Nature and the Environment as Trans-Boundary Business Strategies
C. Michael Hall
Summary, in English
From a paradigmatic understanding of tourism, the thing about tourism experiences is that they differ from everyday life. You experience different places, see different people, get to know different ways of doing things, and so on. To do tourism, then, is to experience a series of changes from the ordinary. Several things change in the course of the making and consumption of a tourism product. For instance, everyday structures such as strict school- and work place time regimes or commuter time-tables might be exchanged for structures and orderings that are potentially experienced as liberating and empowering, including journeys, tours and events. During such journeys, tours and events, everyday structures might temporarily be transformed into narratives where myth, history and the future are seductively conflated. Theme parks, for example, transcend borders between reality and fiction, with the result that the distant is conjured right in front of you, while the local becomes an exotic experience. In this way, tourism studies offer the possibility to reflect over the ontological status of categories and concepts whose meaning we often take for granted. What is e.g. ‘nature’, ‘environment’, ‘local’ or ‘global’? How do these concepts relate to each other, to everyday life, to the economy or to the ways in which we understand ourselves in the world? This chapter will highlight and examine such an instance of ontological ambiguity, namely how nature and the environment become disembedded from place-bound contexts and what consequences this might have.