"Even eco-tourism has its limits": The Rhetoric of Disgust in International Travel Writing about Appalachia

My paper explores the rhetorical strategies and argumentative structures employed by international travel writers in newspaper articles and blog posts about the burgeoning eco-tourism industry in Appalachia. I identify a pattern of critical skepticism about the enterprise of eco-tourism inflected by concomitant stereotypes of Appalachia, the South, and the United States. By examining international travel writing, I am able to position reactions to Appalachian eco-tourism enterprises outside American travel writers’ assumptions about the region but within a comparative context of "third world" tourism development.