Title

Experiences of commodified nature: performances and narratives of tourists on Stewart Island, New Zealand

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Reis, A 2012, 'Experiences of commodified nature: performances and narratives of tourists on Stewart Island, New Zealand', Tourist Studies, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 305-324.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468797612461090

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This article explores the performances and narratives of nature-based tourists, more specifically of trampers, on Stewart Island, a remote tourism destination located in the southern waters of Aotearoa/New Zealand. It does so by reflecting on the concepts of commodification and of spectacle and how these may influence the experiences of tourists on the wild landscapes of Stewart Island. The study used an interpretive and embedded methodology, where the author was able to engage with the experiences of Others while tramping for extended periods of time on the island. The paper concludes that the trampers’ experience of nature on Stewart Island is modulated by a media-constructed and -sold tourism concept that fits well in a cultural and physical landscape that is able to provide an experience associated with a produced ‘nature’. Nature is therefore constructed to allow for an experience that is designed prior to the actual performance.