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Ways of Seeing, Ways of Being

Representing the Voices of Tourism

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Edited By Maurizio Gotti, Stefania Maci and Michele Sala

The aim of this volume is to give voice to the various and different perspectives in the investigation of tourism discourse in its written, spoken, and visual aspects. The chapters particularly focus on the interaction between the participants involved in the tourism practices, that is the promoters of tourist destinations, on the one hand, and tourists or prospective tourists on the other. In this dialogic interaction, tourism discourse, while representing and producing tourism as a global cultural industry, shows it to be on the move. Language movement in the tourism experience is here highlighted in the various methodological approaches and viewpoints offered by the investigations gathered in this volume.

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Introduction (Stefania M. Maci / Michele Sala)

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STEFANIA M. MACI / MICHELE SALA

Introduction

1.   Representing the voices of tourism

The United Nation Tourism World Organization (UNTWO) defines tourism as a “socio-economic phenomenon whose expansion and profound diversification have contributed towards developing it into one of the fastest increasing economic sectors in the world”.1 Similarly, the document issued by the European Commission A renewed EU Tourism Policy: Towards a stronger partnership for European Tourism denotes Tourism “as a cross-cutting sector, involving a big diversity of services and professions, linked to many other economic activities and policy areas.”2 Tourism is, therefore, a well-established social practice involving various economic fields, whose products (the holiday packages) are the only items in the world sold to a public that cannot try them before buying them. Consumers can only gain pre-purchase knowledge of the product through language. In other words, the gap existing between the expectations the buyers have of the holiday and the reality (the destination) is filled by language (Maci 2013). Indeed, the tourist industry bases its marketing process on stereotypical structures which, through language, are rendered into ideas, values, as well as symbols, and whose purposes are to enchant, attract, and shape imagination, interpretations, and memories by means of cognitive and emotional processes expressed through discourses. In this process, language transforms tourism products and presents them as genres, ranging from the most traditional ones, such as brochures and guide-books, to the ← 9 | 10 → most innovative ones, such...

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