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Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism

The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Researchers are heading to Dharavi, Mumbai, to study the impact of slum tours on the residents.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article rises in interesting question.  Are tours of slums exploitive or beneficial to the slum dwellers?  On the one hand the tours could feel like exploitation and the tourist is viewing attractions at a “zoo”, on the other hand it brings people far removed from slum life in contact with it and can change people’s point of view on the slums.  It can be beneficial if the tour guides donate money to the slums or jobs are sought by slum dwellers to become tour guides.  The question is should slums be hidden away from view or opened up to tourists so that they can see the hardships first hand.  I think that this is an issue that is not clearly black or white; there are many shades of gray involved in this issue.

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Serge Dielens * Soci(et)al Marketing Communication expert @ EdgeCommunication.be *'s comment, May 7, 2013 2:55 PM
Visiter des bidonvilles, nouveau trend pour touristes en mal de nouveauté? Je me souviens avoir personnellement visité SOWETO en 2000, avec un groupe de journalistes belges. Nous avons logé chez une dame qui cédait une partie de sa maison pour se faire un peu d'argent, pour contribuer aux frais de ses deux fils étudiants à l'Unif. Ce fut une expérience inoubliable. Nous n'avons pas entendu le son de sa voix, elle nous servait à manger en silence et même si nous ne savions pas très bien comment réagir, nous avions l'impression que nous lui venions en aide, d'une manière ou d'une autre. En tous cas, la visite de ce bidonville fut pour moi éclairante.
Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, November 6, 2013 8:36 PM

I don’t find nothing right about tourist visiting the slum, I feel that the tourist are violating there privacy. They are human being not some historical landmark. If the tourist are not helping this people why are they going? If you are going to visit this places do it because you want to help them, not because you think is interesting their way of living.

Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:57 AM

Moral questions are always fun. Personally I don't think going to see slums is all that exploitative in itself, but I would make a distinction between guided tours that cost money, and self-directed tours though. In a guided tour you are paying money to walk through a community and view what life is like for those people, but in a self-directed tour you are just another person walking down the streets and viewing whatever you stumble upon. There are plenty of tours within neighborhoods of different economic value the world over, but these tours are scrutinized because the people touring are as wealthy, or less wealthy, than the people living there. I don't think that a poor community changes this dynamic in an immoral way, as the perceptions of which group is superior come from the own minds of those who feel uncomfortable with it.

 

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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Mixing Past And Present In Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, once home to cannibals, still has an exotic aura. The local tourist economy caters to those notions, and visitors may see a hybrid of the traditional and the modern.

 

This story is an intriguing blend--we see traditional cultures engaging in the global economy. They have created two villages: a traditional one designed for tourism filled with emblems of their folk cultures, and another one where people work, live eat and play with various markers of outside cultural and technological influence.

 

"Tourists are taking pictures. They don't want to take pictures of those who are in Western clothes.  People who are in Western clothes are not allowed to get close to people who are dressed up in the local dressings."

 

Questions to Ponder: Which village do you see as the more "authentic" one? How can culture also be a commodity?

 

Tags: folk culture, tourism, indigenous, culture, economic, rural, historical, unit 3 culture, Oceania.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This pod cast shows the dichotomy of old and new.  The villagers earn a living being a living museum of their past culture.  But to do that they need to keep all modern influences away from the tourist village which leads to them living in a separate village nearby. 

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Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 7:54 PM

It frustrates me sometimes when Europeans, and Westerners travel to an uncommon land and expect the inhabitant of the land to act in barbaric ways. With the tourist who visit the land of Papua New Guinea, they are often times expecting the natives to act in an uncivilized manner, such as being cannibalistic. Yet, the natives have made great stride to keep up with the ever changing world in which they are a part of. One of the concerns that the elders have with the upcoming generation is how long will it be before their native language vanishes completely. One thing I can appreciate about the native people of this land is their capability to cast tourist from entering or engaging with the natives while they are in their native clothing. 

Kendra King's curator insight, May 3, 1:40 AM

The title of this article seemed to be a little bit of a misnomer given how the geographic forces impact Papua New Guinea. Part of the population caters to the tourist desire to see the "exotic." However, this Papaua New Guinea is in the past. While the rest of the population lives in the present where the citizens live without the tourist dictating how they live.   

 

Given the impact of the forces, the split makes figuring out which Papa New Guinea is actually the most "authentic" is tricky. There are elements of Papa New Guinea in each place. The perfect way to obtain authenticity is blending them as the title suggest, but that is not that case. Under the circumstances, I think the village in which tourist are not present are the most "authentic." It is because of the tourist that the past village exits and while some members of the population like that this helps preserve their past culture, Papa New Guinea has clearly started to move on.  It reminds me of the Plymouth plantation field trips in which the tourist view america during the times of the pilgrims. Clearly, America has moved on, but continues to honor their roots. Due to this idea of moving on, I think the other village that shows the present is more authentic because it is a closer measure of what the village realistically acts like without interference from the outside world.  


While, I realize Papa New Guinea is more than the past, a fair amount of the world doesn't. As a few tourist mentioned, they were eager to hear about cannibalism despite the practice stopping years ago. Yet, from an outsiders perspective, they don't see this other Papa New Guinea and because the country plays into this idea of a village stuck in the past, it gives the world the wrong impression. As such, I wonder how how much catering to the rest of the world holds Papa New Guinea back economically. Being perceived as less developed won't generate lenders and living up to that expectation curbs other modern economic sectors. So it seems the overall affect might actually be more detrimental then helpful from an economic stance.   

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 12:38 PM

I believe these indigenous people found a way to survive.  They were smart!  Globalization and tourism were gonna happen with or without them.  Now they found away to keep on existing.  Authentic?  How do they live their lives now, thats authentic.  The past history is just that, the past.  Its a commodity because they've found a way to exploit their culture to benefit them.