Just Google It: Discursive Construction and Material Impacts of South African Cities through Tourism Websites

South Africa has been a country that has captured the attention of the world for decades. It is a country that has undergone tremendous violence and upheaval during the apartheid years, transformed itself into a functioning democracy, and has become a welcome member of the global community. However, as South Africa settles into a post-apartheid democracy, there are growing reports of rising crime, violence, and persistent poverty. It is vital then that South Africa find a way to reframe the narratives surrounding the major cities in South Africa if the country wants to continue to grow their tourism sector, a sector that has become an important part of the local economy. This article focuses on the ways in which digital tourism literature is an important point of entry for international tourists that work to “sell the city.” To illuminate the ways in which these websites are attempting to mobilize political, cultural, and historical resources to build an overarching identity for the nation to sell to tourists, I examine three prominent tourist websites run by the South African government to unearth implicit ideological narratives of the country. I conclude that these narratives work as discursive frameworks that serve two functions. One, they select, deflect, and reflect a “reality” of a post-apartheid South Africa that seems most likely to attract tourists—a nation that is safe, modern, unique, and (above all) consumable. Second, these narratives have real physical impact on a city. When tourist information frames cities, or parts of the city, as something distinct and thus worth visiting, I argue the city must shift to accommodate those expectations.

Impacts of Participation in Socially Responsible Tourism on Tourist’s Attitudes and Future Behavior: Amazon Watch Journey to Ecuador

Socially responsible tourism (SRT), a viable alternative to mass tourism, promotes local communities. SRT evolved from sustainable tourism and ecotourism when the original focus on the environment expanded to include a concern for the well-being of local communities. Past studies have shown that ecotourism has the ability to change tourists’ behavior and attitudes, ultimately benefiting endangered ecosystems. Further research has investigated socioeconomic benefits that result from SRT for local communities visited. However, research has yet to examine if SRT has the ability to change tourists’ attitudes and behavior regarding communities they visit. The present case study applies Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to examine change in tourist attitudes and behavior as a result of participating in a socially responsible tour to the Ecuadorian Amazon with Amazon Watch. Social responsibility was implemented into the tour with the intention to create attitudes and behavior in tour participants that would result in advocacy for local communities visited. The study revealed that participation in the socially responsible tour resulted in participants advocating for the communities they visited while on the tour by integrating their insights from the tour into their professional endeavors.

Bangsaen Coastal Tourism and Management: A Field Study of Beach Activities and Their Influences

Bangsaen Beach is a popular destination for domestic excursionists from Thailand and visitors from around the world. The world population is progressively congregating along the coasts, and the impact of the activities of these visitors are obvious. Tourists at Bangsaen Beach are faced with abundant debris of plastic waste at low tide, traffic congestion during the peak season, and competitive vending businesses in an overcrowded atmosphere. The authors conducted a field study at the beach of Bangsaen, Thailand, to investigate the current beach activities, the attractions, the problems, and the environmental impacts to this coastal destination. As the coastal area is the intermediate zone between the land and sea, its ecosystems and beach attractions are dependent on each other. The presence of peak pressure from tourists and the activities associated with them demand a thorough understanding of the impacts and consequences. The traditional Thai-style vending stalls, sunbeds, and vendors’ competitive business operations create a colorful but crowding phenomena. This paper collected field data, analyzed the problems, and drew findings to propose strategies for the integration of sustainable coastal tourism management at this location. It recommends that a monotonous tourist destination needs to have recreational varieties; traffic congestion needs to have tourist displacement attractions; a degraded beach atmosphere needs to have quality sunbeds and relaxed environment; an informal sector with low-income needs to diversify economic opportunities; and a successful tourism management is based on sound tourism planning and development. Coastal tourism touches upon the local people’s daily lives, economic outcomes, and environmental impacts, which require a suitable strategic management plan.