Colonial Heritage and Tourism: Ethnic Landscape Perspectives — ASN Events

Colonial Heritage and Tourism: Ethnic Landscape Perspectives (16191)

Joseph M Cheer 1
  1. Monash University, Caufield East, VIC, Australia

The revival of colonial heritage is a particular feature of former British and French colonies in Pacific and Asian settings. This is exemplified by the redevelopment and rejuvenation of what were exclusive ‘comfort zones’ for the ‘colonial classes’ and is central to the consumption of colonial nostalgia via tourism. The political and semiotic implications of renewing colonial era constructions for tourism are manifold. The key argument is that this can re-politicise what were hitherto benign colonial heritages. Furthermore, this can aggravate tensions within what are already fragile ethnic landscapes. This is especially so when the setting is one where the various publics have been steeped in economic, cultural and sociopolitical change, and where political and civil upheavals are recent occurrences. If the restoration of colonial heritage for tourism (in this case for heritage hotels) in former colonies is conducted oblivious to the legacies and meanings instilled in such heritages, the exacerbation of social and political sensitivities is likely. The recent redevelopment of the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, Fiji is used as the canvas for this paper.

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