Cosmopolitan tourism and host-guest exchanges in the Nakanai Range, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea

Gabriel, Jennifer (2017) Cosmopolitan tourism and host-guest exchanges in the Nakanai Range, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Asian Journal of Tourism Research, 2 (3). pp. 51-79.

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Abstract

MacLeod’s (2013) notion of 'cultural realignment' relates directly to the power of the tourism industry to affect the transformation of the lived environment. This paper posits that the ideal visitation involves the transformation of the visitor experience to conform to the cultural landscape and the social dynamics of place. Extending Robbin's(2015)biological notion of resilient island environments as sites of cosmopolitan engagement to the "sacred geographies of island Melanesia" (Bainton, Ballard and Gillespie 2012), I argue that multicultural dimensions of island livelihoods in Papua New Guinea that link trading partners and social relations, such as men’s houses, walking tracks, gardens and spirit tracks, provide social infrastructure for managing the opportunities and impositions of tourist encounters.

Drawing upon anthropological fieldwork experiences with a colleague in a remote village in the Nakanai Mountain Range of New Britain Island, I situate the idea of cosmopolitan tourism within a mutual concern for the other in the spatial politics of the village. Such cosmopolitan tourisms are not simply products of state or marketbased imperatives but outcomes of intercultural negotiations between visitors and host communities, involving the reconciliation of the goals of visitor with those of the local people. In these spatiotemporal encounters, cosmopolitan tourism can generate reciprocal interdependence and obligation - relationships that are both material and semiotic.It is in this regard that suppressing the distinction between kin and visitor is of central import in defining cosmopolitan tourism in the village context. Papua New Guineans have long negotiated multiple types of social relations within networks of hospitality that have included local visitors, and more distinctly, colonial visitors such as missionaries, patrol officers and researchers. Cosmopolitan hospitality, based upon a mutual ethics of care and concern can help define more equitable forms of tourism in New Britain's ongoing integration into a global tourist economy.

Item ID: 51867
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2465-5023
Keywords: cultural landscapes, cosmopolitan tourism, guest-host exchanges, New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea
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Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Ian Potter Foundation (IPF), James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: ARC LP140100536
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2018 00:29
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160101 Anthropology of Development @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950306 Conserving Pacific Peoples Heritage @ 25%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950305 Conserving Natural Heritage @ 25%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950304 Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage @ 50%
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