Commodification Impacts on Tourism Essay

2526 Words Nov 13th, 2008 11 Pages
Impacts of “Commoditization” on Tourism

Tourism & Social Policy

Impacts of “Commoditization” on Tourism

Types of tourism, these days, seem to be as plentiful as ice cream flavours. Marketing teams have developed “the dream vacation” for just about everyone, whether your interests lie in adventure travel, cruising, or wine tasting, your imagination (and perhaps your budget) is pretty much your only limitation. Along side this ever increasing number of vacation destinations a large body of research on the “tourist machine” also grows. Over time, the focus of tourism research has shifted somewhat from the basic sort of anthropological or sociological questions such as “why do people
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The ties to western tour operators that the multinational companies often have enable them to quickly obtain a monopoly position, leaving the local businesses to slowly wither and die. As if the obvious advantages had by the large companies were not enough to secure their position as “leader of the pack” it is not unheard of for psychological warfare to be a weapon of choice in the commoditization of tourism. Local entrepreneurs in Puerto Plata, Northern Dominican Republic, claim large tour operators tell tourists that it is better to stay in the resorts (rather than privately owned hotels) as leaving the confinement of the resort’s grounds could put them in at risk of being swindled or robbed. Its also common to hear that the food and water outside the resort’s boundaries are unhealthy and unhygienic (Roessingh, 2004). The same sources also claim that they are being left off of tour operators lists and being told a variety of bogus explanations for the omission but are later finding out that the tour guides have received financial “incentives” to bring their groups to these large resorts.

Being that so many of the resorts these days operate with an “all inclusive” policy, tourists staying at them have even less incentive to go offsite to local clubs, restaurants or shops. This ‘all-inclusive’ structure, forced the remaining destinations in the Dominican Republic to follow this new trend in tourism. This ultimately meant

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