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GE2218 Leisure, Recreation and Tourism 1.

Geographies of Leisure, Recreation and Tourism


Basic Definitions and Concepts: Leisure Either freedom from doing some things, or freedom to do other things, both definitions connote an existential state that involves pleasure, enjoyment, alongside choice It is broader than recreation or tourism, conventionally making a range of small and big decisions to separate oneself from their routine, or incorporating a new freedom into routines (e.g. daydream etc.) Differs from tourism in that leisure activities involve a broad state of being (i.e. I feel better already; more intangible sort of more positive feelings) which involves personal agency while tourism composes a broad range of pleasurable practices and meanings away from ones own home region E.g. Taxi drivers getting out of their taxi to smoke (leisure time), going to watch a football / soccer game etc. Recreation Pursuits or activities (including inactivity) undertaken voluntarily outside paid employment for the primary purpose of pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction Much overlap with leisure, but recreation aspires to a higher form of enhancement and fulfilment; recreation looks for the greatest payoff (more substantial) in an immediate region There is also a longer time frame associated with recreation as compared to leisure Contrasts with tourism which seeks diversion without too much discomfort E.g. Rock-climbing is a recreational activity, something done outside of your usual spaces (work and life), enhancement of physical health (stronger, fitter), or even enhancement of social standing (perceived as more athletic) = shows how geographies of LRT can help better / enhance oneself, or even create new identities for oneself E.g. Good recreation = playing Chess, bad recreation = recreational drug use, alcohol use (all activities done outside their usual work lives); to other people these forms of bad recreation are still considered enhancement, as they are still psychologically transported to a better place Tourism A tourist is someone who undertakes a tour a circular trip that is usually made for businesses, pleasure or education, and at the end of which one returns to the starting point (no time frame given) Traditionally, according to the World Tourism Organisation (1994), tourism are the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside of their usual environment for no more than one consecutive year for leisure, business or any other purposes (time frame given) Tourism incorporates a range of practices, economies, meanings, symbols, emotions, mobility, places and people Tourism is distinguished from leisure and recreation because of (i) longer time horizon (duration of trip as well as preparatory time) and (ii) occurs mostly outside the home (correspondingly, leisure occurs inside and/or outside the home)

GE2218 Leisure, Recreation and Tourism 1. Geographies of Leisure, Recreation and Tourism

Tourism practice becomes not just a means of relaxation, entertainment, social development, or bodily reconstitution, but also an expression of identity and of social positioning through patterns of consumption. Thus tourism is not only a vehicle for accessing the world through travel, but increasingly a way of locating ourselves within it (Williams, 2009) o A single white guy, who comes to Bangkok might send out an implicit message to his social circle that he is going there for sex tourism, no matter whether that is truly his aim o The places that people choose to travel to can sometimes inadvertently convey messages about oneself to other people, and that in a sense, constructs identities to which how we read / interpret people to be o Bali can offer lots of different kinds of tourism = People go to the beaches of Bali to edify themselves (most common); others can venture to Ubud to see rice terracing; others can travel to the Memorial of the Bali Bombings at Kuta to pay homage (uncommon) They all overlap with one another (Venn diagram from Hall and Page, 2000); must know the differences and also know the overlaps The Role of Place in Production of Meaningful, Experiential and Authentic Moments: A lot more DIY tourists nowadays, with more and more people rejecting mass tourism where they follow tour guides Nowadays, tourists are a lot more discerning in their experience requirements as well, and authenticity is often one of the main requirements when it comes to visiting tourist destinations This is critical for a country like Singapore, where the tourism industry is a big deal, and it is competing against many other countries on an international scale; so it needs to cover all its bases in order to give each and every tourist coming in to Singapore that Uniquely Singapore experience Raffles Hotel = may appeal to individuals who are interested in Singapores colonial history, or just someone who wants to be treated to a royal and luxurious stay in Singapore Marina Bay Sands = swimming at the top of the world at the Infinity Pool, a casino experience, a luxury stay (covering all bases by labelling it an Integrated Resort?) Gardens by the Bay = an authentic experience? How so, if the land it stands on is reclaimed, or if the plants and all are imported from elsewhere? Hawker Centres = where there is the authentic Singapore experience, since Singapore is known for its rich food culture? Tourism is tricky because it can easily and worryingly (for the tourism producer) slip from a representation of globalisation to staged authenticity E.g. the Sampan-like rides at the Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands; is it meant to be authentic? Or inauthentic? But if it is so inauthentic, doesnt it make it authentic in its own right?