In Search of Atlantis: Underwater Tourism between Myth and Reality

Marxiano Melotti

Abstract


In post-modernity, the millenarian search for mythical sites has become a tourist attraction and the process of culturalization of consumption has created and is creating a new global heritage. Places already celebrated for leisure have been reinvented as mythical and archaeological sites. A good example is the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island, in the Bahamas. Here, Plato’s mythical Atlantis has inspired an underwater pseudo-archaeological reconstruction of a civilization that most likely had never existed. The myth-making force of the sea transforms the false ruins and affects how they are perceived. This is quite consistent with a tourism where authenticity has lost its traditional value and sensory gratifications have replaced it. A more recent Atlantis Hotel in Dubai and another one under construction in China show the vitality of this myth and the strength of the thematization of consumption. Other examples confirm this tendency in even more grotesque ways. At the core of this process there is the body: the tourist’s and the consumer’s body. The post-modernity has enhanced its use as tool and icon of consumption.

Keywords


Atlantis; Tourism; Diving; Archaeology; Post-modern society; Bahamas; Bimini; Dubai

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.23914/ap.v4i0.45

DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.23914/ap.v4i0.45.g48

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ISSN: 2171-6315

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