• anthropology of tourism;
  • development;
  • tourists;
  • ethnography;
  • applied anthropology

The anthropology of tourism is a relatively recent topic area within both academic and applied anthropology, having gotten its start in the 1960s and 1970s. Valene Smith's edited work Hosts and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism (1977) marks the beginning of the field as a serious academic concern. Since then it has grown rapidly. Anthropologists were (and some continue to be) ambivalent about studying tourists, but initially they were concerned with the impact of tourists and tourism on local communities, especially in rural regions. Much of the initial findings suggested that tourism generally had negative impacts on communities that had become tourist destinations. In this volume, the contributing authors were asked to reflect more on the positive and practical contributions of anthropology to the field of tourism studies and to the tourism industry itself. The authors in their various ways have successfully answered their charge. A brief synopsis of the 13 other papers in the volume is given.