Anthropology is the study of what makes us human…

And humanity is complicated. Anthropologists seek to understand what makes us human by examining the different aspects that contribute to that make-up. This includes studying human past through archaeology and evolutionary history, analyzing language, and exploring the complexities of society and culture. Travel and tourism, as a significant component of what makes us human, has increasingly become a subject of anthropological research.

Issues discussed by tourism leaders today are also being examined at the academic level. Prevalent topics include the authenticity of the tourist experience, the tourist gaze, how travel transforms the traveler, and the cultural impact of tourism on destinations. However, important anthropological analyses are not always easily accessible by the people who manage tourism programs.

This website was developed to provide a platform for academic researchers and destination management professionals to share research and case studies. The goal is to enable better communication and a more complete perspective on travel and tourism as an economic driver, social dynamic, and transformational process. This collection of articles is an exercise in idea-sharing.

For anthropologists, this website can provide a podium to summarize research for a wider audience, an audience working on the ground level in tourism management and development with limited exposure to anthropological networks. Researchers may also glean data from the case studies and perspectives provided by diverse contributors.

For tourism professionals, this website is a resource for exploring reports on challenges facing all destinations. In addition, anthropological approaches, specifically ethnographic research methodology, can contribute to a better understanding of the many subjects that intersect with tourism; the traveler, meeting planners, military reunion planners, tour operators, residents, hospitality proprietors, the policy-makers, and many more.

The sub-field of anthropology that researches tourism is called the Anthropology of Tourism, defined as the study of tourism as it relates to humankind. I have chosen to name this website Anthropological Tourism, to distinguish between theoretical or academic research endeavors and their application. Organizations that embrace tourism management from a human perspective are practicing Anthropological Tourism.

Anthropologist Ruth Benedict famously said, “The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences”. Travel and tourism can also result in a greater understanding and acceptance of other people and other cultures. Please share this website to help humankind embrace its uniqueness.

This is a collaborative approach to information sharing. Please reach out with story ideas or article submissions.

Thank you for visiting AnthropologicalTourism.com.

Meagan McGuire, Editor