Thursday, December 9, 2010

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Personally, I feel that tourism is the culprit in commodifying cultures and traditions in Chile. Cultures and traditions are losing to tourism in terms of attractions that are offered to the tourists. Tourists are seeking for holiday destination that they can indulge in another world. Fantasy world such as Disneyland and other themed parks are places where tourists would never fail to visit. Hence, with the Fantasilandia in Chile, tourist will be excited to visit compared to attending a music festivals in the same location, especially if they are travelling with families. Fantasilandia caters to all aged groups and children are often not interested in festivals as compared to theme park.

However, I do have another point of view is that tourism can be a good form of creating awareness of the local’s cultures and traditions. Some tourists travel to experience difficult cultures and traditions, these hence causing the locals to stage their cultures and traditions to the tourists. Although the performance is not authentic, it still helps to promote and create awareness of the local’s cultures and traditions so as to allow the younger generation of the locals to appreciate their cultures and traditions. These cultures and traditions will be passed down from one generation to another.

In a nutshell, tourism has been or has not been a culprit in commodifying cultures and traditions. It is depends on the individual point of view as everyone has different perception.


Economical Changes
With the development of the amusement park, it increases the tourist arrivals in Chile and tourist receipts. Hence, it has greatly improves the economy of Chile it uses to attract mainly tourist to generate more revenue for the country. This revenue will in turn to improve the standard of living in Chile and develop Chile into a more friendly country that welcomes tourists. Hence, the government will focus more on tourism development as it will generate the highest revenue in the future.

Social-Cultural Changes
When there is an influx of tourist visiting Santiago, Chile, for their theme park, Fantasilandia, it will threaten the indigenous group’s culture. Tourist would now travel to Santiago, Chile, for the theme park instead of to experience the culture of Chile.

Facilities developed for Fantasilandia has benefited residents, especially the theme park itself is a weekend hangout place to bond family. Fantasilandia targeted all age group. In the Fantasilandia, there is the kids’ zone, the attractions for the teens and also for the adults. Usually family will spend one whole day with their children at the theme park. Other facilities such as infrastructures are built to cater to the tourists as it is accessible to reach Fantasilandia. These infrastructures have benefited the residents too as they can travel easy to different destinations.

Another factor is the culture clashes due to irritation of tourist behaviour. The locals might not get used to the behaviour of the tourist such as their dressing style. Americans tourists tends to be very open such as wearing as little and light as they like, however, the locals will dress appropriately to suit the place that they are going. We the mixture of culture by two different groups, the locals might be influenced by the tourists and soon becoming more fashionable. Usually it affects the most on teenagers than the older generation people.

Environmental Changes
Cultural environment have evolved to globalised environment where tourism takes place. Lesser locals especially the younger generations tend not to practice their usual customs due to the influences of foreigners. Soon with such influences, the younger generation will grow up knowing lesser information of their own culture especially those festivals that are held in the past and are not celebrated now. Younger generation will only know the globalised environment rather than their ancestor’s culture. This is the biggest change that the growth tourism has affected Chile.


1. Theming
It is the clothing institutions or objects in a narrative that is largely unrelated to the institution or object to which it is applied, such as a casino or restaurant with a Wild West narrative. (Bryman, 2004)

In Fantasilandia, there is an enchanted castle under the category of terror attraction which is actually a haunted castle, where employees are dressed in costume and character at all times. The scene was ranging from Blair Witch, The Grudge, Saw, Friday the 13th and many more. They use the theme to attract tourists and locals to go to their amusement park where they can generate more revenue. This enchanted castle has to pay an additional fee in order for you to enter other than the entrance fee to the entire amusement park, Fantasilandia. In addition, there is the Pirates of Carribean as one of the attractions in Fantasilandia.

Enchanted Castle

Performing artists for Pirates of the Carribean

2. Hybrid Consumption
It is a general trend whereby the forms of consumption associated with different institution associated with different institutional spheres become interlocked with each other and increasingly difficult to distinguish. (Bryman, 2004)

3. Merchandising
It is the promotion and sale of goods in the form of or bearing copyright images and/or logos, including such products made under license. (Bryman, 2004)

In the Fantasilandia, there are souvenir shops where their ‘Fantasilandia’ logos are printed on all the souvenirs. The company are using the logos to attracts more tourists to buy merchandise from them as a souvenir that shows they been to Fantasilandia.

Souvenir shop

4. Performative labour
It is the growing tendency for frontline service work to be viewed as a performance, especially one in which the deliberate display of a certain mood is seen as part of the labour involved in service work. (Bryman, 2004)

In Fantasilandia, they are clowns performances under the category of magic. These employees who are employed to be a clown in Fantasilandia, they have to portray a happy and funny mood at all times to entertainment the visitors. The mood that they display might not be their real mood; however, their job scope requires them to portray a happy mood just like any other clown would be.

Performing artists


Fantasilandia is the ‘Disney’ in the modern society in Chile. Fantasilandia is a Chilean largest amusement park. The park is opened in 1978 and it is situated in a corner of the O’Higgins Park in Santiago where tourist chose to stay when in Chile. The park features a variety of rides and activities for all ages. It is a favourable hang out for family bonding while having fun together.

Fantasilandia is just like many other modern amusement parks and it has excellent security and safety precautions. The rides are all vary in different theme and all types of arts in Chile, and it has an age limit to certain ride. The park has four types roller coaster rides together with a haunted house and a toboggan ride. In Fantasilandia, there are also restaurants, facilities, and shops for people to eat and shop there.

Fantasilandia operates only on the weekends and holidays during the month of April to November, usually targeting at locals families, and then open every day during December to March to cater to the period where most tourists travel to Chile.

Fantasilania's Map


Chile is a land of poets and wine, it is known for its wine especially from the Central Valley fine Vineyard, colourful ports and its world-class ski resort. In northern Chile, it is known for its desert and coastal towns. There are some popular beaches area such as La Serena and Los Vilos. The Southern part of Chile is famous for its fjords, glaciers and forests.


The most popular and favourable sport in Chile is soccer, or ‘futbol’ (football). It is traditionally begun with English immigrants in the port city of Valparaiso. The passion for football became well-known with the 1962 World Cup held in Chile, making it the popular sport in the country. In Chile and all parts of the city, you may find boys playing soccer whenever they can. The two best teams in Chile are the University of Chile team and the Colo-Colo team which named after the Mapuche chief.

The Rodeo
In Chile, rodeo is considered a national sport since 1962. There are events held every weekend in Central and Southern part of Chile. Chilean rodeo is different from the North America rodeo. Originally, the Spanish ranchers hosted an annually event to show off their cattle-leading skills in Santiago. This event has changed into a competitive of skill and horsemanship over the years. The riders are called ‘huasos’ and they have to perform this sport while in their traditional clothes. As a result, it has become a popular spectator sport due to its colourful costumes and fine horsemanship.

Snow Skiing
Close to Santiago, the Andean mountain range and in the far southern provinces, is the two ideal locations for skiing. Chile has a total of 14 ski centres. The best period to travel is during June to September/October for skiing. The world famous ski resort is Portillo, in Chile followed by a few popular ski resorts such as the Farellones and Valle Nevado.