DOI: 10.1177/00472875231195734 ISSN:

Cross-Border Tourism and Community Solidarity at a Militarized Border: A Photo Elicitation Approach

Connor Clark, Gyan P. Nyaupane
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Transportation
  • Geography, Planning and Development

Despite increased militarization along international borders, border communities share elements of natural and cultural heritage. This shared heritage invokes a form of solidarity whose influence on cross-border tourism and bordering processes is understudied. The purpose of this study is to analyze how community solidarity influences tourism and border processes at the highly militarized U.S.-Mexico border by using photo-elicitation. Data were collected from 21 participants from Mexico and the U.S. A direct and indirect analysis of the interviews and photos found major themes and common focal points within photos, and the findings demonstrate binational solidarity for heritage and a desire for sharing this heritage with visitors. The paper contributes a conceptual framing of how borders are reinforced through militarization and softened through tourism, cross-border collaboration, and biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration. The implications of these findings for border theories and frameworks are discussed in further detail.

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