(Re)constructing the tourist experience? Editing experience and mediating memories of learning to dive

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Abstract

Through an analysis of the mediative techniques involved in the production of videographic tourist memorabilia (specifically souvenir DVDs of learning to SCUBA dive), in this paper I seek to render visible the often unconsidered aspects of visual media production that result in, not only visual images themselves, but also by extension, the construction of alternate realities of leisure space and tourist performance. A connectionist approach to the study of memory is advocated highlighting that mediatory technologies, whilst acting as stimulants for recollection, actually inform and construct memories rather than transmitting realistic snippets of past experience. In the paper it is questioned whether ‘authenticity’ is a relevant frame of reference bearing in mind that the ‘post-tourist’ is often perfectly aware of the lack of authenticity in many tourist activities and happy to go along with a pretence. With this in mind, the paper concludes by stating that ‘reality’ is arguably being edited-out of memories concerning tourism’s places and practices through the production of commercially driven and produced ‘souvenirs’. For the most part, the paper focuses on the experiences of young tourists between the ages of 18-25, the key demographic attracted to the field site in question.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-808
JournalLeisure Studies
Volume35
Issue number6
Early online date11 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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