Sultry... did have examples of tourism that wasn't totally unpleasant for the natives, but even those - if I recall correctly - tended to be a bit accidental, since the tourists were omphaloskeptic. It seems Adams fell in love in a sense I recognize, a plain delight in the particulars of a person or thing, not in how he was reflected by it.
"I do not know whether Papara is commonly thought to be one of the beautiful parts of Tahiti. I imagine not. Travelers can find so much that charms them elsewhere, and so much variety in the charm, as to make them indifferent to all scenery but the most impressive. Among a dozen books that have been written by visitors to the island, I am not sure that one of them, except Moerenhout, devotes a dozen words to Papara. To the Tevas and their chiefs, naturally, Papara is the world, and probably no part of the island compares with it for association, pride and poetry. Every point, field, valley, and hill retains a history and a legend. Purea's Marae of Mahaiatea still rises, a huge mass of loose coral, above the level of the plain. Aromaiterai at Mataoae could fix on the spot where his own Marae -- Teva's Marae -- of Mataoa invited him home, where in his time each of the two chiefs had a seat or throne on either side of the altar. " (ch. 4)
In this troubled world... I see that James' experience grew out of the decline of Tahiti, and maybe depended on it. I can't say beforehand what 'appreciations' of other cultures are mocking, derivative, Orientalist, parasitical. Still, often, I meet something I can't explain except as a hopeless love of something other and useless. It's what makes Cowboy Bebop good, and justifies many a tiny yappy dog.