent] of the island begi of todays [Jie} so than a carefree rc argued,
Having gone You go ttavel
ere we move ed by young ge’ (Graburn its religious This invites l earlier form
(Urry 1990),
ce organized and keeping vel of course development odsky-Porges
.nalyticai dis Westerners of a different the character .viousdecade. ere safer than iirs and travel en 2002: 25): , way, yet free .i’ (often with mlarization of ion of a struc.drifter-style, .ocioeconomic .iland are the
in Asia were ·1 and tourism rary: for some med properly, er disliked the ‘if this is what ~d” people, I’ll ~5 July 2000). :he film is the ion, who fancy oance’ (IMDB, . the trials and xable for some unlike Adler’s
Pit/;I!IJ of the ‘tollrist gaze’ 35
‘anchorite pilgrim’ (1992), who looks for spirirual growth in the wilderness, Richard should have been educated through hardship, not debased socialization.
This categorical dislike for Richard’s and his friends’ liberation from the constraints of organized time and work deserves closer examination, because it comprises an extension of the debate on the liminoid phase of travel. The film left many viewers with a bitter taste ofdisappointment, as the island community fails to realize their desire for authenticity. The failure acquires rwo dimensions: the first one involves the inability ofthe community to master nature, as sharks devour its members. The second involves the grip that dissonance and hatred take on the group when their leaders decide that they cannot sacrifice the secret oftheir paradise in the name of humanitarian purposes (e.g. to save the shark-bitten members of the community by providing proper medical help). It is interesting that despite protestations from the makers of The Beach, many viewers compared the story with The Lord of the Flies (1990), a cinematic adaptation of a novel by William Golding. The Lord of tbe Flies follows a group of youngsters who, trapped on an island, begin ro degenerate into savagery -a classical exponent of the Hobbesian state of nature in which social solidarity collapses, A viewer confirmed the comparison, explaining that both films are stories about the way ‘people would behave in a state of nature (i.e. away from civilization and the political institutions that accompany it), and as such [they} reveal a great deal about our collective psyche’ (IMDB, UK, 9 August 2(03). For others, the movie’s moral message exposes ‘the dangers of separated communities, the disappearance of rules, regrets, the Iittle value human life has in extreme situations’ (IMDB, Oxford, UK, 14 April 2002; IMDB, Dublin, Ireland, 18 February 2002; IMDB, Anonymous, 18 May 2000; IMDB, Calgary, Canada, 12 February 2000; Amazon, Oxford, 28 November 2000).
We could claim that what disturbs these viewers is the liminoid anomaly of the island community: their lax mannerisms, their pot addiction and their disagreements. There is, however, another subtext to the comments: once they are settled in the island, the utopian beach ceases to be the unattainable and becomes more like home. This paradox did not escape attention and was recorded in some reviews, The community of the island begins to resemble more what a viewer calls ‘a microcosm of todays [.ric} society’ (IMDB, California, 12 February 2000) rather than a carefree touring of different places. As another viewer wittily argued,
Having gone travelling from my point ofview this film is utter drek. You go travelling for two reasons: 1) to go and see and do different
36 Pit/a/lf 0/ the ‘tourist gaze’
things 2) to go home again, Cos {Jic] you see, if you don’t go home then in fact you are NOT a traveller, You have stopped travelling. (IMDB, Cardiff, UK, 29 May 2001).
The viewer recognizes that travel involves change, and is incompatible with the stability that the protagonists of the film aspire to establish (Amazon, Berlin, 14 August 2005) -a complaint that travellers constantly voice against tourists (Westerhausen 2002: 57). Consequently, the antistructural element of Richard’s journey is quietly replaced by mere conventionality. The viewer implies that the film reproduces conventionality: the conformism of following orders by a more ‘experienced’ group leader is complemented by regular trips to the civilized world of holiday resorts to stock up on all the goods that cannot be provided by nature. The food is nicely cooked, yet nobody appears to do any cooking -a miracle that can only take place in the back regions of a regular restaurant (Coffman 1987). Last, but not least, the young community members seem to enjoy their time playing soccer, as if they had stepped our of their hotel in a tourist resort. As a viewer pointed our, the film
FiWm 2.] A relaxing break in Thailand: the island commune enjoys the crystalclear waters of ‘the heach’ while the food cooks itself.
Source’ 20th Century Fox/Photofest. ©20th Century Fox Film Corp.
‘failed to show iso beach resort’ (Am;
Isolated, these ( one point: the eXI an artificial [lavo cinematic interpre as a personal rransi standardized toun that ‘those of us wi assorted modern ar 2000). Another re its heroes are ‘un: (IMDB, Cobham, even more critical corners to escape I run away from [th 13 April 2000). ‘A and play in equal I to become a borin argued a sophistica critique comes froi average American Richard’s travel 01
standardized touri:
I guess if you how idyllic it responsibilitie most of us wo Most of us wo latest amenity
This viewer welcor involve fakery and
This could be n Adorno and Horkl only do modern cc dardized products ~ claim would not ( dardization. There background (the is]
m’t go home
I May 2001).
. to establish
itly, the anticed
by mere
uces conven’
ized world of
~ provided by
) any cooking
; of a regular
Vhad stepped
out, the film
ijoysthe crystalf.
Pitfalls of the ‘tourist gaze’ 37
‘failed to show isolation’ at all because it looked ‘just like a normal tacky beach resort’ (Amazon, UK, 28 February 2001).
Isolated, these details are not so striking, yet they do converge upon one point: the experiential authenticity that the film itself markets has an artificial flavour. Another group of reviewers are so upset by the cinematic interpretation of the novel that they renounce the idea oftravel as a personal transition to a more authentic state ofexistence and welcome standardized tourist offers by commercial providers. A viewer explained tha

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