Le haut lieu touristique comme objet spatial linéaire : le “ Somin Volcan” (Île de La Réunion). Fabrication, banalisation et patrimonialisation

Abstract : The ancient Silk and Salt Routes, the Saint James Way of Compostela, the Trail to Machu Picchu or the sea and air routes traced by the Polynesians and by pioneer aviator Jean Mermoz have been a fundamental part of our collective image of voyaging since time immemorial. Interest in tourist trails or cultural itineraries has risen today as a result of the intense focus put on this type of route by global tourism operators, driven by their need to constantly expand the destination choices they offer. Taking Reunion Island’s Somin Volcan as an example, our article examines the spatial practices and representations which initially transform a basic linear geographical structure into an itinerary stamped with its own specific identity and tourist features. The present article draws on the morphology and dynamics of this spatial construct, straddling both the past and the present, to explore the transformation of spatiality linked to the evolution of tourist practices around the Somin Volcan. The transformation process involves three distinct phases that lie between memory and development and will be presented in this article. The first phase involves the construction of the itinerary, based on its sustainability and its properties. The second phase is characterized by the banalization of that itinerary, marked by social postures of cultural appropriation adopted by the inhabitants of the island. In the final phase, the mythological or heritage nature of the Somin Volcan is reconstructed, offering new perspectives to those who visit La Fournaise. Could it be worthwhile to consider using the Somin Volcan as a heuristic example through which we can gain a better understanding of the intrinsic nature of a major linear tourist attraction, and the changes it is subjected to?
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Christian Germanaz. Le haut lieu touristique comme objet spatial linéaire : le “ Somin Volcan” (Île de La Réunion). Fabrication, banalisation et patrimonialisation. Colloque International : “Routes touristiques et itinéraires culturels”, Jun 2012, Québec, Canada. pp.379-405. ⟨hal-01234507⟩

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