This chapter discusses the commoditization and enclosure of space by the tourist industry. It is argued that commoditization takes place through the production of spaces destined to promote consumerism while at the same time strategies of enclosure are developed to intensify the private consumption of space. Spaces of consumerism are expansions from rational self-contained shopping spaces, such as malls and markets, toward urban space, and, through tourism, also to far-flung nonurban space. In contrast, consumption of space refers to the private appropriation and use of space, and the emptying, physically and symbolically, of public/collective uses and local meanings1. The chapter examines the development of the Mexican Caribbean south of Cancun, a coastline that has come to be known as the "Mayan Riviera." On the one hand, it describes how tourist-based economies create spaces of consumerism such as all-inclusive resorts or tourist promenades in order to attract capital and monetary flows. At the same time, it considers the consequences of this process: the ways in which specific patterns of access and exclusion are promoted in order to intensify the private consumption of space. For instance, the ways in which certain ethnic groups and their social practices are segregated from places, such as "public" beaches, which are appropriated for exclusive tourist use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)