Speaking heritage language, identity, and tourism

Lauren A. Hall-Lew, Alan A. Lew

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

21 Scopus citations


Research on language and tourism is in its infancy in both linguistics and tourism studies. The work that does exist has considered how the particular social context of the tourism encounter reflects or challenges existing theories of host-guest relations, service quality, and language use. A framework for contextualizing the relationship between language and tourism needs to consider at least three levels of analysis: (i) the historical context that has led to the distribution of present day linguistic varieties and their uses; (ii) the contemporary uses of language variation at a community level, including decisions made by influential institutions to shape and respond to pressures from the political economy; and (iii) the individual’s personal linguistic competencies and experiences. From a tourism perspective, the first of these frames the identity narrative and sense of place for a destination. The second is strongly reflected in the place marketing and destination image creation efforts by destination marketing organizations. The third may be seen in terms of the social/cultural capital that language skills enable for both tourism industry hosts and for tourists guests. Interdisciplinary perspectives from linguistics and tourism studies give new perspectives on current theoretical issues in both fields of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell Companion to Tourism
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781118474648
ISBN (Print)9781118474488
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Communication
  • Cultural capital
  • Heritage
  • Host and guests
  • Identity
  • Language
  • Linguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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