Popular reaction against the uncomfortable aspects of modern mass tourism has led to the emergence of new forms of cross-cultural travel. One important form is traveling, in which self-described “travelers” aim to dissociate themselves from tourism altogether. As travelers, rather than tourists, these people present themselves as engaged in a morally superior alternative that does not create the same problems as tourism. This article shows that in the light of critiques of mass tourism, traveling in fact exacerbates existing problems raised by these critiques, in the domains of economic inequity, mobility, and representation. The failure of traveling to overcome these problems of tourism lies in the travelers’ fixation on having “authentic” experiences and in their interpretation of the authentic non-West as being outside modernity.


I am not a tourist: Aims and implications of "traveling"
by Lara Week
Tourist Studies vol 12 no 2
August 2012