Resident tourists and the local 'other'

Gijsbert Hoogendoorn, Daniel Hammett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Recent years have witnessed growing numbers of residents exploring their own cities as tourist destinations. This phenomenon challenges academic understandings and definitions of who is defined as a tourist, and what differentiates tourists from residents when both display the same behaviours linked with spectacle and consumption. Of particular interest in these developments are situations where the emergence of ‘resident tourists’ involves residents transgressing boundaries of territorial stigma and fear to visit previously-avoided urban areas. Safety and security concerns and continued territorial stigma towards the Johannesburg inner city has isolated a generation of suburbanites from this urban space. Recent years have witnessed the emergence of various–often online–social media-driven (particularly Instagram) initiatives to bring these suburbanites into the inner city as resident tourists. Drawing survey data from 200 such visitors to Johannesburg’s inner city, this paper reflects on the implications for defining (proximate) tourism in terms of social or psychological rather than spatial (Euclidian) distance/proximity. In so doing, we reflect upon the role of new touristic gaze practices, inspired not only by curiosity but by a concern with self-promotion and social media self-branding. Our argument is that by rethinking emergent practices of collective consumption (facilitated in this instance by social media), we can understand how new forms of tourism occur within the locale of residence. These challenge trends towards the enclaving of daily life and mediated tourist consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1039
Number of pages19
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Branding
  • Johannesburg
  • South Africa
  • poverty
  • resident tourism
  • social media
  • tourist gaze
  • walking tour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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