Reading postcards: Multiple enactments of tourism destinations. The case of Pai, Thailand

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Abstract

Actor-network theory was used to examine the role of postcards in the enactment of tourism destinations by analysing the representational and non-representational readings of 325 postcards offered for sale in shops in Pai, northern Thailand. This paper illustrates how postcards take part in the construction of three versions of the tourism destination, that is, as an ethnic tourism destination, a hub for hippies and international backpackers, and a Thai romantic tourism destination. It also illustrates the multiplicity and different development paths of tourism destinations, and argues that non-representational readings of postcards (as well as other media) can and should be combined with representational readings to provide a full understanding of the construction of tourism destinations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-91
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Sciences
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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