Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Eagles nest and exploring the city

I checked into my accommodation earlier today, the Eagles Nest Backpackers located on the main street Victoria Street in the heart of the city. I choose to stay at this back packer accommodation as it is characteristic of youth tourism practices, providing a cheap place to stay. It was also appealing due to its central location so it was easy to get around and explore the city and it provided an avenue to stay with and meet other like minded tourists which plays a big part in the youth travel experience in terms of the relationships they form being of high importance.

Once settled in I decided to head out and explore the city and the sights it had to offer.

This represents my first interaction with Hamilton and highlights this phenomenon of collecting places. Collecting places is highly evident among youth tourists, look at any blog or social networking site and they are saturated with the images of young tourists in exotic, exciting locations taking part in adventurous activities they have undertaken on their travels. These photos represent a form of collection, with the main use of these photos/videos, souvenir's, language etc. is to be put on display back home and act as a form of visual and physical proof. I have framed Hamilton as containing a set of valuable experiences and knowledge which i aim to set out and collect with the goal of accumulating cultural capital. Cultural capital in turn is converted to narrate new identities (both public and personal) and act as a marker of difference in class, social and economic identities.
My interaction with Hamilton in terms of photos, experience's and souvenir's allows me to collect the place, it in a sense allows me to collect Hamilton's experiences and knowledge on offer and tick it off my list. This gained cultural capital from my time in Hamilton will further allow me to distinguish myself from others based on my tourism consumption practices and can provide me a higher degree of class and social based identity on my return, due to my valued experiences and knowledge (cultural capital) collected on my travel's. This search for cultural capital in the tourist experience which can be beneficial to the tourist upon return plays a role in dictating the tourist experience in terms of places to travel and activities to partake in, all with the fundamental quest for cultural capital in mind.

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