Struggle over the resource security
What do you notice from the article?
There are two related questions needed to be answered with at least 300 words for each (600 in total). The prof asks to read the article/book before do the writing, but I can provide you some other students’ writing and you can know the main ideas and write something on your own. Therefore you don’t need to do anything reading.
1. Struggle over the resource security
In their introduction to Tourism, Power and Culture, Donald V. L. Macleod and James G. Carrier state the following about part 1 (chapters 2 to 5) of the book, which we read last week and this week:
“[T]he first part, Tourism and the Power Struggle for Resources, deals with the struggle over resources at the tourist destination, where different groups experiencing different levels of power seek control over physical resources” (2010, 15).
How does the chapter by Hitchcock and Darma Putra, which focuses on terrorist attacks in Bali, illustrate the struggle over resources, in this case security?
The security of a tourist destination heavily impacts the success of the tourism industry in that place. As said by Hitchcock & Darma Putra (2010, 90), “tourism can only thrive under peaceful conditions”. This highlights the importance of this resource in particular. There is a battle between the country’s government and terrorists to maintain a safety within the tourist environment because without that particular resource “tourism arrivals [can] crumble” (Hitchcock & Darma Putra 2010, 90) similar to the situation in Jamaica once it was deemed unsafe. In the aftermath of the bombings the Bali Government placed heavy emphasis on trying to rehabilitate the country’s reputation and continue to portray the image of the “safe haven” (Hitchcock & Darma Putra 2010, 101). The country’s government even went as far as to make changes in the policing policies in order to emphasize the safety of tourists. This shows how essential security is to the success of the tourism industry. In attempts to make Bali appear as more secure to tourists, they introduced beach policing or “polisi pariwisata” (Hitchcock & Darma Putra 2010, 100) showing the extent of the efforts that the government was willing to undertake in order to combat the unsecure climate in the country at the time. Evidently this was all in vain due to the fact that there was a second terrorist bombing incident only 3 years later in 2005. This back and forth between the Bali Government and terrorists shows clearly the struggle over security in the country as both sides require security (or a lack thereof) to achieve their goals.
Security is an important resource in tourism because “tourism can only thrive under peaceful conditions” (Hitchcock and Darma Putra 2010, 90). Tourists will not travel to places where they will be at risk and so for a tourism industry to be successful at a particular region, visitors must be able to feel safe. However, as Hitchcock and Darma Putra illustrate, it is difficult to completely secure a place, especially one where dangers like terrorism is a reality. Tourism organizations do not have much influence on their nation’s peace and security agendas (Hitchcock and Darma Putra 2010, 91), nor do they have much influence on the media, which plays a major role on mitigating the danger. No matter how secure a destination may be, if the media paints it to be high-risk, then people will not visit. The 2005 Bali bombings were especially damaging because the bombers’ pre-recorded confessions & message of upcoming attacks were widely circulated (Hitchcock and Darma Putra 2010, 102). There were also the travel warnings from the Australian government that further discouraged people from travelling to Bali.
Hitchcock and Darma Putra also shed light on the issue of policing and the history behind its complexity. The bombings led to policy changes in Bali, but with a legacy of corruption and inefficiency, Indonesian police already had a reputation of being seen as distrustful (Hitchcock and Darma Putra 2010, 100). There is also the discussion on ‘user-friendly police uniforms’, showing just how deep these feelings of distrust and lack of faith in police were. Cultural and historical considerations such as this, provided by an anthropological viewpoint, help unravel the complexity of security and why it is such a struggle to harness it in tourism. There are many factors, from the media and their influence over the consumers/tourists to local knowledge like the history of policies, that are necessary to understand the struggle over security.
The chapter by Hitchcock and Darma Putra illustrates how local authorities struggle over the resource of security to influence mediators’ presentations and tourists’ perceptions of tourist destinations. As the authors describe, “tourism can only survive under peaceful conditions” (Hitchcock and Putra 2010, 90). This demonstrates how the scarcity of security mirrors the scarcity of other resources, as when tourist destinations lack security, there is a significant power struggle between different groups in society.
Primarily, mediators, especially the media, possess significant power in the struggle for security, as their presentations of tourist destinations fuel tourist perceptions. As the chapter describes, many consider that “it is not, however, direct threats to tourism, such as terrorism, crime, and infectious diseases that are seen as a cause for alarm, but negative reporting in general” (Hitchcock and Putra 2010, 92). This media influence in the struggle for security is evident in the Bali case study. To compromise the global perceptions of Bali so that Westerners leave the region, the terrorists in the Bali bombings focused on tourist destinations, as “The deaths of foreign nationals would be likely to generate external publicity that the government could not suppress” (Hitchcock and Putra 2010, 103). In this case, both the terrorists and local authorities recognize the importance of the media as it is moreso the perceptions of security that overshadow tourist destinations’ realities.
As a result of the media’s presentations, the perceived lack of security has a major effect on tourists, as without security, tourists are not inclined to visit certain destinations. Although tourists have very little direct control over the resource of security, they indirectly fuel a shift by the local authorities. This is demonstrated by the case study in Bali. Following the 2002 bombings in Bali, the tourism industry’s contribution to provincial GDP decreased by 12.53% (Hitchcock and Putra 2010, 104). In response to this decline, local authorities struggled to increase the resource of security by prioritizing a visible police presence (Hitchcock and Putra 2010, 100), tripling intelligence officers (Hitchcock and Putra 2010, 100), and implementing beach policing (Hitchcock and Putra 2010, 100). This response demonstrates the local authorities’ struggles to heighten the security of the region, as with an improved global perception of the destination’s safety, its tourism industry can ultimately thrive.
Hitchcock, Michael., Darma Putra, Nyoman. (2010). “Cultural Perspectives on Tourism and Terrorism” in Tourism, Power and Culture: Anthropological Insights, edited by Donald V.L Macleod and James G Carrier, 90-106. Bristol: Channel View Publications
Answer preview Struggle over the resource security
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