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Enriching the tourist and host intercultural experience by reconceptualising communication

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by C Steiner, Y Reisinger
The aim of this paper is to reconceptualise intercultural communication as it is conventionally understood in the field of tourism studies. Tourism literature identifies many problems related to intercultural communication between tourists and hosts from different cultural backgrounds. Some of these ‘problems’ occur only because tourism researchers assume that the appropriate goal for ommunication is ‘communing’, that is, finding common ground or understanding. This philosophical paper suggests that if one reconceptualises communication without the communing,using the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and Jean-Luc Nancy, the ‘problems’ in intercultural communication disappear and communication becomes a source of enrichment for both tourists and hosts. This paper suggests that the basis of intercultural communication in tourism should be the acknowledgement of cultural differences between international tourists and local hosts, and the goal should be the ‘spacing’ of culturally different individuals rather than the ‘communing’ of ‘idle talkers’. Treating intercultural communication in this way creates an opportunity for both sides to appreciate and value cultural difference. Experiencing cultural difference is one of the most fundamental motivators for travel and for opening host communities to international tourists. Reconceptualising intercultural communication by adopting Heidegger’s and Nancy’s philosophies promises not only to enrich the tourism experience but also to transform researchers’ approaches to tourism education and training, and to tourism marketing and management.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

2

Issue

2

Start Page

118

End Page

137

Number of Pages

20

ISSN

1476-6825

Location

Clevedon, UK

Publisher

Channel View Publications

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Informatics and Communication; TBA Research Institute; Tourism Research international;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change.