Aside from the more mundane purpose of telling us where to eat, sleep and sightsee in foreign lands, guidebooks communicate an ethical vision that sees travel as the key to reducing cultural differences and inequalities. This article argues that Lonely Planet guidebooks in particular encourage a form of ‘responsible independent travel’ that both reflects and produces a powerful discourse of humanitarianism. By examining the controversy over Lonely Planet’s publication of guidebooks to Burma, this article uncovers the problematic colonial logic embedded in that ethical vision.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations