Staging mediatized tourism places as imagined playscapes: The crucial role of a tour designer
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research
School of Business and Law
JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 26243007
This study examines how a mediatized space becomes a “staged” place to play with, and provides a symbolic platform for performance-based, tourism experiences from a tour program design perspective. It focuses on the Detective Conan Mystery Tour, a derivative tourism product of Detective Conan, a Japanese mystery fiction media franchise. Applying the concept of “playscapes” as the theoretical lens, the findings indicate that creating fiction-driven places forms “imagined playscapes” through the endless negotiation process that occurs between tourists as consumers and tour designers and/or operators as producers. In this regard, tour designers play a crucial role in creating the imagined playscapes of the mediatized spaces, inviting tourist performance as a metaphor for an utterly authentic experience. Highlights: - Mediatized space becomes a place to play with and provides a platform for performance. - The case of Detective Conan’s Tour provides a new perspective of mediatized tourism. - Tour designers play a crucial role in creating the imagined “playscapes.” - The likelihood of wider applications of “playscapes” is largely expected.