Animals as Tourism Objects: Ethically Refocusing Relationship between Tourists and Wildlife
MetadataShow full item record
Tourism is based on the human pursuit of personal satisfaction. It exists within an ethical framework that is instrumental in approach: that is, the industry is based on valuing its product by its use to the tourist (refer to Chapter 2 for a comprehensive overview of ethical positions in relation to animals and tourism). The product is an object constructed for human consumption. When that product is an animal, appreciating it only for its extrinsic value downgrades, or even denies, its capacity for independent agency.1 In this situation, tourism can exemplify an anthropocentrically focused relationship that objectifies animals and leaves them as the underprivileged counterparts. This chapter examines the role of animals as tourism objects and the changes offered to human and animal relations as a result of the movement toward more ethically responsible forms of tourism. It explores what the emergence of 'responsible' tourism means for objectifying and commoditising animals, especially in wildlife tourism contexts. Although research on the commoditisation and objectification of wildlife in captive tourism settings is widespread (e.g. Spotte, 2008; Wearing, 2011), it is still largely absent within the context of wildlife in nature-based tourism settings. This chapter discusses literature on objectification, and on responsible tourism, before turning to how engagement with these terms might provide a useful explanatory tool for the current relationships between tourists and wildlife.
Animals and Tourism: Understanding Diverse Relationships
© 2015 Channel View Publications. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the publisher’s website for further information.