Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mythogeography and Counter Tourism

Ilda gameboard: Counter Tourism

WHY? Because the heritage business has a dark side! Beneath the simple sounding stories in the Visitor Guide and behind the locked gates marked PRIVATE, there lies a multitude of inconvenient stories, hilarities, wonders, extremes and outrages. When Counter-Tourism opens the doors, tourism becomes a funny, subversive and adventurous experience - not a deferential procession through the unrevealing homes and castles of Heritage plc. Counter-Tourism upsets the sanitising efforts of the heritage industry. It is also a personal and social journey of mini-pilgrimages, challenges and pleasures.

HOLD ON – IS THERE AN AGENDA HERE? Yes – this is an approach to place/space that celebrates the multiplicities of meaning in every heritage site and upsets the industry’s attempts at meaning-control and homogenisation – call it “mythogeography”. It’s what gives counter-tourism its emphasis on the sites of heritage, on the places themselves.

  1. By intensifying and sharpening your perceptions - see what’s behind the scenes, outside the site, just offstage.
  2. By blowing apart the homogenous heritage story to uncover, the multiplicity of stories.
  3. By changing the kind of tourist you are.

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