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Providing counter-narratives: the positive role of hostels in the Israeli-Palestinian context
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Economics, Geography, Law and Tourism. (European Tourism Research Institute (ETOUR))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6082-5085
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Economics, Geography, Law and Tourism. (European Tourism Research Institute (ETOUR))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3887-681X
2019 (English)In: Tourism Geographies, ISSN 1461-6688, E-ISSN 1470-1340, p. 1-24Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Previous research suggests that tourism has a role to play in challenging the destructive dominant narratives of the IsraeliPalestinian context – discourses that traditionally have, and still do, revolve around sectarianism, Othering and violence. Our case study focuses on a hostel in the Palestinian city of Ramallah that boldly attempts to challenge the way tourists view the IsraeliPalestinian context and Palestine as a tourism destination. We examine how the hostel attempts to achieve this and the ways in which being a hostel (as opposed to a hotel) helps its guests with this reframing through in-depth qualitative interviews conducted on-site with members of the hostel management and staff, and through participant observation conducted by the researchers in Ramallah. Findings shed light on the hostel’s ability to enable Israelis and Palestinians to cooperate within tourism, and how Palestine has much more to offer tourists than conflict-related tourism, thus challenging the master narratives of the region which have suggested quite the contrary. A key finding is the hostel’s on-going attempt to remove ignorance about the situation in the region and promote fact-based learning. The results also suggest that the very characteristics of a hostel assist in achieving this mission through the intimate interactions that are inherent in a hostel setting. Hostels can, therefore, be part of a wider approach to ensuring tourism is used to promote alternative, positive narratives of contested space, as opposed to promoting division and externalising the conflict, as is so often the case

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019. p. 1-24
Keywords [en]
Palestine, Israel, Ramallah, tourism, backpackers, hostels, contested space, peace, cross-cultural understanding
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-37357DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2019.1669215OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-37357DiVA, id: diva2:1354322
Available from: 2019-09-25 Created: 2019-09-25 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved

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Shepherd, JackLaven, Daniel
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