Imagination of Place
Mass media and other forms of communication normally play an important role in determining the tourists’ attitude towards a particular place. Especially, the print and visual media are the major determinants in providing the visual perception of a given place. For instance, Lijiang is portrayed as a ‘Venice of China’ with unique cultural activities, diverse traditions, undulating landscapes and the slowness with which life is perceived. The uniqueness of the town is harmonized between the nature of humans living in the area and the lively ecosystem. The environment is very amiable and the region is characterized by attractive and poetic sceneries. This region adapts well with the unfair topography it is endowed with.
This sort of description creates a captivating image to tourists and people living in the area. When the tourists come to this area they identify with it and develop a sense of place with the area. In fact, when they go back to their countries of origin, they relate their adventures to other people who wish to come and witness the beautiful sceneries associated with the place. The mass media have helped a great deal in the conversion of the region which was initially unknown to many to a place which is leading tourist destination..
This is because through its advertisement, it has created a sense of imagination amongst people who always develop an eager to come and see the place. Alternatively, tourists use their financial might and place in the society to decode and transmit messages about a particular place to their friends who develop an image of that place Role of Sense of Place in Consumption The tourist gauze is a phenomenon which positively influences the degree and intensity of consumption amongst tourist. The gaze defines tourism consumption and viewing different scenes which are marvelous and extraordinary usually, tempt tourists into participating in the activities related to such a place. As such, Lijiang is well known for its unique heritage which is main reason for coming of tourists. The tourists participate in activities involving their senses such as sightseeing, photography, witnessing Naxi musical shows and dining.
All of these activities define the expenditure of tourists in Lijiang. This is what is regarded as tourist consumption. All these heritage values and cultural activities only developed once the indigenous communities for example the Naxi identified themselves with the area of Lijiang. In other words, they developed some sense of place with the area. Sense of place, the emotions and behavior attached to that place and concepts associated to a particular place are aspects that relate to tourism management, planning and recreational activities.
It is worth mentioning that people, usually, hold different definitions to the concept of tourism and place, but whichever the case, it is always paramount to know that the “sense of place” is exceedingly useful to the act of tourism. This essay brings together different case studies and definitions of various terms to help in understanding the relationship between tourism, place and space. Furthermore, it helps us understand the importance of tourism to one’s lives and appreciate the different values attached to it, together with the significance of conserving and protecting the ecosystem so as spur economic growth.