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Panel 29: Tourism development and cultural landscapes in Oceania: Critical interdisciplinary responses


Joseph Martin Cheer

Session presentation

If, as according to Robin (2015), ‘islands are idealised ecological worlds, the Edens of a fallen planet’, the rationale underpinning tourism expansion in Oceania should acknowledge MacLeod’s (2013) notion of ‘cultural realignment’ that calls for optimal and resilient encounters. Cultural realignment suggests that the ‘marketing of images and branding of a group of people, dwelling place or cultural site; the promotion or reorganisation of tangible and intangible heritage’ and ‘cultural representation, cultural interpretation and cultural commodification’ must consider the extent islands and islanders are privileged (Ibid). Buckley’s (2008) characterization of cultural landscapes as “a place where the setting would not look the same without the culture, and the latter would not look the same without the landscape” directly addresses the conference theme, ‘Experiencing Pacific Environments’. In interrogating the links between tourism and cultural landscapes in Oceania, critical interdisciplinary responses to Baldacchino’s assertion that “Islands – especially small ones – are now, unwittingly, the objects of what may be the most lavish, global and consistent branding exercise in human history” (2012) are sought.

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