Tourism Imaginaries: A Conceptual Approach

Annals of Tourism Research 39 (2):863-882

20 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2012 Last revised: 25 Nov 2012

Date Written: April 1, 2012


It is hard to imagine tourism without the creative use of seductive as well as restrictive imaginaries about peoples and places. This article presents a conceptual framework for the study of tourism imaginaries and their diffusion. Where do such imaginaries originate, how and why are they circulated across the globe, and what kind of impact do they have on people’s lives? I discuss the multiple links between tourism and imagination, illustrating the overlapping but conflicting ways in which imaginings and fantasies drive tourists and tourism service providers alike. By applying this conceptual approach to international tourism in developing countries, I illustrate how the critical analysis of imaginaries offers a powerful deconstruction device of ideological, political, and sociocultural stereotypes and cliche´s.

Keywords: imaginary, imagination, fantasy, tourism mobility, circulation of ideas, transdisciplinary theory

Suggested Citation

Salazar, Noel B., Tourism Imaginaries: A Conceptual Approach (April 1, 2012). Annals of Tourism Research 39 (2):863-882. Available at SSRN:

Noel B. Salazar (Contact Author)

University of Leuven ( email )

Parkstraat 45, bus 3615
Leuven, BE-3000


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