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Counter-Tourism: The Handbook

Counter-Tourism: The Handbook

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For anyone who's ever been a tourist, Counter-Tourism is an invitation to completely transform our experience of the heritage-tourism industry and its many sites (castles, National Trust properties, etc.). It provides a set of powerful lenses, designed to bend a whole world of conventional tourism into a spiral of new perspectives and experiences. Beneath those simple sounding stories in the Visitor Guide and behind the locked gates marked PRIVATE in heritage sites, there lies a multitude of inconvenient stories, hilarities, wonders, absurdities, extremes and entertaining outrages. When Counter-Tourism opens the doors, tourism becomes a funny, shocking, revealing, subversive and life-changing experience rather than a deferential procession through the unrevealing stately homes of Heritage plc. Counter-Tourism upsets the sanitising efforts of the heritage industry. Counter-tourism is also a journey of mini-pilgrimages, challenges and pleasures. It celebrates the multiplicities of meanings in every heritage venue and upsets all the heritage industry's attempts at meaning-control and homogenisation. With hundreds more tactics and images, philosophical diversions and asides, the Handbook is for anyone who wants to explore the ideas of counter-tourism in more depth. Part 2 of the Handbook has ideas on how to extend the tactics described in Part 1 into interventions that can be planned and performed in heritage sites. And Part 3 goes on to suggest open 'infiltrations' that can be used by artists, performers, radical tourists and even heritage site managers themselves to reinvent their own sites. Alongside this there's a photo-essay on using the tactics, and a full bibliography.