The Need for Otherness – Spaces of Tourism in NepalThesis SummaryAs the title implies this thesis is about the “need for otherness.” This need can be seen in tourists desire to go further than other tourists in the achievement of an understanding and familiarity with the places visited. The fieldwork leading to this thesis is based in Thamel a district lying centrally in Kathmandu, Nepal. It is an area generally perceived as very artificial and touristy. The fieldwork is a qualitative study carried out by of participant observation as means of collecting and producing data. In this thesis seek I to find identify and explain relationships between tourists and the places visited, consumption and identity. To a lesser extent I go into how features of Nepal such as the Himalayas and aspects of Nepali culture commodified and marketed to the tourists. Theoretically the thesis rests on a several theoretical fields, primarily studies of tourism, concepts of place, space and landscape as well as theory on consumption and how the latter is relevant for the making of identities. I show how the there can be said to exist a moral order among tourist. In this order status is best achieved in finding a balance between frequenting places perceived as authentic and off the beaten path, while not appearing to be overly concerned with doing so. Tourists’ experience and sense making of the places visited are also influenced by the degree in which these places can provide resolve to the moral dilemma of being a tourist. The Nepali tourists industry’s practices of commodification and marketing largely revolve around finding features of Nepal can either be perceived as “exotic” from a tourist’s point of view, or be favourably compared to similar features of other countries. The best examples of the latter are Mt. Everest and the Himalayas. Both of these can be seen as “other” to modern society. These features are in turn commodified and imbued with certain meaning. The tourist’s consumption of these and subsequently the imbued meaning are also a factor in the construction of identities among tourists.