Making ‘destino Guatemala’:everyday enactments of ‘global tourism competition’ in La Antigua Guatemala

Becklake, Sarah Jane (2016) Making ‘destino Guatemala’:everyday enactments of ‘global tourism competition’ in La Antigua Guatemala. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This thesis provides an ethnographic case study of everyday forms of global tourism competition in one place: La Antigua Guatemala (Antigua). Located in Central America, Guatemala is better known for poverty, violence, and insecurity than for tourism. Nonetheless, like many other countries in the global South, as part of neoliberalisation the government of Guatemala has turned to tourism as a tool of development and recently embarked on a plan to transform Guatemala into one of the world’s most visited destinations. Rather than focus on government policy, this thesis turns to the everyday discourses, imaginings, practices, and performances of global tourism competition in Antigua. Antigua-locals live and work in the ‘destino Guatemala’ project and are key stakeholders and competitive actors. Through exploring everyday forms of global tourism competition, this thesis highlights how this practice is informed by and powerfully informing of diverse, and often highly unequal, social and spatial relations, as well as local identities and subjectivities. In particular, it divulges how one’s access to different forms of (dis)embodied capitals affects, but does not determine, how one engages in global tourism competition, how successful one is likely to be at attracting/satisfying global tourists, and how participating in global tourism competition can help to produce new forms of (dis)embodied capital. Within this, the ways in which global tourism competition are imagined, experienced, utilised, challenged, and resisted are brought to the fore. In providing a rich ethnographic account of everyday global tourism competition in Antigua, this thesis highlights how global tourism competition to attract/satisfy global tourists is making far more than ‘destino Guatemala’.

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Thesis (PhD)
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25 Oct 2016 11:02
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:20