‘Kia Ora’: Cultural Tourism, Language Revitalisation & ‘Te Reo Māori’
Tourism is a general concept. Compared with other industries, tourism is directly tied to many aspects of a destination. For example, it boosts the local economy, advertises the local culture, can break cultural stereotypes and make local people proud of their area as well as their cultural background. Therefore, tourism has flexibility and vitality when it comes to benefiting local people. New Zealand as a multi-cultural country has many attractions for tourists. One of those attractions is the indigenous culture of Māori. Language is an indispensable component of culture. For Māori people, their language was threatened once, and they have been trying to revitalise their tongue over recent decades. To stop the Māori language from disappearing, most literature and government articles focus on legislation, education and new media; however, the tourism industry, as one of the backbones of the New Zealand economy, is rarely mentioned. This study tries to profile the relationship between tourism, culture and language especially in the revitalisation of te reo Māori. In a post-colonial context, this research discusses topics related to indigenous tourism and language revitalisation. It attempts to figure out the role tourism can play in te reo Māori revitalisation. It follows a phenomenological research methodology in conducting both expert interviews and content analysis to develop an in-depth investigation of indigenous tourism in New Zealand. Drawing on theories and concepts of language endangerment, language revitalisation, language acquisition, postcolonialism, otherness and authenticity with a six-stage model, this thesis explores the nexus between tourism, culture and language. After comparing the data collected with existing documents, it is believed that, depending on the different definitions of language revitalisation, tourism has the potential to assist in the revitalisation of te reo Māori.