Beaten tracks

Belatedness and anti-tourism in guidebooks

Authored by: Tim Hannigan

The Routledge Companion to Media and Tourism

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138366282
eBook ISBN: 9780429430398
Adobe ISBN:


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Does the element of ‘anti-tourism’ frequently identified in narrative travel writing also exist in guidebooks? This chapter analyses two guidebooks covering Nepal (Lonely Planet and Insight). Crucially, I was the main researcher working on the Insight book, so am able to reveal the way layers of multiple authorship build up over consecutive guidebook editions. The analysis reveals little-explored tensions in the guidebook genre: between personal experience and corporate voice as means of establishing travel writing authority; between the belatedness-overcoming strategy of placing a subject in a rhetorical ‘past’, and the need to provide verifiable up-to-date information; and between an anti-touristic urge and the function of providing practical travel information.

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