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Current issues in tourism: Thailand and beyond. Introduction to Special Issue

Vol. 11, Supp. 1 (2015), 1–13


Tourism studies as a definable field of study is now experiencing something of an impasse. There have been recent attempts to rejuvenate and redefine it, and to rescue it from the dominance of Euro-American perspectives in the analysis of the tourist experience and of cultural encounters generated by and derived from Western travellers on holiday and at play in countries other than their own. In this regard, tourism has been seen increasingly in the context of what has been referred to as the “mobilities” paradigm, particularly in sociological approaches. In other words, tourism as a discretionary form of travel to seek relaxation, pleasure, leisure and new experiences is now seen as one kind of mobility among other kinds of movement from one place to another (Urry 2000, 2007). It is also argued that this approach helps remove tourism studies from Eurocentric perspectives and it enables tourism studies to widen its range and to address new and emerging tourisms including long-stay, retirement, visiting friends and family, business and conventions, and volunteering, among others (Cohen and Cohen 2012, 2014; King and Porananond 2014: 1–21).

Author’s bio

Victor T. King is currently Adjunct Professor at the Center for Ethnic Studies and Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Thailand. He is also Emeritus Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at Leeds University, a Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Until July 2012 he served for six years as Executive Director of the White Rose East Asia Centre, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield. He has a wide range of research interests in the sociology and anthropology of Southeast Asia. His recent books include The Sociology of Southeast Asia: Transformation in a Developing Region (Copenhagen: NIAS Press and Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press [2008]; ebook [2011]); with William Wilder The Modern Anthropology of South-East Asia: An Introduction (London: Routledge [2003]; reprinted 2006), and translated into Indonesian as Antropologi Modern Asia Tenggara: Sebuah Pengantar (Yogyakarta: Kreasi Wacana [2012]); and co-edited volumes with Michael Hitchcock and Michael Parnwell, Tourism in Southeast Asia: Challenges and New Directions (Copenhagen: NIAS Press and Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press [2009]; and Heritage Tourism in Southeast Asia (Copenhagen: NIAS Press and Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press [2010]); with Park Seung Woo The Historical Construction of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore: ISEAS Press [2013]); with Ploysri Porananond, Rethinking Asian Tourism: Culture, Encounters and Local Response (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing [2014]); and a sole-edited volume UNESCO in Southeast Asia: World Heritage Sites in Comparative Perspective (Copenhagen: NIAS Press [2015]).


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