The Tourist Gaze Review.=

1762 WordsOct 30, 20128 Pages
604 PUBLICATIONS IN REVIEW The Tourist Gaze By John Urry. Sage Publications (28 Banner ISBN o-8039-8182-1, 1990, 176 pp. (photos, (cloth). Massey Street, London EClY 8QE) bibliography, index) $45.00 University, Neil Leiper New Zealand Readers might infer a double meaning from this book’s title. It could refer to the gaze of tourists and also to the tourist, Gaze. This would be Henry Gaze, a tourist who went into business and helped pioneer the modern form of tour operations, like his contemporary, Thomas Cook (two names symbolizing features of the tourism industry: sightseeing and food?). Unlike Cook, Gaze has been relatively neglected in the literature, although coordinated advertising by the two…show more content…
The concept of the tourist gaze attempts to do this . . . [by] categorising objects of the gaze in terms of romantic/collective, historical/modern, authentic/inauthentic” (p. 135). This chapter has a detailed treatment of visual images in modern cites, mainly Paris. The discussion might have been improved if it had used Schivelbusch’s (1980) material on 19th-century Paris and the links between travel, technology, and urban imagery. The Tourist Gaze provides a number of interesting perspectives that amount to more than an introduction to the sociology of tourism. It covers many topics and examples in its 176 pages, which means most get only superficial treatment. The limited depth also means that certain points are potentially misleading. Moreover, the book sometimes gives the impression of flitting from source to source and from field to field, missing points that deeper and longer research may have revealed. Certain points about New Zealand, for instance, indicate superficial knowledge, to the detriment of the arguments. Discussing facilities for accommodation, meals, drink, and entertainment, the book notes that “outside the four major cites [of New Zealand] there are almost no such facilities” (p. 46). In fact, according to official surveys conducted by A. G. B. Research, more than 70% of total tourist nights in New Zealand in the 1980s (60 million
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