Understanding Travel and Tourism Essay Example

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Understanding Travel and Tourism

Article Summary — Understanding Travel and Tourism

In an article entitled ‘Tourism, changing architectural styles, and the production of place in Itacaré, Bahia, Brazil’, the theoretical explanation in vol. 12, no. 4, pp 349-363 of the Journal of Tourism and Culture, Palmer offers an assessment on the changing architecture. This article gives a clear explanation how the production of places plays a huge role in determining the rate at which tourists visit a particular destination. For instance, the homes built in tourist destinations are directed with the state of nature such as ocean views and jungle scenery (Quinn, 2007). Furthermore, this article addresses the dynamism as well as the performativity of a location with relation to the tourism and cultures. Tourism is considered one of the largest global industry which promotes development, culture as well as cultural relationships all over the world. In addition, this article also replies on how relationships between locals and foreigners are interceded via architecture of a particular tourist destination (Quinn, 2007).

This article is founded upon intensive research conducted over a period of 12 months from August 2011 to July 2012. The architectural styles were assessed using exhaustive interviews conducted by five architects from the area of Itacaré (Bunten, 2008). Furthermore, several informal interviews were also conducted with both builders as well as homeowners. An architectural survey of the city was also conducted detailing various houses from different historical periods through documentation and photographing. These works were complemented with 50 oral history interviews which authenticated the growth of various neighbourhoods as well as the different variations brought about by tourism to the town (Bunten, 2008). These interviews were conducted on old locals and outsiders, which also involved the collection of historical photographs.

Northeastern Brazil particularly Bahia is well known for its beautiful beaches, Afro-Brazilian traditions as well as its tropical temperatures. Tourists visit Bahia because they want to experience an environment entirely different from what they experience on a daily basis (Palmer, 2014). They visit Bahia to enjoy their jungles, beaches as well as to take complete advantage of the nature in Bahia.

In addition, PRODETUR is a state project that affirms the development of tourism in both Itacaré and other Brazilian regions. It also assists in the commercialization of both culture and resources within the region (Palmer, 2014). For example, PRODETUR offered funds for the construction of a 70 km road in the year 1998 connecting Ilheus to Itacaré which effectively increased the accessibility of Itacaré. This project progressively increased the growth of an urban population along the road from 2324 in 1992 to roughly 12,000 in 2010 (Palmer, 2014).

Due to the development of tourism within the region of Bahia, a number of foreigners as well as Brazilians from the Southeast came to establish businesses which would take care of the increasing tourist demand within the region. Furthermore, as a result of tourism, the road linking Ilheus to Itacarécreated a huge demand for accommodation (Salazar, 2013). This therefore resulted to the establishment of more than 100 hotels as well as bed and breakfast and shops along the road. This in turn created employment opportunities for the local residents as well as ventures for various real estate projects. In addition, tourism in the region also resulted to the development of Itacaré-Serra Grande Environmental Protected Area which is a conservation agenda that has restrained the expansion of urban space and agriculture bringing up conflicts between the newcomers’ and the locals (Salazar, 2013).

Locals in Itacaré have a different perspective as that of a foreigner visiting the area therefore they will only have a different perspective if they leave their place of residence. This influences their attitudes in areas such architecture (Salazar, 2013). For example, they end up building a second floor preventing any form of light accessing their premise as well as ventilation. They fail to look at the bigger picture and think of it as a waste of space. They end up with a house with more rooms, but without a window.

Tourism in Itacaré has brought about variation in the social and environmental values of the region due to issues of renovation for tourism purposes. People in the region inclusive of newcomer and locals value the historical architecture since it adds to the aesthetics of rural Itacaré (Palmer, 2014). Tourist developers have remodeled ancient houses so as to indicate the changing social values as well as relationships within an economy promoted by tourism. Historical architecture in Itacaré demonstrated social iterations between gender as well as social classes and races therefore as a result of tourism development, renovations have been done to these houses to highlight the new interactions as well as valorization of beautiful landscape among others (Palmer, 2014).

In addition, rustic chic houses are the opposite of modernistic architecture since they are simplistic and highly depend on natural materials such as wood, thatch and other natural materials (Salazar, 2013). They are related to various tourist architecture because they derive components from indigenous cultures all over the world. Furthermore, due to their poor authenticity of rural places, tourism tends to focus rustic chic houses because of the available local cultures in them. Furthermore, tourists always want to see things that are opposite from what they are used to (Salazar, 2013). Therefore, rustic chic houses the perfect example of attraction that can offer such a feeling of being separated from the industrialized part of the world.

In Itacaré, tourism development has brought about the modernization of houses within the surroundings. This is because houses aim at being urban rather than rustic. This modern architecture in Itacaré is visible in neighbourhoods inhabited by working-class individuals (Arons, 2004). This progressive change into modern architecture is important for tourism purposes since it indicates how the locals have adjusted to urbanization linked with tourism. These regional modern houses are therefore considered a product of tourist development and a symbolic statement and encourage individuals to maximize their resources to the greatest extent possible (Arons, 2004).

To sum up, architecture in Itacaré not only represents aesthetics, but also the cultural conflicts between various social groups. This assessment of architectural styles in Itacaré indicates the particular methods with which tourism rebuilds places as well as the efforts of individuals in shaping these operations. Therefore, home construction is one of the ways in which the locals of the area place themselves within the society. Therefore, tourism plays a significant role in transforming communities all over the word which is important in assessing the impacts of tourist architecture on local communities.


Arons, N (2004, Waiting for rain: The politics and poetics of drought in Northeastern Brazil, Tucson, University of Arizona Press. (https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=eyAVw8kqYoUC&pg=PA260&lpg=PA260&dq=Waiting+for+rain:+The+politics+and+poetics+of+drought+in+Northeastern+Brazil&source=bl&ots=SapO8P4gfA&sig=1Ep0atpWQO1g6pgZ26mZgclWdzg&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Waiting%20for%20rain%3A%20The%20politics%20and%20poetics%20of%20drought%20in%20Northeastern%20Brazil&f=false)

Bunten, A. C 2008, Sharing culture or selling out? Developing the commodified persona in the heritage industry, American Ethnologist, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 380–395.

Palmer, C T2014, Tourism, changing architectural styles, and the production of place in Itacaré, Bahia, Brazil. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, vol. 12,no. 4, pp. 349-363, DOI: 10.1080/14766825.2014.934378

Salazar, N 2013, Envisionintg Eden: Mobilizing imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond, Berghahn Books, New York. (https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=vXFFAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Quinn, B 2007, ‘Performing tourism: Venetian residents in focus’, Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 458-476. (http://arrow.dit.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=tfschhmtart)

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