Tourism Incognita: On the Edge of Destination Places by alew


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									                             Prof. Alan A. Lew
                       Dept. of Geography, Planning
                               & Recreation
                       Northern Arizona University

Tourism Incognita: On the Edge
     of Destination Places
     Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
            12 November 2012
  Objects we ardently pursue bring little
   happiness when gained; most of our
pleasures come from unexpected sources.
    Herbert Spencer, 19th c. British philosopher
Dubai, U.A.E. & The Musandam, Oman
               Palm Islands
Burj Khalifa   & The World

               Burj Al Arab &
               Jumera Beach
Shopping in
Musandam Peninsula, Oman
Bukha Castle in Bukha, Oman
“dhow” – fishing boat in Khasab, Oman
I'm looking for the unexpected.
I'm looking for things I've never
          seen before.
    Robert Mapplethorpe, Photographer
Terra Incognita                                   North America - 1566
• Latin “Land Unknown”
• Cartography: Regions not yet mapped or documented
   – 16th – 19th centuries – European Age of Exploration
   – Earlier cartographers used “HIC SVNT LEONES” (Here Be Lions)
Terra Incognita as Geographic
      The Tourist’s Terra Incognita
• Terra Cognita: place and spaces that are known to
  tourists, or at least to the mass tourism industry
   – most often listed in tourist guide books

• Terra Intimidus: known places that are avoided by
  most tourists
   – reputation for danger, risk, or discomfort - intimidating

• Terra Incognita: unknown to tourists
   – “inept sites” = unknown places that have tourism potential
   – “inert sites” = tourists have no special need to know about
   – = most of the world
                                      Lew & McKercher (2006)
                 Safety and Risk
• The Unknown = Lack of Certainty = Fear
   – Uncertainty = lack of / imperfect place knowledge
   – Reasons for tourist “guides”

• Cultural Theory of Risk (Douglas 1992)
   – Perceptions of Danger & Reduction of Risk = Basis of Culture
      • Social norms prevent social and natural disruptions
      • Some cultures & people more risk averse than others

• Tourism Environments
   – Almost Always Structured for Safety
   – Creating models of Efficiency, Predictability & Control
      • Theme parks, cruise ships, hotels; shopping malls
               Tourist Motivation
• Are Efficiency, Predictability & Control the primary
  experiential goals of leisure time?
   – If yes, then just stay home and watching television

• Variations in Risk Tolerance among tourists
   – Safe, Familiar & Guided v. Risk, Novelty & Exploration
   – Plog’s (1974) Psychocentric - Allocentric Model
A Tourism Incognita Framework
   Tourism Cognita          Tourism Incognita
    Home & Destination          Periphery & Beyond
      Known / Safe                Unknown / Risk

   Home           Destination          Periphery
Cognitive Experiences in Tourism
• Iconic / Mass Tourism    • Individual / Unique
• Planned / Predictable    • Unplanned / Serendipity
• Safe / Familiar / Easy   • Risk / Exotic / Challenge
• Passive / Educational    • Adventure / Exciting
• Staged / Contrived       • Authentic
• Front Region             • Back Region
• Role Conformity          • Role Transformation
• “Psychocentric”          • “Allocentric”
• “Evoked” Sites           • “Inert & Inept“ Sites
 I thought that
 one thing was
     going to
   happen, but
something else

Kathryn Shulz, Journalist
      and Author
Angkor Wat & The Tonle Sap,
Angkor Wat
Ta Prom & Pre Rup
Nearly all the best things that came
to me in life have been unexpected,
unplanned by me. Carl Sandburg, 20th c.
        American author and poet
      Marketing Tourism Incognita
• What would the marketing of tourism incognita look like?
• How can tourists be encouraged to explore terra intimidus and
  terra incognita?
• How does tourism incognita exist in our contemporary tourism

• Finding Tourism Incognita
   – Known, Unknown & Avoided Geographic Places
      • Easy to identify and map
   – “Alternative Tourisms”
      • Most likely to playing in tourism incognita
          Playing with Tourism Incognita
• 1 - Adventure Tourism
   – Outdoor environments, physical challenges
   – Thrill experiences: White water rafting, Scuba diving, Trekking
   – Active tourism (sport activity) & Extreme tourism (very high risk)

• 2 - Volunteer Tourism
   – NGO/non-profits: Faith-based groups, Environmental advocates,
     Scientific and museum societies
   – Possibly alleviates the guilt of mass tourism
   – Serious Tourism - Most tourists are not interested

• Both:
   – Immersive Experiences
   – Promise of Entering Back / Hidden Regions
   – Highly Structured Experiences
       Other Alternative to Mass Tourism
•   Slum Tourism                      •   Industrial Tourism
•   Ecotourism                        •   Village Homestays
•   Disaster Tourism                  •   Working Farm or Ranch Stays
•   Religious Tourism & Pilgrimages   •   Working Mine Tours
•   Aboriginal and other Ethnic       •   Extreme Tourism

    • Mostly Benign Regions of Tourism Incognita
    • Transcending the Superficial and Commercial
       • Authentic, meaningful & back region experiences
    • Reality Spaces & Serious Tourism
       • Ethical Issues: Wealth, Power, Class relationships
      Unplanned & Unguided Tourism
• Unguided Tourism
  – “wanderlust” - “drifter” – “Traveler”
  – "A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on
    arriving" - Lao-Tzu

• Degrees of Unguiding
  – Tourists slip in and out of guided & unguided states

• Unguided Travel Games / Untours
  – Simultaneously structured & open, guided & random
  – To transcend the structure
     • Mission:Explore website - “to experience the world in
       new ways by doing vitally important random and
       warped challenges”.
            Self-Guided Tourisms
• Free and Easy Tour Packages
   – Transportation & Accommodations
   – Tourist fills in other activities

• Self-Guided Travel
   – By-pass Travel Agents
   – Self-guided Walking and Driving Tours

• Greater risk and responsibility for outcomes
   – if it is exceptionally good, then it could be an
     experience of a lifetime.
     Structure or Agency or Both?
• All Examples Above
   – Structured in the tourism economy
   – Extending tourism economy into tourism incognita
   – Guided in some way (person or paper)
   – Mostly insured against harm to tourists = safety

• But also:
   – Self-reflective - Seeking Opportunities for authentic
     encounters with terra intimidus and terra incognita
   – Aware of becoming too commercialized and mass
     tourism oriented
If you do not expect the unexpected you will not
  find it, for it is not to be reached by search or
      trail. Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, 500 BCE
Manado & The Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
Crested Black


The Lembeh Strait

in the
 Small is

       (or Hairy)
Nudibranch   “Sea Slugs”
Pygmy Seahorse
Pregnant   ~ 1 to 2 cm tall
    Creativity comes from looking for the
  unexpected and stepping outside your own
experience. Masaru Ibuka, co-founder, Sony Corporation
1. Curiosity / Novelty Seeking
   – Drives Learning, Innovation & Creativity
      • Emotional Extremes
          – Risk of Disappointment - Opportunity for Euphoria
   – Tourism would not exist if people were not curious about
     other places
      • Potential for euphoria, insights or discoveries

2. Serendipity
   – Unplanned Opportunities – job, career, friendship, & more…

Tourism Incognita
   – Holds the greatest curiosity for the tourist
   – Drive for discovery shared by explorers, travelers & tourists
A Tourism Incognita Model
                  TOURISM COGNITA
                  - Terra Domus (house)
                  - Terra Viator (traveler)

                  TOURISM INCOGNITA
                  - Terra Intimidus
                  - Terra Incognita
          Balancing Safety & Risk
• Tourists & Destinations are Complex
   – Knowns & Unknowns, Safety & Risk, Desires/Attraction &

• Safety is Absolute in Tourism Marketing
   – Safety builds trust needed to for tourists to spend money
      • Few market Unknowns, Uncertainties & Risks
      • Most prefer sure things with lower rewards over risk

• But … Risk is Essential in Marketing Imagination
      • Beyond the day-to-day routine
   – Adventure tourism & Amusement rides = Safe Thrills
   – “Exotic” Destinations = Insights into “Tourism Incognita”
You have to take risks. We will only understand
  the miracle of life fully when we allow the
            unexpected to happen.
     Paulo Coelho, Brazilian author and music lyricist
The earth is big
enough, people are
small enough, and
life is unpredictable
enough that there
will always be new
realms of tourism
incognita to lure us
out of terra domus
and beyond terra
viator in search of
insight, discovery and

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