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The Asian wave and critical tourism scholarship

Vol. 11, Supp. 1 (2015), 83–101


With more people visiting Asia and more Asians travelling around the world, the implications for new tourism research are increasingly acknowledged. Nuanced understanding on Asia and Asian tourism is necessary if we are to have an accurate assessment of contemporary tourism trends taking place in this part of the world and also beyond. Towards this end, Western conceptualisations of tourism and claims of universality are being challenged by alternative indigenous insights. This paper considers two approaches through which these anti-orthodox perspectives have been framed: (a) the post-colonial approach that re-configures traditional western templates for Asian tourism; and (b) the geography-matters perspective that emphasises the importance of locality in mediating allegedly global forms of development. Key literature is reviewed and distinct contributions are highlighted as part of an agenda to articulate a critical scholarship on Southeast Asian tourism.

Author’s bio

T. C. Chang is an Associate Professor at the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore. His research focuses on Asian tourism, urban development, and the role of arts, culture and heritage in cities. He is the co-editor of Asia on Tour. Exploring the Rise of Asian Tourism (Routledge, 2009) and Interconnected Worlds: Tourism in Southeast Asia (Elsevier Science, 2001).


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