Moonjung Jun

Progym: Confirmation
In the article “The Semiotics of Tourism”, Culler makes an interesting observation in connecting tourism with semiotics. Furthermore, by diagnosing that tourism is part of a culture he develops his argument about how people are drawn to the symbols and imagery. He introduces semiotics which is the study of signs and the production of meaning in the images or symbols. There are a variety of examples he gives, which includes when french singing an English song but with a French accent seem more charming than if they were just singing in French. This illustration shows that there is a resemblance to symbols of accent that correspond to certain cultures. Developing his point on tourism, he says, there is a desire for people to distinguish tourists from travelers in tourism. This is an integral part of how people through the ages have become more familiar with touristy spots rather than going on a journey. He refers to a quote, “Going by railroad I do not consider as traveling at all; it is merely being ‘sent’ to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel.” The profound meaning is that in the modern sense of tourism has shifted. Some wished that there was authenticity in the way people traveled to different places and to reclaim what it meant to travel without trains or airplanes. All of this Culler says is a “powerful semiotic operator within tourism” that the selling point of commercial tourism is the idea of bringing authentic travel. In a semiotic sense, tourists want to bring about the feeling of authenticity in their surroundings, to find meaning, and allocate different signs. These signs include postcards to souvenirs. The idiom that captivates Culler’s argument is the “tourist attractions” and the creation of these things as commercial companies are figuring out ways to bring about the meaning in different historical labels.