1 The Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change, Roskilde University2 Visual Culture and Performance Design, Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University3 Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University
Tourism research has too often been stuck with the tourist. It has been blind to the ‘non-humans’ and systems that afford tourist performances. Sunbathing on the beach, driving through the countryside and gazing at the pyramids are embodied performances drawing together heterogeneous bodies, animals, imaginations, representations, objects and technologies. Tourists bring their gendered, racialised and aged body in play when performing tourism and they interact routinely with multiple material cultures. Mobile representations and technologies frame the ‘scenes’ they sense and tourist memory involves material mediators such as photographs, albums, travel-blogs, CD-ROMs, computers, souvenirs and clothes;. This paper discusses how such ‘material mobilities’ stage tourist performances. While recent ‘tourist ethnographies’ make careful observations of how tourists perform what people actually do and the meanings they attribute to their performances, they tend to neglect the often far-reaching networks and systems that afford tourist performances to take place. This paper considers multi-site methods as a constructive way to investigate these fluid and mobile aspects of tourism.