Glamping in Taiwan: When the Global Meets the Local
Glamping is an increasingly blooming tourism trend in Taiwan lately. While it was introduced from abroad into the local context of Taiwan and became a prosperous tourism industry in only five years, the astonishing popularity makes glamping in Taiwan an interesting case to have considerable contributions to the academic debate about globalization. With the case, this study aims to respond to the academic requests for more empirical tourism studies in order to examine the underlying process of globalization, with relevant discussions underneath, including the concepts of cultural homogenization, localization, and glocalization. Besides, glamping in Asian countries as a rather understudied topic in terms of the interaction between the global and the local shows great potential for new visions. These conditions thus form the following research question: how do Taiwanese camping and glamping operators negotiate between the global and the local in view of the increasing popularity of glamping in Taiwan. To find the answer, a qualitative approach was adopted. Online interviews were conducted with thirteen Taiwanese glamping operators. The results of this research show that the cultural homogenization model is confirmed to be a common and first strategy for Taiwanese glamping providers to develop the global idea of glamping into local contexts of Taiwan. A nuanced observation here is that glamping in Taiwan is homogenized towards examples in both Western countries and Asian countries, thereby rejecting the idea of homogenization as a complete Westernization. In addition, three major glamping localization trajectories in Taiwan are found in this study. The first and the second are to deal with the inflexible and adaptable Taiwanese local resources respectively, while the third one is through local collaborations. In general, localization can already be seen in glamping development in Taiwan, although strictly speaking, it remains mostly on the additions instead of on the event of glamping itself. An overall conclusion of glamping development in Taiwan is given as a glocalization process (Robertson, 1995), which contains simultaneous existence of the homogenization and the localization. An obvious time order within this glocalization model is welcomed by Taiwanese glamping operators as an effective way to develop glamping sites. Furthermore, the active role (Schuerkens, 2003) of Taiwanese glamping providers during the development underneath either homogenization or localization, represents that they are not defenseless, but capable to respond to the global forces by actions of imitating, adapting, adjusting or reinventing. Besides, information technology is a useful tool within the glocalization of glamping in Taiwan that cannot be overlooked. Finally, Pieterse’s (1995) concept of cultural hybridization is proposed to describe the overall glamping development in Taiwan, as it better highlights the mixing of cultures, including interactions between the West and the East, as well as between the global and the local. Future suggestions for both tourism practices and tourism studies are given in the end.
|, , , ,|
|Dr. T.J. Hoebink|
|Place, Culture and Tourism|
|Organisation||Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication|
Chih-Yi Meng. (2021, June 18). Glamping in Taiwan: When the Global Meets the Local. Place, Culture and Tourism. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/60977