ognizant Communication Corporation



Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 5, pp. 83-92
1098-304X/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Picturing the Winter Olympics: The Opening Ceremonies of Nagano (Japan) 1998 and Salt Lake City (USA) 2002

Alan Tomlinson

University of Brighton, Eastbourne, UK

This article examines the symbolic content of large-scale sporting events as expressed in the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games of 1998 (Nagano, Japan) and 2002 (Salt Lake City, USA). Such internationally broadcast events are claimed widely to contribute to the transformation of a city's or a region's image, and to potential concomitant--and predominantly economic--benefits. Drawing upon the live coverage of these events by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the article shows how the opening ceremonies balance the local, regional, national, and international emphases in the presentation of the Olympics and the host city/nation. Nagano 1998 proritized the themes of peace and harmony, mixing ancient Japanese cultural elements with elements of an international populism. Salt Lake City 2002 was the first Olympic Games to be held after the attacks on US targets of September 11, 2001. The security was unprecedentedly tight, and the ceremony showed how the claimed universalism of the Olympics can be appropriated into a particular nationalist cause and merged with a set of national values (including the rhetoric of hard work, ambition, and the chasing of a dream). The Nagano and Salt Lake City cases confirm the process whereby the Olympic spectacle and its accompanying values are commonly and recurrently reworked in the interests of the host nation. The article concludes by locating the ceremonies as forms of consumer tourism, but questions the long-term impact of such events in worldwide terms, when they are framed for and are most meaningful to their more immediate and local constituencies.

Key words: Winter Olympics; International broadcast; Opening ceremonies; Destination image; Symbolic content

Address correspondence to Alan Tomlinson, University of Brighton, Eastbourne, UK. Tel: 0-1273-643747; Fax: 0-1273-644131; E-mail: a.tomlinson@bton.ac.uk

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 5, pp. 93-104
1098-304X/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

"Half-Hearted Tokens of Transparent Love"? "Ethnic" Postcards and the Visual Mediation of Host-Tourist Communication

Crispin Thurlow,1 Adam Jaworski,2 and Virpi Ylänne-McEwen2

1University of Washington, Seattle, WA
2Cardiff University, Wales, UK

One negotiation site of heavily mediated, indirect, and usually inadvertent communication between hosts and tourists is the picture postcard rack. As "hegemonically scripted discourses," postcards make important assumptions about the tourist's touristic experience, as well as the image of that experience she/he will want to communicate to others "back home." Of more importance, however, are the assumptions being made in postcards about the people actually represented in them. Certainly, postcard images of local people (locals rather than necessarily hosts) are often designed specifically to communicate their ambassadorial hospitality--their host-like qualities--and to promote the kind of ethnotourism discussed widely in the tourism literature. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the postcard images of local ethnic minority people such as the Zulus in South Africa and the Sámi in Finland. In these two instances of intense exoticization and commodified cultural representation, and in stark contrast to postcard images of the Welsh in Britain, this study was interested in exploring the ways in which both the "represented host" and "consumer tourist" understand and view these visual representations. In this programmatic article, we therefore report our initial analyses of three distinctive sets of postcards as a means for discussing how research might seek to situate and, thereby, complicate assumptions inherent in these "ethnic" postcards about both the traversed, mediatized Other, and the constantly directed tourist gaze.

Key words: Postcards; Ethnic representation; Host-tourist communication

Address correspondence to Crispin Thurlow, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Tel: (206) 543-2747; Fax: (206) 616-3762; E-mail: Thurlow@u.washington.edu

Tourism, Culture & Communication, Vol. 5, pp. 105-114
1098-304X/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Tourism and Community Informatics: The Case of Kiwitrails

Simon Milne,1 David Mason,2 Ulrich Speidel,3 and Tim West-Newman1

1Auckland University of Technology
2Victoria University of Wellington
3Auckland University

This article examines the role that information and communication technologies (ICT) play in influencing the shape and nature of local economic development. It is argued that the emerging field of community informatics (CI) can add an important dimension to our attempts to cope with the complex issues that characterize the tourism and development nexus. A review of the literature on applied community informatics is presented and we review some of the reasons why attempts to empower local people through the web have often failed. We then outline the implementation of a CI strategy to support tourism and local economic development on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. "Kiwitrails" is a web-based virtual community of businesses and communities who are defining their own Internet presence through a process called "web-raising," and the use of open-source web development software. We conclude with a reflection on the problems that face the sustainability of community informatics projects.

Key words: Community informatics; Kiwitrails; Information and communication technologies; Local economic development

Address correspondence to Simon Milne, New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Tel: 64-9917-999; Fax: 64-9917-9876; E-mail: simon.milne@aut.ac.nz