Modul University

Tourism experience

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Hi, my name is Jahangir and I am a second year student at the Modul University in Vienna. This is my first entry and I am very sorry if I missed any deadlines.

First I would like to mention the fact that I am half Austrian and half  Azeri, so every summer I travel back to Azerbaijan because most of the year I am in Austria. The experiences I had travelling there would not fit into this one entry but every summer me and some friends “escape” from the terrible (45+C-48C humid) heat into the cold mountains of the Caucasus. Unfortunatly just like in many developing countries, the air in the big cities just brings health issues.

Last summer I went there again and must note that one feels definatly much better after. Parts of the Caucasus are still war-torn, but more and more tourists start coming there. What I like especially like about the area where I stay is the fact that they offer local products unlike the city where most of the stuff is imported. Most of my family go there for relaxation purposes or stimulation purposes.

Well thats about it for the first entry.

Thank you if you read this.

Cheers

Tourism history and the stereotyping challenge

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Stereotypes are defined in a number of ways. According to the World English Dictionary a stereotype represents a “simplified and fixed image, generalizations as well as initial predictions of all members of a culture or group based on different subjects such as race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender, national origins.”

To me a stereotype is basically a prejudgment, which is built upon inaccurate and simplistic information. In her article, Evans-Pritchard tries to evaluate the roles of stereotyping based on the example of Native American images of tourists. Furthermore, she tries to focus on profits for the tourism research and strategies for communication. As a prejudgment is sometimes the result of cross-cultural communication, it is important to be open-minded for new cultures and try to interpret gestures and signs in the right way. “Stereotype images function to defend and protect as well as discriminate” (Evans-Pritchard, 1989:89). This means that they are a very natural function and are not as bad as they seem to be. This human function gives us the possibility to
predict the behavior of others and help us to protect ourselves.

The essential thing to overcome discrimination and express rejection of other cultures is to gain knowledge about the past and the present. According to Towner (1995), in order to expand our horizons over what constitutes tourism’s history, we have to overcome the debate of theory and ideology and provide the necessary steps for a “closer integration of leisure, recreation and tourism rather than compartmentalizing them into separate areas” (1995:341). Too simplistic and narrow views on tourism history have to be questioned and discussed in order to get a deeper insight on different cultures in different time periods. Lack of mutual respect often arises because of no interest and understanding of the different complexities of cultures. It’s like in real life: first you have to get to know a person and then draw the conclusions related to him or her.

Towner, J. (1995) What is Tourism’s History? Tourism Management, vol. 16, No. 5: 339-343
Evans-Pritchard, D. (1989) How “They” see “Us”. Native American Images of Tourists. Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 16 pp. 89-105.
Liburd, J. (2010) “Tourism and Stereotypes”

Cheers, Marthissa

Tourism and Stereotypes

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Hello everybody!

I would like to focus more on stereotypes, because in my eyes, it is a very interesting topic.

Well, stereotypes are defined as a group of people with a defined set of characteristics, which can be positive or negative. For example other cultures, if one nationality has a behavior which is different from ours, let’s say here in Austria, (maybe in the eating habits) then we generalize that and say: “They eat dogs, how rude. Every Chinese person does that…” or, influenced by the media, “Pakistanis are terrorists”. I know those are very rude examples, but it is the truth.

We reduce the level of complexity in something very simplistic so that we can say “We do that and you do it different.” In psychology this is called “mental map”, which means we may refer to our personal point of view perception of our own world.

I have to say, that I really enjoyed Deirdre Evans-Pritchard’s article. It was very interesting to read how stereotypes come about, just because of simple situation or the tourist’s laziness to read more about certain cultures. On page fourteen I found a paragraph which brings to the point what I also think, namely

“We cannot expect international slurs to disappear-there is evidently a deep human need to think in stereotypes. What we folklorists can do is to examine the slurs to see what the stereotypes are and to label them as stereotypes. We should not let the humor of the slurs fool us into underestimating the potential danger of national character stereotypes (1975:38).”

Now let’s shortly talk about tourism’s history, which is, I would say, kind of difficult. The story starts in the 17th and 18th century, when Grand Tours and spas developed. It continues in the 19th century when international tourism dispread by Thomas Cook and still accelerates by the charter flights and jet airplanes. This is what we know about the tourism development in Western Europe, but we know very less about the start of tourism in India or China.

And again I found a nice paragraph which says what is on my mind:

Oral history offers many exciting possibilities for studies of leisure and tourism in the recent past and has the potential to place these experiences within the context of everyday lives.

Livia


https://connect.forskningsnettet.dk/p89428142/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal

http://www.innotour.com/fileadmin/liburd%40hist.sdu.dk/Evans-Pritchard%20_1989_how_they_see_us.pdf

http://www.innotour.com/fileadmin/liburd%40hist.sdu.dk/Towner_Tourisms_history.pdf

Authenticity in Tourism

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

As tourism  products are highly intangible and many people travel in order to gain new experiences, authenticity obviously is vital for the whole industry. I started reading the paper “Authenticity of Tourist Products” by Ahmad Zamil Zakaria to understand what authenticity in tourism is about. According to Zakaria “Authenticity could be defined as a product or representation of the particular culture or heritage which produced it.”.  Furthermore he claims that authenticity always depends on the individual tourist and on the environment/ destination that he is visiting.

Personally I believe that experiencing authenticity is not easy if you go book for example a package holiday. The average tourist who probably goes to a sea destination for 7 or 14 days will spend most of the holiday within the resort or club hotel. The provided food and beverage is likely to be similar to the food that guests eat at home, staff members will try to give guests the chance to speak in their mother tongue and the music and entertainment will also be tailored to the average European taste. If people however decide to go to places off the beaten track they might not be successful as such areas won’t always be accessible. MacCannell  (1973) described a phenomenon called “staged authenticity” were local understand that tourists want to visit traditional places and create a kind of “faked” authenticity only for satisfying tourists. Some experts also argue that tourists often know that it is not possible or extremely difficult to encounter real authenticity and therefore are fine with activities that are obviously just developed to entertain tourists and don’t have much to do with real authenticity. (http://www.studyessay.com/2010/02/authenticity-in-tourism/, 2010)

In the future tourists probably won’t be satisfied by observing “authenticity” as a performance on a stage in their hotel or in a setting that is only created for them and I also think that locals won’t be willing to just “sell” their culture.
Hence, I believe that integrating real authentic experiences in tourism products will be vital for the tourism industry.

Sources:

–        MacCannel, Dean. “Staged Authenticity: Arrangements of Social Space in Tourist Settings”.  The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 79, No. 3 (Nov., 1973), pp. 589-603

–        Zakaria, Ahmad Zamil. “Authenticity of Tourist Products”. http://www.scribd.com/doc/36914369/Authenticity-of-Tourism-Products

–        http://www.studyessay.com/2010/02/authenticity-in-tourism/

cheers, Robert

Authenticity in Tourism

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Hello world again 🙂

According to wikipedia authenticity in view of tourism and hospitality refers to the origins of a destination, attributes and intentions of a tourism product or destination.

Talking about this word could have several spheres, which I would like to discover within this blog:

Mrs. Nina Wang approaches that may describe authenticity:

It might be easier to understand by speaking about mass tourism areas:

In such regions the contrast between the “back region” and the “front region” is relevant. According to Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon the front region refers to an area, where a performance actually takes place whilst the back region is invisible for people not being part of the local social environment like employees living in the region.

By facilitating the access to these regions highly, inappropriate amounts of people will access. The level of authenticity gets lost as a consequence that people will only recognize the front region within their stay.

An example:

When I visited Mexico 2007 in Puerto Vallarta I recognized big hotel complexes with up to 10.000 hotel rooms. Tourists there where able to stay within the restricted area for their two week holiday trip without getting in contact with local people, culture and nature. With such congeries people will only see the surface, the front region of an area but never the back region.

1999 Etienne and Pauchant state that authenticity refers to an experience, which is perceived as being true one.

Etienna and Pauchart identified the following 6 fragments of authenticity:

  1. Experience of a individual way of life
  2. Expression of identity of people
  3. Importance of customs and traditions
  4. The counterpart to globalization
  5. Discovery of unknown places
  6. Authenticity adds value to the quality of perceived experience

I’d like to know what you think about this topic;

Cheers

Pius

Resources:

  • Swinging in place: porch life in southern culture, 2001, Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon, p. 41-43
  • Rethinking Authenticity in Tourism Experience,1991, Ning Wang, p. 349-358
  • Etienne, Pauchant. “La part de l’authenticité dans le tourisme durable,” First Tourism Summit, Chamonix, December 1999.

information on tourism, authenticity and stereotypes.

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Hello! My name is David and this is going to be my second blog entry.

My aim is to present a list of useful information on tourism, authenticity and stereotypes. I found these two articles through google and thought that they might be interesting.

The first article is about authenticity in tourism:

http://www.studyessay.com/2010/02/authenticity-in-tourism/

This article deals with cultural changes that tourism might provoke or cause.
But in the outline it states that change is natural and authenticity doesn’t have to be affected by these changes.

The second article deals with the narrative construction of authenticity in pilgrimage touring

http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/10079.pdf

“This paper analyses the shift from constructivist to existentialist conceptions of authenticity in tourism. I argue that the existentialist approach represents a withdrawal from an ongoing and unresolved debate, rather than the reconciliation that it has
sometimes been presented as. Such an approach has divorced the notion of authenticity from any inherent relationship to the act of touring. Utilizing ethnographic data from a study of a Jewish-American pilgrimage tours to Israel, I argue that a shared narrative linking observer and observed can resolve the dichotomy between constructivist and existentialist notions of authenticity” (narrative construction of authenticity in pilgrimage touring / Shaul Kelner, M.Phil.)
Overall i have to say that both articles were pretty interesting.
I hope that you are excited enough to read the articles on your own.
BR,
David

Authenticity

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Dear People!
This is my second Blog Entry now, and I want to write about authenticity this week.
The topic authenticity actually is one that I, personally, consider as a very interesting one.
After reading a bit about it, most of my personal impressions have been affirmed.
What is meant by the world authenticity anyway?
The Definition I found on the Internet, did not really satisfy me.
Definition: The quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy, or genuine.
I think, and this is also mentioned in a couple of the articles I read, that authenticity also
can be linked with the word traditional. This is a new shift in tourism, which actually is something
very positive. To put it in a nutshell, tourists like to “go back to the roots” at the moment. While,
during the last decades, all-inclusive and other club vacation boomed, now the time came for
people to actually get sick of them.
What people now want is going to another county and actually experience it. People like to travel
and enjoying local food while doing so. They love to turn their holiday into a real experience
including foreign tastes, smells, language and sounds.
Another positive aspect about this trend is that it comes along with another trend. This other trend is
sustainability. As we all know, visiting another country and relying on local resources is much more
sustainable then going to another country without ever leaving the resort one stays in.
Tourists start to realize how much the huge all-inclusive resorts harm the environment and themselves.
Is there anything that broadens people’s horizons more then visiting other countries and experiencing
different cultures, languages, believes and environments?
The misbelieve that booking a club vacation is more relaxing than individual travelling is slowly dying.
It is my hope that this new shift in the tourism industry will not emerge as a short time trend but a
long term changing.

Sources: John P. Taylor (October 1998) – “Authenticity and sincerity in tourism”
Etienne, Pauchant (December 1999) – “La part de l’authenticité dans le tourisme durable“
Hamon, Viviane (July-August 2005) “Authenticité, tourisme durable et marketing,”

Thank you all very much for reading this!

Cheers, Nicola

Personal Holiday Experience

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

My Name is Nicola Herrmann and I am a Student at Modul University Vienna.
I am in the 3rd Semester now and this is the first Internet course I attend.

In my First Blog entry I want to shortly tell about a holiday I made a few
years ago. Me and my family went to Bali and spent a whole month there.
I think this was my favorite holiday and I loved the hotel we stayed at.

It was a very nice hotel directly at the beach. There was a possibility to visit
other beaches by rowboat which we did several times. The hotel did not have
its own restaurant, since there were many small restaurants along the beach
which the hotel wanted to support. I do not remember eating anything but
Fish, rice and fruit during the whole holiday. I loved the fact that the menu in the
restaurants changed everyday according to the fish the employees angled that day.
Sometimes they also offered mussels, shrimp or lobster.

Thinking about it, this was a great idea to safe costs and the environment
by not transporting any international food to the hotel. Also the fish just tasted
great and no hotel guest ever complained.

Thanks for reading!

Nicola

Traveling to London after 14 years again

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Hey guys! I am Livia and I am a student at the MODUL University Vienna and I am taking the TEFI Course too.

My parents were always traveling a lot and so I had no other choice. Since I was 2 years old I am traveling and I also can remember a few countries or cities.

One of my most interesting and most beautiful trips as a kid was the Easter Holiday Week in London when I was six years old. I was so impressed by the city that I still remember everything:

  • The hotel
  • The typical streets of London
  • A photo on the knees of a man who was disguised as an Easter rabbit in the famous Harrods store
  • The Tower of London
  • Of course the Tower Bridge
  • And the “Windsor Legoland”

As I remembered all about London, I wanted to visit this city again as soon as possible. I also wanted to see that city again, because my favorite TV series is acting there. So, I’ve been to London last week, for three nights…14 YEARS LATER! “Very soon”!

Although it was my second time now, it felt like the first time. A lot has changed in London since then. They built the Swiss Tower and the Millennium Bridge, but it also looked like I had in my mind.

It was amazing! What makes London so special? Everything!

  • The inhabitants
  • the international crowds which are flooding the streets
  • the different shops and stores
  • the sights
  • AND most important the “Galaxy”-Chocolate.

I also think that it is a mix of America and Europe. No wonder that this city is sometimes also called “the capital of Europe”. London is so alive and I hope I don’t have to wait another 14 years to come to that unbelievable city again!

tourism experience

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Hello, my name is David Prommegger and i’m student of the Modul University Vienna.

I’m going to write about my personal tourism experience as a business tourist when i was a child.

From 1993 until 1997 i was a member of the Vienna Choir Boys and in these times i did alot of travelling. We went on several tours all over the world. 1993 we had a tour in America, 1994 we did a tour in Japan, 1995 a tour all over Europe and 1996 again a tour in America. I experienced travelling in my childhood as something very interesting. I was confronted with many different cultures and many styles of accommodations. I stayed in the best hotels and in usual motels.  Sometimes I even had the opportunity to stay at families.

So what did i learn from these childhood experiences?

I learned essentials about my homecountry. What makes us tick. Whats important for an Austrian.
I learned that I will always miss the nature of Austria. The food and the clean water that comes out of the tab.

And the most important thing that i grasped in my childhood is that it is essential to be open minded for other cultures and nations but this is only possible if we also know also our own roots.

Why I love travelling

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Hi,

my name is Robert and I’m also taking the TEFI course at Modul University Vienna. My interest in the tourism industry dates back to my early childhood. The most interesting part of my travelling experience has always been the diversity of trips. Spending time at five star hotels in the UAE, exploring the tropical forests  and temples in Mauritius, flying to some of my favourite European cities with Low Cost Carriers or simply travelling through my home country Austria by train and stay overnight at youth hostels – all these different types of holidays inspired me to find out more about the tourism industry.

For me travelling is essential as it gives me the chance not only to learn something about other cultures but also to critically reflect my own values and ideas of how things are supposed to be done.  The destination that has  impressed me the most by now is Bali. Staying at Ellora Villas Sanur www.elloravillasbali.com was a very pleasant experience.  Staff members addressed all guests by their first name and treated everyone in a very cordial way. Locals seemed to be really interested in my life, my home-country and my beliefs. They were always happy to share their views about life in general but also about their partly critical attitude towards tourism in Indonesia. Among the things that I tried to adopt from Indonesian people are their constantly relaxed, considerate attitude and their deep faith in their own culture and interest in other cultures.

Cheers, Robert

The adverse trend

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

In my opinion, leisure industry becomes more and more important, because people want to enjoy their leisure time as much as possible. The sector is constantly growing and so are innovations introduced to the tourism industry.

The new emerging social & demographic trends create a change in the tourist’s travel habits & transform existing travel behaviors into future challenges for the tourism world.

While the younger generation becomes more affluent the aging population heads more and more towards the trend of travelling for recreational, sporting & medical purposes. We are currently experiencing an adverse trend in tourism, which leads to the fact that people enjoy travelling short – haul routes and prefer making a short “city – hopp/break” for the week- end instead of booking long vacations. Consequently, trips to major cities in Europe such as London, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam or Berlin become preferable tourist destinations within the new upcoming and enlarging tourist groups.

by Mona Kulekov

Tourism Motivation and Leisure Behavior

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Hello, first of all I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Marthissa März and I’m currently a student of Modul University in Vienna. In order to start my blog I want to share some of my tourism experience with you.

One of my favorite things to do in cold winters is enjoying time in Wellness&Spa hotels which include thermal springs. As Austria is a rich country in relation to thermal springs, you can select a hotel out of a wide range. But why am I actually traveling there? I guess more and more people focus or at least try to focus on being more environmentally and economically friendly, so they are looking for alternatives to “normal” travel destinations. With me personally, it’s the same – actually I travel because I want to experience pleasure and satisfaction in learning new things and I’m constantly trying to broaden my horizon. Traveling means mostly using my spare time effectively, but it always depends on the type of trip I’m planning.

Some months ago I was in Lower-Austria in a hotel which is categorised as one of the best Wellness hotels in Austria. The “Balance&Spa Resort” in Stegersbach, as it calls itself, tries to include the feeling of the region by using local food suppliers and promoting activities in the region. They have a great spa area including herbal sauna and many more. Here the link to look at current special offers: http://www.balance-resort.at/
Hope this gives you a small introduction about my leisure activities in winter.
Cheers, Marthissa

Hello World

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Hi Everybody,

My name is Pius Binder I am currently student of the Modul University Vienna and I write here since we have a class called TEFI.

The purpose of this entry is as follows: share and reflect own tourism experience through writing I short blog entry as I’m doing now :).

OK here I start:

This summer I went to Croatia, to Brâc an island; there I found something’s interesting:

Many of the houses are covered in marble, which is a local product there, even the boardwalk is made out of marble, beautiful (really!).

Additionally this rock got and gets sold all over the world; the white house in Washington has it.

I found it interesting that the island was using local resources the marble, which is cheaper since it is on the island, and creating on the other hand a beautiful and authentic theme through using local resources.

When I left after two weeks I still had the marble streets in minds since this really differentiated Brâc from other destinations.

Thanks for reading this

Pius

here another blog of me:

www.blogger.com/piusbinder