Arcadia in the Antipodes:Tourist's Reflections on New Zealand as Nature Experience

Eveline Dürr

Abstract


This article directs attention to German tourists' fascination with New Zealand. I first scrutinise New Zealand's representation and reveal the ways it is invented and conceptualised by the tourist industry as a 'pure' nature paradise and island reserve. I point to the residual effect of representations and argue that Tourism New Zealand's advertising strategies,international perception and national identity are intertwined and mutually constructed. I then examine the subjectivity of a specific German tourist clientele which is mainly attracted by New Zealand's scenery and less interested in, or even rejects, outdoor adventure tourism activities. I situate their enthusiasm toward New Zealand in the wider frame of environmentalism and concepts of nature in Germany, which are informed by both the philosophical legacy of Romanticism and the political culture emerging in the aftermath of the Second World War. I argue that what the German visitors expect to find in New Zealand is their ideal interaction with the natural world, as both an inspirational force and political concept. In conclusion, I link my findings to imaginaries of island purity and stasis, which contrast positively with notions of globalisaiton, rapid change and instability.

Keywords


Germany, tourism, New Zealand, nature

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/sites-vol4iss2id74