Under French colonization, large colonial cities inevitably became tourist destinations. Colonial guidebooks recommended them for their botanical gardens, their theaters, and their “native quarters” They were used as showcases for French Overseas Territories, but we may wonder if they really had a tourist function and if they became tourist metropolises. What part did they play, and what influence did they have on the tourist sector of a colony? This is what this article seeks to examine by conducting a case study of Saigon between 1898 and 1939. Besides evaluating the tourist function of Saigon, this study proposes ways of analyzing the relationship between colonizers and colonized in terms of tourism, using French and even European tourists as an indicator of this relationship.

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