Direct flights to former imperial capitals, continued visits to the same tourist sites, and the emergence of tours dedicated to the imperial past all pose the question of the heritage of tourism in the former colonies. Lesser-known as a field of research, the study of tourism in colonial situations has begun to impose itself over the past decade as an important issue. Interestingly, in the colonial era, tourism was one element of the policies used by the colonial power to highlight its colony. The use of tourist activities for political ends was first confirmed in an October 2 1922 circular composed by the Minister of the Colonies, Albert Sarraut. This circular required all French overseas territories to organize and develop the tourism sector because, along with its economic benefits, “the tourist of today can be the colonist of tomorrow”. This theme, along with knowledge related more specifically to tourism – such as the creation of sites and tours, and the background of tourists – also contributes to sanitary, environmental, and planning questions, as well as issues concerning the construction of national sentiment.How did tourism develop in a territory during the period of colonial expansion? How are tourism and colonization related? What connections can be found between the two? Using archives and tourist publications, this book marks an unprecedented work of research into the enactment of tourism in Indochina. It places the establishment of tourism in this former French colony along with the tourism policies of Metropolitan France and the attempts to reproduce the organizations established in the Dutch East Indies and in Japan. The book, which focuses on events in the period from the turn of the twentieth century to the eve of the Second World War, analyses the transfer of European tourism practices to Indochina, their establishment, their integration with policies of valorisation in the 1920s, their spatial consequences, and the communication established by the state to promote Indochina as a tourist destination for both Indochinese and foreign tourists.
Aline Demay is a historian and geographer specializing in tourism and Indochina. She holds a doctorate in Geography from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and a PhD in History from the University of Montreal focusing on tourism in Indochina.