Edited Volume

Tourism and the Power of Otherness:
Seductions of Difference

Edited by David Picard and Michael A. Di Giovine


This book explores the paradoxes of Self–Other relations in the field of tourism. It particularly focuses on the 'power' of different forms of 'Otherness' to seduce and to disrupt, and, eventually, also to renew the social and cosmological orders of 'modern' culture and everyday life. Drawing on a series of ethnographic case studies, the contributors investigate the production, socialization and symbolic encompassment of different 'Others' as a political and also an economic resource to govern social life in the present. The volume provides a comparative inductive study on the modernist philosophical concepts of time, 'Otherness', and the self in practice, and relates it to contemporary tourism and mobility.


"Tourism and the Power of Otherness" is an intriguing collection, strong in terms of both theory and ethnography, and quite enjoyable to read. Picard and Di Giovine have brought together a diverse array of European scholars who provide fresh insight into a question of enduring importance: how tourism stages the encounter between the familiar and the strange.
Sally Ann Ness, University of California, Riverside, USA

The experience of the tourist is frequently evoked, yet it remains conceptually elusive. This volume approaches the subject with a masterful perusal of the philosophical and anthropological underpinnings, exploring the crucial relationship between Otherness and Self. The reader is led to consider how this relationship underlies every successful tourist enterprise.
Elvi Whittaker, University of British Columbia, Canada


Anatolia, An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research

Alan Clarke, University of Pannonia, Hungary

This is a remarkable book. On first appearance, it appears to be a thin and light tome, but as you read into the chapters you come to realize that the depth and the complexity goes much further than you would have at first imagined. The concerns which are raised here are about the really important issues which should inform a deeper understanding of the touristic experiences.


Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change

Tomas Regi, Keimyung University, South Korea

In the past couple of years, an exciting, stimulating and fresh new field has emerged in tourism studies, mostly in tourism anthropology, about the role of emotions, everyday existence and experience in tourism. David Picard and Michael di Giovine’s edited book is, without doubt, an important contribution to this trend. In order to achieve this type of scholarship, the editors, especially in their introductory essay, had to leave the stable and safe circles of academic argumentation and explore new, risky and unstable intersecting fields of anthropology, philosophy, history and, of course, tourism studies. They discuss mainly the strong relationship and interconnectedness between selfhood and otherness…. Reading the book Tourism and the Power of Otherness: Seductions of Difference, it seems that the phenomenon of tourism can still help us to learn new things about the meaning of Otherness. Throughout its 10 chapters … the authors bring a fresh approach to this traditional topic, use a unique angle, summarize it clearly and point future researchers in new directions.


International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC) newsletter

Melinda Dooly

The volume provides a comparative inductive study on the modernist philosophical concepts of time, 'Otherness', and the self in practice, and relates it to contemporary tourism and mobility.


 Annals of Tourism Research

Milorad Lj Todorovic, University of Novi Sad, Serbia

This book represents an interesting insight into ‘‘Self-Other’’ relations in the social field of tourism. … Overall, the book captures the attention of the reader and should be welcomed primarily in academia circles, but also in the tourism sector.


International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage

Deana Weibel, Grand Valley State University

This is a fascinating volume, one that succeeds in showing that although pilgrimage and tourism may seem quite different, similar forces are at work in both.


Magdalena Banaszkiewicz, Jagiellonian University, Poland

These ethnographic case studies demonstrate that Otherness may take different faces. No matter who you are (the host, the guest or the representative of the tourism industry) and where you are (in Europe, in Africa or anywhere else) all of us dance the tricky dance of seduction. ... The quality of presented articles varies, some of them are more general, some of them are more equipped with the theoretical back-up, others concentrate more on the autobiographic reflections. This diversity constitutes the strength of the volume. All of the papers, thanks to the accessible language and the vividness of examples, offer a pleasurable reading, which provokes a fresh view into old questions.

Tourist Studies

Michael O'Regan, Institute for Tourism Studies, China

I heartily recommend the book to senior undergraduates and graduate students who study anthropology of Tourism. I believe that the book allows readers to share a sense of the power of Otherness that extends beyond the realms of prevailing language in many tourism textbooks, which often merely validates the tourist-host encounters. By drawing on the language and theories of anthropology, it encourages all of us to attend to and work through difference, so as to make a difference.

Hospitality and Society

Maarja Kaaristo, Manchester Metropolitan University

Tourism and the Power of Otherness is an insightful book, comprising a range of chapters that offer a very welcome variety both geographically and historically. The book effectively seduces, educates and seducates us into identifying and conceptualizing the various imaginaries and ideas of Otherness related to the fields of tourism, hospitality and mobilities.

Tourism: An International, Interdisciplinary Journal

Christine Vassallo-Oby, SUNY-Albany

Tourism and the Power of Otherness: Seductions of Difference is an excellent source for scholars new to the "otherness" debate as its structure is easily accessible with clear linkages between theory, praxis, and well-researched ethnographic evidence. This text is also a great resource for those wanting empirical ethnographic evidence, albeit mainly in the European context, which helps to untangle the complex relationship between host and guest in their eternal quest for a realized Eden as a tourism destination. ... The edited volume provides the reader powerful examples of how "othering" takes shape in different regional and ethnographic contexts as well as in tourism's front and back stages of cultural identity production.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Through Other Worlds            
David Picard and Michael A. Di Giovine

Part 1: Travels into a Past Golden Age

2 Through Other Times: The Politics of Heritage and the Past in the Catalan Pyrenees                                
Camila del Mármol

3 Calling Upon the Lost Empire: The Evocative Power of Miniatures in a Portuguese Nationalist Theme Park     
Paula Mota Santos

4 Tourism and Post-socialist Heterotopias: Eastern Europe as an Imagined Rural Past                                     
Mathilde Verschaeve and Hannah C. Wadle

Part 2: Tourism and Others in Dialogue

5 Frozen Vodka and White Skin in Tourist Goa
Pamila Gupta

6 Seducation: Learning the Trade of Tourist Enticement
Noel B. Salazar

7 Bargaining Under Thatch Roofs: Tourism and the Allure of Poverty in Highland Bolivia
Clare A. Sammells

Part 3: Travel, Other and Self-Revelation

8 Mediterranean Fields of Love: Embodied Encounters Between Male Tourism Workers and Female Tourists in a Coastal Town in Turkey
Sanne Scheltena

9 Wild Inside: Uncanny Encounters in European Traveller Fantasies of Africa
Marcela Knapp and Frauke Wiegand

10 Journeys to the Inner Self: Neo-Shamanism and the Search for Authenticity in Contemporary New Age Travel Practice
Christian Ghasarian