Re: Beyond the Beach: Modern Travellers in Asia
Almost two years ago, during the discussion about the movie The
Beach, I posted a notice on the network looking for a publisher for an
Ethnography of Western Travellers in Asia, based on my Ph.D. thesis.
The response has been overwhelming and I am pleased to report that
the work is now complete and that the book has been published this
month by White Lotus in Bangkok as part of Erik Cohens Series Studies
in Asian Tourism.
I would like to thank once again everybody who contributed their
suggestions and advice. I have attached an abstract below and look
forward to your comments.
Dr. Klaus Westerhausen
ROCKINGHAM, Western Australia 6168
Beyond the Beach:
An Ethnography of Modern Travellers in Asia.
Studies in Asian Tourism No. 2. Series Editor: Eric Cohen
Drifter-style tourism in Asia has become a sanitised and institutionalised
tourism alternative. Over the last thirty years it has developed its own
tourism myth and spawned a mobile subculture of Western travellers.
The study seeks to illustrate the historical background, nature and
ideology of present day travellers in Asia and to present an "insiders view"
of the subculture based on more than 6o in-depth interviews conducted
during the fieldwork. It will also document the impact of those travellers
on destinations in Asia by chronicling the fate of the islands Koh Samui
and Koh Phangan in Southern Thailand. Those islands, at one stage or
another, were among the largest traveller-centres in Southeast Asia and
have subsequently achieved Hollywood Fame through Alex Garland's
popular novel "The Beach".
However, even without Hollywood, Asia's traveller subculture is worth
attention. With rapidly increasing numbers, it now represents a viable
market in its own right, one that fits in well with an ecologically
sustainable tourism product. However, development of this tourism
alternative is frequently being undermined by unsustainable growth due to
a lack of planning and by the destruction of its destination sites by other
tourism sectors. Experience shows that without advance strategies for
their development, many of those sites tend to develop either in an
unsustainable manner or become the target of "hostile takeovers" by
outside operators and competing tourism sectors. This state of affairs
has been instrumental in condemning travellers to remain always just
one step ahead of conventional mass tourism.
Backpackers-Asia-Sustainable Development- Thailand-Islands-The
Beyond the Beach: An Ethnography of Modern Travellers in Asia.
Studies in Asian Tourism No. 2.
Series Editor: Erik Cohen
White Lotus Press