“Wow that’s so postcard!”

Defining visual consumption (how is it that visitors and local people experience a place):

The difference between land and landscape:

First, there is land, which represents the land as a physical and tangible resource.Then there is the notion of landscape, which is defined by leisure and visual compunction by visitors.

Photography was the central point to the shift from land to landscape. Beginning with the 18th century a specialized visual sense started to develop. This meant; the use of guidebooks, photography, the balcony, and the widespread knowledge of routes, etc. Slowly, places of land became places of visual desire (e.g. the Alps, Caraibes), the inhospitable was turned into landscape, most of the visitors being rich(male) European people.

Tourist gaze

In 1840 the “tourist gaze” notion emerged, the term defines as the combination between collective travel, desire to travel, photographic reproductions and the notion of landscape.

Though the year 1840 marks the beginning of modern era in terms of landscape and tourist gaze, there are some variations in the way people consume a place.

Romantic gaze: emphasize is on privacy and personal relationship with object of the gaze. Visitors usually look at objects alone or with important people from their life.

Collective tourist gaze: large numbers of people are present which indicates that that is the place to be. The people have to give a sense of movement and liveliness.

Spectatorial gaze: it represents the collective glancing and collecting very briefly in passing, one good example being the tourist bus experience.

Reverential gaze: spiritually consuming a sacred place (e.g. Muslims at the Taj Mahal)

Anthropological gaze: visitors that scan a variety of sights and that are able to locate them within a historical logic depending on meaning and symbols.

Environmental gaze: this usually involves a NGO-authorized discourse of scanning different touristic practices for their impact upon the environment.

Mediatised gaze: a collective gaze where particular famous places are viewed for their ‘mediated’ nature (e.g. places where Hollywood movies are set).

 

Bibliography:

Jaworski, Adam. Discourse, communication, and tourism. Clevedon [England: Channel View Publications, 2005. Print.

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