Tourism maps remain underexamined in geography. Despite recent trends in critical cartography and tourism studies that redefine the relationship between space and representation, these geographic texts are rarely explored for their intertextual relationships with the spaces they claim to represent. In this article, we argue that tourism maps and other representations play an important role in the production of tourism spaces. We begin with an examination of the parallel trends in critical cartography and tourism studies and then push these intial theoretics further by integrating theories of identity, space and representation. We define tourism maps, spaces and identities as inter-related processes rather than final products. The creation of maps as processes inevitably includes the ambiguities introduced in the production of spaces and the formation of identities by changing social contexts. These ambiguities are readable in maps and they permit us, and potentially other map readers, to understand the spaces and identities of tourism in ways not fully circumscribed by a map's immediate production context and purpose. To explore this theoretical argument further we read one tourism map for the inter-related, ambiguous and therefore contested processes reproducing, but never fully fixing, tourism spaces and identities.
- Critical cartography
- Critical tourism studies
- Map space
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development