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Cultural Differences as the Cause of Cultural Conflict in Tourism

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Introduction

To possess the ability of recognizing all aspects of this research paper, the primary question it has been derived from must be interpreted, that is, learning the question that will be answered through this paper. Cultural differences are what is recognized as diverse behaviors based upon traditions and beliefs rooting from the origin of oneself. As well as, tourism is the performance of moving from a country to another for a certain purpose e.g. leisure. It can be debated that the dependent and independent variables of this paper contradict together.

It might initially seem that, yes, diversity of origin may spring disagreements between individuals or, no, it does not. However, a centralized version of this topic will be along the lines of this research, highlighting this issue in the tourism industry to locate an answer specifically in this segment. As any touristic activity involves tourist and host, is it considerable that such individuals or organisations may struggle to interact and get involved in disagreements due to different expectations of one another to perform certain behaviours?

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This document is anticipated to act as a platform for certain perspectives to be displayed. Such aspects will be composed of a global angle, discussing cultural conflict impacts on touristic industries located in the following countries, Italy, France, and India. To add, the acknowledgement of the topic in Egypt is a necessity as it is where the research will be carried out, as well as being the origin of this paper’s author and a nation where tourism has been largely impacted by many matters. Ensuring an intricate study of the topic, the debate will extend to local communities mentioning investigations carried out in school to thoroughly analyze how the topic impacts the daily lives of normal citizens interacting inside what is considered normal society.

Global Perspectives

Venice, Italy

As it is known by many, Venice has been an ore of tourist attraction for many years, however regarding the recent escalation of social media use, advertisements and bookings have become a quick facilitated procedure, resulting in the exaggerated boost of number of tourists.

While it may be perceived as a desirable consequence for any country, it has been the contrary for Italy, as locals possess the culture of conservation and serenity, and it seems that not all tourists do. With as many attractions as Venice has, the overcrowding was said to interfere with locals’ daily lives, as well as even cause them to leave the city as a reaction to the distaste at what they consider a bombard of their lives (Giuffrida, 2017).

To add, such as a case was expected to deteriorate as May Day weekend was about approach, and as a result, the government viewed it as the time to interfere and part Venetians and foreigners touring the city, in avoidance of any cultural antagonism that may occur (Street, 2018).

To analyse, the issue at hand is becoming common among many nations, and so what ignited the flame is the natural evolvement and awareness of individuals of the importance of experiencing new places and the exposure to other backgrounds, also the facilitation of such. However, the problem was the contradiction of expectations that tourist and host set for each other. The government’s gesture might have eased the congestion and satisfied the locals, yet it is suggested that such an action might have dissatisfied tourists, which might harm the city’s tourism, as arriving at certain locations and being informed that they are not allowed to enter wasted money and effort of individuals, despite the consideration that exposure to such a consequence was due to faulty attitudes and lack of awareness adding to disregard of conservation and comfort of locals.

Therefore, it could be concluded that the case discussed previously harmonizes the topic of this paper and is a clear recognition of the fact that diverse cultures may create opposition and damage to the industry.

Paris, France

While the issue may be largely interpreted on the level of individuals, it is also of large impact among organisations and this would make the case that will be explained along the next lines. Corresponding to many other businesses, Disneyland has had a few downturns, one of which was found compatible with the topic at hand.

As an introduction, it must be stated that this version of failure took place during the opening months of Disneyland Paris, also known as EURO Disneyland at the time. Alike any organization, there has to be employees, however for this one in particular, it was unlike any other when after a short period, it found itself 3,000 employees smaller (Manic Expression, 2018). The more important question is, why did that happen? A simple answer to that is short and precise; cultural conflict. It is known that Disneyland is an American company, naturally run with American rules and norms which brings the issue to be displayed. Employees were ordered to have a unified appearance, translating into the same haircut for men and makeup for women as well as, of course, a uniform (Manic Expression, 2018). Such an order was regarded as ‘an invasion of American culture’ and it was highlighted that it caused damage to the French distinctiveness (Manic Expression, 2018).

Moving on to an analysis, this example suggests a classic case of cultural misconception and unrealistic expectation from both parties, company and employee. Though many may ask, how does this relate to tourism? The France and the native employees here act as the host, while Disneyland, is the tourist. Apart from being a tourist attraction, the company generates income to France by investing and utilizing many aspects, which could be viewed as what a tourist does.

To evaluate, this sample suggests that the answer to this research paper is positive, also assenting with the author’s views, as the touristic industry may be sensitive to such situations, due to the whole concept of the touristic industry being that of individuals or organizations experimenting and utilizing other locations and cultures.

India

Although it was previously discussed in detail how cultural differences interfere with tourism, allow the author to move on to another aspect, which is culture as a base of tourism. This perspective might initially seem to oppose the previous one, though many may debate on such a matter after studying the case.

It is well known around the globe that tourism in India largely relies on tradition and ancient times, as the two have been the reason for the nation’s elevation recently. Such matters translate into temples, palaces and even mountains. Behavior of the locals also attract tourists, as their habits and methods are arguably unique, which attracts foreigners to learn more about the details, which brings the contradiction. This paper debates on whether cultural difference springs undesired disagreements, however this case proved negative, unlike both previous ones.

From an analytic point of view, let it be stated that India’s identity is what creates the rarity of touristic experiences, and as many of the attractions it possesses are religious or related to their heritage and legacy like Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and many more (Business Maps of India), tourists seem to respect such bases, as no contradiction seems to have taken place, which proves our research topic negative regarding this country.

An evaluation should be made, which consists of that this example proves that cultural differences did not cause conflict in tourism however, it created a touristic industry attracting many individuals from around the globe.

National Perspective

After displaying the issue at hand through a global point of view, it is necessary to discuss the conflict on a national level, this angle of the document will evolve around and focus on Egypt, as it was mentioned previously that it is where the research is conducted as well as the home country of the author.

As the first type of attractions was briefly discussed, allow the author to transport you unto the other branch that is in need of more detail. It is known around the globe that Egyptians possess many traditions and norms that they have been following for many centuries, ancestors have been careful to teach each generation how significant a family bond is, as well as, Egyptians are known for their religious nature, of carrying out their rituals and religious activities regularly regardless of the religion being Christianity or Islam (Fathy, 2017). Such behaviors contradict with those of tourists, as around the globe, each culture has distinctive priorities, however, tourists from 35 other destinations on the globe are being hosted daily with no significant problems (Egypt Independent, 2019), which leads us to the heart of why tourism in Egypt has dwindled in the last decade. Following many political events in attempt to expel terrorism out of Egypt, as well as the terrorism itself, e.g. a 2005 bombing that targeted a resort in Sharm el Sheikh that led to a drastic drop in tourism starting 2006, being only one incident that led to a 56.8 percent decrease in the number of tourist nights spent in Egypt (Zhang, 2019).

To conclude, while it may be considered that Egypt experienced a little amount of both, cultural tourism and probable conflict at times alike any nation, as well as, a downfall in tourism altogether due to terrorism that has no relation to the culture of Egyptians or tourists inside the country, which leads this case to act as a negative evidence to the initial question this document has been aiming to answer.

Overall Cases Evaluation

Passing through the few countries mentioned above, it was recognizable that there was evidence that cultural diversity does, in fact, cause conflict in the tourism industry for more than one country, while being the total opposite for others including India, as it was also mentioned. The case for Egypt is both, as it does possess a fair share of distinctive culture that attracts tourists like temples, The Pyramids, museums and many more (State Information Service), it is also known for the beaches and other neutral attractions which cannot be classified under cultural tourism.

Local Perspective

Through a survey conducted online as primary research by the author to be able to collect a local perspective for accuracy, it was seen that different answers matched with different perspectives in this research. For example, when asked what would be of most interest as a tourist between a range of destinations based on nature or culture, a famous mountain got the most answers, which leads to the comprehension that it could be considered as a neutral destination, however as aforementioned in the global perspectives section regarding India, a mountain was regarded as a cultural destination, which in comparison does not point towards a clear point other than personal tastes and intentions, therefore does not prove anything regarding conflict in tourism regarding that aspect.

Travelling further through the survey, respondents answered to whether a sense of freedom was possessed while abroad, mostly with ‘sometimes’, it was seen that the analysis of this question was clear, as the hesitancy and inconsistency of the confidence to act naturally somewhere unfamiliar led to the probability of conflict avoidance, which harmonizes with the topic at hand.

Moreover, when asked if it would cause any offence if tourists in Egypt or Cairo specifically acted upon their own culture, most answers came as ‘ Not at all, we are meant to be different’ or ‘ Not really’, which is in agreement with the national perspective discussed earlier, that in Egypt no noticeable conflict took place due to diverse cultures and backgrounds, as well as the following question which asked about whether tourist and host always got along, which mostly scored ‘ yes’, again in tune with the national perspective and Indian global perspective but contradicting with the two remaining countries, where the opposite was clear. The last question was asking for personal opinions on the matter, which almost all agreed that conflict may spring if culture was displayed in the wrong manner only, again leading to the same conclusion all locals came to through this survey, which sometimes is in conflict with this paper and other times in total agreement.

Personal Perspective

When starting this paper, the author had a clear opinion that, yes cultural difference always causes conflict in tourism; however through the progression of the paper, the perspective was constant in evolving and changing due to the frequent exposure to different sources and information regarding the matter, until a new conclusion was met.

The new opinion assembled by the author is that culture may cause conflict only if displayed negatively, and that it generally springs in countries where the tourism section is based upon random entertainment rather than cultural monuments and destinations, so yes, cultural difference may affect tourism negatively at times as it was seen in Italy, when tourists did not respect the culture of serenity and conservation of Venetians. Again it took place in France, as Disneyland operated according to the unified rules, lacking awareness of how the French valued freedom of attire as part of their identity. However, as it is said and believed by the conductor of this paper now, that culture may act as the sole attraction for tourists alike in India and Egypt, where temples and many other destinations fully rely on culture to attract tourists, and the industry is going smoothly regarding the interaction as both parties respect each other.

Regarding the local perspective, it completely agrees again with the opinion of the author, as a local in Cairo as well, which leads to the general evaluation that cultural differences may, again, create contradiction between tourist and host, however sometimes it is what brings them together.

Bibliography

Manic Expression. (2018, February 2). Retrieved from www.manic-expression.com.

Egypt Independent. (2019, December 31). Retrieved from egyptindependent.com.

Business Maps of India. (n.d.). Retrieved from business.mapsofindia.com.

Fathy, F. (2017, January 17). Globalization Partners International. Retrieved from https://www.globalizationpartners.com.

Giuffrida, A. (2017, July 23). Retrieved from www.thegaurdian.com.

Press, C. U. (n.d.). Retrieved from Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.

Press, O. U. (n.d.). Oxford English Mini Dictionary. (C. Soanes, Ed.) Oxford University Press Inc.

State Information Service. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sis.gov.eg.

Street, F. (2018, April 28). Retrieved from CNN Travel.

Zhang, L. (2019, November 27). ArcGIS Storymaps. Retrieved from storymaps.arcgis.com.

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