SOLUTION: GG 294 University of Guelph Imperialism and Colonization in Tourism Reflection & Responses

View profile card for Samuel Yu
Discussion post 3b
Samuel Yu posted Oct 20, 2021 9:10 PM
Hey my name is Sam and I am a moderator this week. I am a second year kinesiology student who
took this course for my interest in travel and tourism. I will be moderating question 2b) this week
where we will Discuss how tourism may be a form of neocolonialism especially for those people
and places impacted by colonization. and How might we work to decolonize tourism by including
BIPOC and LBGTQ voices and narratives within the tourism experience? Have you noticed
visitor/tourist spaces become more inclusive?
Simply put, neocolonialism is known as the exploitation of developing countries using
capitalism (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2021). Tourism may be a form of neocolonialism as it was and
is viewed as a great modernizer to increase a developing country’s economy. However, because
these developing countries lacked the resources to develop the tourism industry alone, they
turned to developed countries for their resources and expertise in hopes to grow their economy.
In turn, the developed, wealthy countries set the model for what the developing country and its
tourism sector should look like (Ltd, 2021). Leading to the neocolonialism of a developing country
through the exploitation of the tourism industry.
In regards to how we can work towards decolonizing tourism by including BIPOC and the
LGBTQ community is still a very broad discussion. The article by i-team discusses 10 writers who
have voiced their opinion on how travel lacks diversity and how it must change. The most notable
steps include holding travel companies accountable, marketing that feature black travellers and
people of colour, examining services for unconscious bias towards POC, and hiring writers,
photographers, and editors to represent the BIPOC and LGBTQ tourism community (I-team, 2020).
Taking these steps would encourage travel for both communities as they are some of the fastest
growing traveller groups.
The second article discusses how the tourism industry is becoming more inclusive. LGBTQ
individuals in the travel industry are growing exponentially each year. This may partially be due to
the fact that they are much more accepted across the globe (Matsangou, 2019). In addition, the
LGBTQ travellers are recognized to travel much more as well as have higher than average
spending habits while travelling. Many countries have also started to participate in ‘Big-ticket’
events to accommodate the community, with events like pride parades and festivals being held
across the globe. However, there are still certain destinations where anti-gay laws are set in place,
where individuals who identify as LGBTQ may choose to pass as stright or cisgender. These places
are where we must still work hard to create change and a positive environment for all tourists.
Personally, I have noticed tourist places becoming more inclusive. The most notable was when
my soccer team had a showcase tournament in England and our bus had driven past the city of
Manchester during the pride festival. Later finding out that it was a 10 day festival and one of the
hottest LGBTQ locations in the UK.
Encyclopedia Britannica, inc. (2021). Neocolonialism. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved
October 21, 2021, from
I-Team. (2020, June 19). Tourism should be a pillar of inclusivity and diversity, but it is not, as
these experts show. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from
Ltd, A. A. (2021, August 12). Tourism as a form of neocolonialism. UK Essays. Retrieved
October 21, 2021, from
Matsangou, E. (2019, February 2019). Chasing the rainbow: The tourism industry is becoming
more inclusive. Business Destinations Make travel your business. Retrieved October 21,
2021, from
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View profile card for Dane Vanderheyden
Dane Vanderheyden
October 24 at 1:47 PM
Hi Sam,
Great post, thank you for providing the background
information on neocolonialism as this provides good
context to the discussion question. After reading the
articles that were linked into the discussion question, it
made me step back to evaluate travel and tourism from a
different perspective. Often, we are consumed with our own
experiences and planning that unless it has a direct impact
on us, we don’t really consider the challenges faced by
others, whether it be race, gender, orientation etc.
In my experience, there are gestures being made to support
inclusivity for travellers and visitors for example, in Grand
Bend, ON, there have been cross-walks painted in with the
pride rainbow. Yes, it is a symbol of acceptance and
inclusivity, but as noted one article we need to ensure to go
beyond just posting the pride flag in the window. The
tourism industry needs to be held accountable to know and
understand the visitors and to be able to connect
communities together.
I thought that your example of being in Manchester during
the pride festival was a good and would be interested to
see if you think that the city would be as open and
accepting when the festival was not being held?

View profile card for Ozkan Altun
Ozkan Altun
October 28 at 8:11 PM
Hello Sam, very clear and thoughtful post. I agree with you
on the point that tourism as a form of neocolonialism is
beneficial through allowing the country to grow
economically as well as modernization. Although these pros
also come with cons such as the suppression of culture in
the region/nation and other negative impacts colonization
comes with.
On the point about how we can begin decolonizing tourism
i believe is to absolutely include BIPOC and LGBTQ+
individuals both through writing and experience. I also
believe that this is up to the tourism companies like
Thomas Cook that provide a product and profit from
tourism. A big responsibility should be placed on tourism
companies to actively include these individuals in their staff
and customers by creating an image of inclusivity and

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View profile card for Edward Schulz
Edward Schulz
yesterday at 4:24 PM
Hey Sam, great post here. I agree with the fact that tourism is a form of
neocolonialism, an example would be the Bahamas and their economic rise
due to their reliance on the tourism industry and how it was developed. I do
think that there are pros and cons to this though, as you mentioned the big pro
is that richer countries can help the poorer ones that lack the necessary
resources to develop their tourism industry by setting a model to follow and of
course leading to the neocolonialism of a developing country through the
exploitation of the tourism industry. However, I think a con that comes with
this is with the richer country kind of setting this model and taking over there
can be loss of culture in that region, and it can start to change that regions way
of life which may not be wanted by the locals.
Moving onto the point about how we can begin decolonizing tourism by
including BIPOC and the LGBTQ community more in travel and tourism I
agree with the points in the article that recommend things like marketing black
travellers and people of colour, examining services for unconscious bias
towards POC, and hiring writers, photographers, and editors to represent the
BIPOC and LGBTQ tourism community (I-team, 2020). I think these steps
will not only show support for the BIPOC and LGBTQ tourism community but
also make tourism more inviting as it should be for everyone without any
barriers attached or without making people feel unwanted. I also think that
travel companies and resorts can do their own form of advertisement to show
more inclusion, in the one article it talks about how in the 1970’s the first gayonly tour of the Grand Canyon was offered by US-based company He Travel
(Matsangou, 2019). This is something that encourages inclusion in travel and
makes groups such as the LGBTQ feel more wanted and included, things that I
think should be encouraged more and more moving forward to make Tourism
more inclusive to all. Do you think it would be a good idea for resorts
themselves to do something like this and have weekends for let’s say the
BIPOC and LGBTQ tourism community to encourage inclusion?
View profile card for Dane Vanderheyden
Discussion Post 3a
Dane Vanderheyden posted Oct 20, 2021 5:33 PM
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Hi my name is Dane and I am a second year, Kinesiology student. I
decided to take this course as I have an interest in travel and wanted to
understand the industry in greater depth. I will be moderating
Discussion 3a) which states: We’ve discussed many cultural, economic
and environmental impacts of tourism on individuals, communities and
regions. Page & Connell (2020 p.227) describe McDonaldization which
is a manifestation of globalization and also coin another term known
as Disneyfication. Describe your perspectives on these two terms and
how these processes have impacted tourism in specific destinations (do
you have any personal travel experiences?). What long-term impacts
may result from these processes? How might the commoditization of
culture impact the authenticity of a place? Make inferences as to the
long-term sustainability of a destination if authenticity is impacted?
In my opinion McDonaldization and Disneyfication have had significant
influences on tourism and growth of the tourism industry.
McDonaldization focuses on providing a standardized approach to the
travel experience across the globe, meaning that regardless of where
you stay in the world, the hotel within the selected chain would be
similar, regardless of the city. For example, when I stay at a Hilton
hotel, regardless of the city where I have travelled, the atmosphere,
hotel structure and services are the same, even down to the soap
provided. These although brands themselves, are associated through
procurement to the Hilton brand as well. It becomes an expectation
within the standardization of the chain by guests. I draw parallel with
McDonalds, in the simplest form of straws and napkins and type of
French fries – regardless of city, these are the same.
With “Disneyfication” there is the addition of encompassing travel
experience with the combination of travel, entertainment and sale of
good/products all within a package (like Disney, Great Wolf Lodge or
Rainforest Cafe), that is controlled environment, so that there is a level
of assurance that the experience will be “magical”, resulting in the
desire to return or embark on other similar vacations.
I believe that the long-term impacts of standardization can have a
positive influence on expanding the travel market to allow a
competitive and consistent travel experience across the globe. This may
be especially true for travellers that are more mainstream and reluctant
to take the road less travelled in order to stumble upon a hidden gem
or picture perfect landscape from the top of a mountain. That said,
there is a cost to globalization of travel. Standardized is not authentic
or unique. There is a lack of exploration or cultural immersion if you
move away from individualized, unique, one-of-a-kind travel
experiences or boutique hotels. There is a risk of culturally insensitivity
and exclusion within the local community if the push of a North
American experience perspective, through standardization strips away
the cultural differences and local traditions. Even when cultural
celebrations are attempted within a controlled environment, there is a
lack of authenticity as the characters are prescribed, dances rehearsed
and nothing left to chance.
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View profile card for Trevor Ferretti
Trevor Ferretti
October 26 at 10:16 AM
Hi Dane!
I really enjoyed reading your post, and I absolutely agree with
several points that you mentioned. McDonaldization was a term
that I was unfamiliar with before taking this course, however I
realize now that looking back on some of my travelling
experiences that I can certainly see the effects of this concept. I
draw upon similar experiences with hotels, as you mentioned in
your post about the Hilton hotels. When you travel to a new
location, you are still left with very similar surroundings and a
common culture among these places, which is largely due to the
effects of McDonaldization and globalization. I believe that
globalization plays a very large role in this, as many countries that
rely on the tourism industry have no problem putting the
authenticity of their destination in jeopardy for the prosperity of
their tourism sector. Of course, this has consequent economic
impacts, as many of these countries are required to import
extremely high amounts of goods to satisfy this craving that
tourists have for familiarity. Do we visit the Bahamas for the rich
Bahamian culture, or do we visit to sit on a beach and enjoy allinclusive American food? This draws back to McDonaldization and
your point (and personally my favourite sentence in your post)
about how “with McDonalds, in the simplest form of straws and
napkins and type of French fries – regardless of city, these are the
same.” My question to you Dane would be do you believe all the
effects of McDonaldization are negative? Or are there some
positive takeaways from this movement, specifically in terms of
the long-term growth of these locations.

View profile card for Dane Vanderheyden
Dane Vanderheyden
October 26 at 11:53 AM
Hi Trevor,
I do see positives with respect to globalization including
economic growth to cities and countries that are developing. If a
traveller is familiar with a brand and reputation of a hotel chain,
they may choose a location or city that is not as familiar because
of this. In addition, because large corporations have the
investment ability on a large scale, this will assist with the local
economies including employment and available spending that will
benefit other local businesses.
From your travel experiences and preferences, are you drawn
towards more local, unique experiences or do you find familiarity
and standardized more appealing?

View profile card for Trevor Ferretti
Trevor Ferretti
October 28 at 9:57 AM
Hi Dane,
Personally I consider myself to be drawn towards more local and
unique experiences, primarily because I like to travel with the
motto that I like to try new things. The way I see it; if you are
taking the time to travel to a new location, why go there just to
have similar time to what you can experience back home? With
that being said, I do feel that there is a good balance of new with
familiarity, and especially when you first arrive at a new
destination, having some familiarity to ease the culture shock can
certainly be a good thing. Nonetheless, I would say I am drawn to
more unique experiences.
Connecting this back to the topic at hand, processes like
McDonaldization and Disneyfication can take away from the
uniqueness of a location, and I feel that too much of this
familiarity does absolutely take away from the travelling
experience. And as we have been observing, the long term
impacts of these processes are only going to make places more
and more similar, while sacrificing that one-of-a-kind experience
that many travellers like myself with to cherish.
Great question Dane, and I would like to also open my response
to other group members as well when I ask if anyone has any
personal travelling examples of seeing the effects of these
processes first hand.

View profile card for Ozkan Altun
Ozkan Altun
October 28 at 8:20 PM
I am intrigued by the terms McDonaldization and Disneyfication. I
was not familiar with these terms before this topic and can
connect it to some of my tourist destinations such as when i
stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Cuba. The McDonaldidzation of
tourism is very prominent as when i was talking to my friends
about my experience at the resort in Varadero, Cuba they also
told me about a similar experience of pool parties, lots of drinks,
and friendly staff in Negril, Jamaica. The commodification of
culture truly impacts the authenticity of the destination because
my experience in Cuba was similar to my friend’s experience in
Jamaica which is not similar outside of the resort.
I think the long-term sustainability of the commodification of
culture is actually sustainable because there is money involved.
Although the culture in the region may be lost through expansion
of the tourism industry, the commodification of culture itself will
be thriving, especially if a artificial culture is sold to the consumer.

View profile card for Dane Vanderheyden
Dane Vanderheyden
Tue at 9:57 AM
Hi Ozkan,
thank you for your response and thoughts. When I was reading
your post the word “authenticity” or lack there of from a culture
perspective kept coming to mind. Do you or any others feel that
there will come a time when our travel experiences will be so
similar, standardized or influenced by the western ideal of what
the experience “should look like” that the desire to travel

View profile card for Ozkan Altun
Ozkan Altun
Tue at 11:28 PM
I do think there will be a time where travel experiences to
countries will be very similar due to the desire to make the most
profit. For example, hotels will offer variety of dining experiences
not authentic to the country or culture or offer merchandise
imported from somewhere else. Although i think much of the
travel experiences will become less authentic and similar to
experiences around the world i believe there will still be a market
for travel that seeks an authentic view and experience of the
country which will never cease to exist no matter how influential
big tourism companies are.

View profile card for Edward Schulz
Edward Schulz
Tue at 6:47 PM
Hey Dane, great post! I really enjoyed reading your point of view on Mcdonaldization and
Disneyfication and how they have impacted tourism. I agree with what you wrote on how you think
standardization can have a positive influence on expanding the travel market to allow a competitive
and consistent travel experience across the globe especially when it comes to ‘mainstream’ travelers.
I know personally that my family has been absorbed into this standardization tourism as we continue
to travel to resorts around the world that we have stayed at before in different locations and had
positive experiences with. For example, the Rui hotels and resorts are located all over the world and
my family went to one of them in Mexico when I was younger and loved the experience, so we now
seek out new locations to travel to while booking with a Rui resort to get that similar experience.
However, I do think the standardization approach brings pros and cons. The pros are you know what
you will get when going to one of these chain resorts, you know the type of food you will eat and
the entertainment you will see ect. The cons, just as you said in your post Dane, are that it’s not
authentic or unique and although you enjoyed your experience at one of the sister resorts somewhere
else in the world who’s not to say you would enjoy something else better, or if a different way? I…
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