Mediating Tourist Landscape: A Case Study of Media-Induced Tourism in China

Guanxiong Huang


This study examines the rising phenomenon of media-induced tourism. The case selected is a Chinese television drama Flowing Time and Black Town, the location where Flowing Time was filmed. Through textual analysis and ethnography, this study reveals how the meaning of the landscape is mediated and how the mediated meaning is constituted by and constitutive of people’s everyday lives. The results consist of two parts. First, television as “myth maker” transforms empirical time and space into the mythic world and embeds the media narrative into the landscape meaning. Second, gaze is a synthesis of discursive practices disciplining the interactions of social actors. Tourists, the tourism industry, and local residents play different roles in the discursive formation of the place-myth—as “seekers,” “designers,” “guiders,” and “boosters.” They work in a dynamic interplay to reproduce and reinforce the mediated meaning in the cycle of signification.

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