John Urry’s article, “The Tourist Gaze Revisited,” is an interesting piece breaking down why he believes that people travel and the cultural appropriation that these travelers bring with them intentionally or unintentionally. However, this is a highly critical piece on tourists that talks about how their “tourist gaze” is actually aesthetic appropriation. I find this to be an interesting take as I quite disagree with his overall opinion.
I agree with Urry on how advertising and certain rhetorical imagery has painted certain places to be these wild landscapes that one must see. This paints a picture that you should just travel to these places to see the view which causes a domination of the other culture. However, I believe that the general populous does not travel just to go see some view that is advertised throughout the country, rather, they just enjoy going to explore places for what they are. A majority of people travel either to just get away or to find themselves in some way they feel they’ve been lacking; it seems quite stereotypical to assume that people are traveling just to see some great view and then use it to appropriate an entire culture. Urry states,
“Much tourism becomes in effect a search for the photogenic, it is a strategy for the accumulation of photographs.”
While back in the 1900s I believe travel was more directed towards this feeling, nowadays it seems the sentiment has changed. Travel is more widely available, and people can see photos online of the most beautiful areas they want to see, so traveling has evolved more into getting to escape from your current life in my opinion.