Assignment – I
a. Discuss the relationship between anthropology and tourism.
Ans – Anthropology seeks to understand the lives of human beings in time and space. Time basically reflects the geological time scale that involves the study of human evolution, growth and variation. Space deals with the ecological and environmental relationship of human populations that inhabits the various places on earth. Anthropology also involves the study of the past cultures and how the present cultures are flourishing. It is the study of human beings in totality unlike other subjects where only a particular aspect of human being is taken into account like history deals with what happened in the past while psychology studies the human mind etc.
The term anthropology is derived from two Greek words “Anthropos” meaning (Hu)man and ‘Logos’ for ‘study or science’.
Anthropology as an academic discipline emerged at the turn of the twentieth century. With four main branches a. Physical or Biological anthropology, b. Social and Cultural anthropology, c. Archaeological anthropology and d. Linguistic anthropology, the subject matter looks at both the scientific and humanistic perspectives, it takes into account a holistic approach to study humankind.
The physical/ biological anthropologists are interested in understanding the origin, evolution, variation and development of human species. The curiosity to know why there is variations in skin, eye, hair colour etc., leads them to enquire about the existence of human variation and to try and find scientific explanations behind such variations. Why some people are short while others are tall? The genetic makeup of human beings is studied along with the role that environment plays in such variations. To know more about the past, the primates are taken into consideration in anthropological studies under primatology.
The study of society and culture falls within the rubric of social and cultural anthropology. The foremost contribution of the subject has been in the understanding of the various societies and cultures across the globe both objectively and subjectively, doing away with biases and prejudices, while presenting their relative importance. Social and cultural anthropology seeks to understand the social institutions and the cultural attributes that constructs human societies in a holistic manner.
Anthropologists interest in the past, how people lived during the different cultural periods is the subject matter of archaeological anthropology. The aim is to reconstruct the human past through the study of the different tool types used by prehistoric (hu)man of which there are no written records. The study of cave arts, the stone tools of the different cultural periods within the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and the Neolithic period, the arts and artifacts of the Chalcolithic periods and the past civilizations, dating the past through absolute and relative dating methods are some of the ways how the life of the prehistoric human beings is recreated.
Language is known as the vehicle for culture. Yet there is no single culture nor a single language. Communications however, has always been there between people speaking different languages. Linguistic anthropology involves the study of the languages that have been a medium of communication among people belonging to different linguistic groups. It includes, not only verbal languages but both body and sign language. A recent study has shown a village in Turkey where people communicate via whistling. Some of the dialects are fast disappearing in the face of modernisation and globalisation, preserving and documenting such dialects forms a major activity of the linguistic anthropologists
The emergence of anthropology is rooted in the European journey of exploration and colonisation of the East. During the early years the anthropologists known as ‘arm chair anthropologists’ did not venture out for data collection into the field. The earliest written accounts like the Golden Bough published in 1890 by Sir James Frazer, was based on the narrations of the travellers, the administrators, the missionaries etc., who travelled to far off places and brought back ‘exotic’ stories of the lands, peoples and their cultures.
With time, anthropology was established as a field science and fieldwork became the hallmark of anthropological study. Malinowski’s work among the Trobriand Islanders is reckoned with as the way forward for conducting scientific fieldwork among the ‘natives’ using participant observation, interview and case study methods. Living with the people under study for a long period of time ideally one year and using the local language are some of the take away from Malinowski’s work that even today forms the backbone of anthropological studies.
Tourism has a long history and is widespread in the cultures of humankind. It is an important social fact in the life of contemporary people. It is one of the major industries of the world and a developmental tool for many third world countries (Nash and Smith 1991:12). Smith in her book, Hosts and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism (1989) in the introduction defines tourist ‘as a temporary leisured person who voluntarily visits a place for the purpose of experiencing a change.’ She explains that the motivations for individuals to travel are many and varied, but the foundation of tourism rests on three key elements, i.e.
Tourism= Leisure time+ discretionary income+ positive local sanctions.
As per Smith the amount of time a person has and the discretionary income (income that is not needed for personal essentials like food, clothing, housing, health-care, transportation etc.) and the positive cultural sanctions favouring tourism allow an individual to take a break from the regular/ monotonous life. Tourism as an activity allows an individual to alternate his/her work life with small periods of relaxation. J. Jafari (1977) defined tourism ‘as a study of man away from his usual habitat, of the industry which responds to his needs, and the impact that both he/ she and the industry have on the host socio-cultural, economic and physical environments.’ Mathieson and Wall (1982) in their book Tourism: Economic, Physical and Social Impacts defined tourism ‘as a multi-faceted phenomenon which involves movement to, and stay in destinations outside the normal place of residence and comprises dynamic, static and consequential elements.’While Jafari’s definition gives a holistic view, Mathieson and Wall’s describe tourism as a phenomenon. Other scholars like Greenwood (1989: 171) while discussing about anthropological perspective on tourism as cultural commoditisation defined tourism as ‘the large-scale movement of goods, services and people that humanity has perhaps ever seen’. Lett (1989: 275) credited tourism with bringing about ‘the single largest peaceful movement of people across cultural boundaries in the history of the world. Anthropologists have a hard time in defining tourism for the simple reason that it involves various dimensions, but as Van Hassrel in his book Tourism: An Exploration (1994) opined that there are four primary elements of tourism. These are:
- Travel demand
- Tourism intermediaries
- Destination influences and
- Range of impacts.
b. Describe ethnography and tourism.
Ans – Ethnography, which is a much sought after and important method of research employed by social scientists including anthropologists to study tourism, is faced with difficulties while investigating tourism. This is because the tourist space, the tourist (guests) and the natives (hosts), all have interesting yet complicated positioning, making tourism investigation rather complex.
Ethnography is an intrinsic part of anthropological investigation. It is a methodology which has the credibility of establishing itself first as a method and then as a product. It involves direct engagement with people for a long period of time and preferably with the use of local language to gather “authentic” information about cultures. This methodology put to use in the case of tourism studies raises concerns that need attention.
1. The Field Site/The Tourist Spot
Majority of the tourist spots have been historically significant and people visit them to recreate the romantic or ideal imagery they have in their mind’s eye about the space. The image of such a spot gives the tourists the opportunity to see the space as it has been etched in their imagination from the accounts they have read and the pictures they have seen of the same from elsewhere. This creates an exotic imprint in them which when they actually encounter, they would like it to be exactly as they had visualised. It is the past of that particular place that they would like to see rather than its present. The people commercially responsible for the promotion of such spots equally are responsible in keeping such ideals alive as they too offer the tourist the assurance that the spot will possess the fantasy, glamour and sentimentality that it owned once upon a time. So, for example, in the case of India, the Westerners would love to see an exotic land with snake charmers, naked hermits and elephants or the famous Taj Mahal as a symbol of true love.
The locals in such tourist spots, to keep this imagined reality intact, behave in a way which is pleasing to the tourists, allowing them to take with them a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. The very actions undertaken to achieve these ends provide interesting anthropological fields of study.
2. The Tourist/The Guest
Secondly a tourist spot is identified not only by the attractions it possesses but also equally by the people who visit the space and make it economically and culturally viable. They comprise of the visitor, the guest who go to experience what a place has to offer and most importantly for leisure and pleasure. The presence of the tourist allows for an interesting take for an ethnographer to study the perspective the tourists hold for the place, the gaze the tourists emanate, how the tourists view the locals etc. As mentioned above the tourists would like to be positioned in a way which caters to their imagined reality, it is therefore more interesting to understand and see how an ethnographer tackles such scenarios where the past, the present, the imagined and the real are all entangled.
Comparing an ethnographer and a tourist is a highly controversial area, debated by many scholars as to what role each has to play, how similar or different they are and how they can co-exist the validity of a travelogue penned by a tourist as compared to an ethnographic monograph created by an ethnographer. Their similarities in the ways of representing society and its culture, overlap so much that they have also been addressed as ”distant relatives” (Crick 1995). As in the past anthropology was dependent on the accounts of missionaries, voyagers, migrants to develop the subject, similarly who is to say that work created by tourists cannot be helpful in a world where the discourse produced by the ethnographer on a society debates with the question of what the “other” sees that the “self” might want to do away with. Urry (1990) exclaims that it is now hard to identify any difference between processes of tourism and processes of society and culture. This is as in this postmodern world meaning of perception and representation may vary for different observers. As early as in 1955 Lévi Strauss brought out Tristes Tropiques (1955) which is a classic example of an anthropologist’s travels and can be safely placed as a work of anthropological importance where ironically Strauss talks about his hatred for travel and people who travel.
3. The Native/The Host
One important aspect that anthropologists look into is to what extent and in what way the host communities are affected by the entry and presence of guests, the tourists. The impact of the culture of the tourist on that of the hosts can be interesting to note. The hosts copy the mannerisms of the guests which after a period of time can considerably affect the cultural and social structure of the host community. This can result in either a simple cultural drift or a more complex acculturation. This however can only happen if the tourist is seen as coming from a superior culture. Mathieson and Wall (1992) has pointed out that when hosts change their behaviour akin to the guests when they are present but become their normal selves again, once the tourists leave can be seen as cultural drift. It is more phenotypic. However, if changes in behaviour become a more permanent happening where the cultural change which occurs due to coming in contact with tourists and is handed down from one generation to the next, then this can be a part of acculturation. This may be seen as genotypic behaviour. For example, the hillstations of India that were the favourite tourist spots of the British, imbibed much of British culture which still persists.
Nash has discussed about the “adaptations host communities make when they become tourist destinations” (1996: 121). With the building of hotels, resorts and recreation centres. hosts have to cater to all the needs that the tourists look for to make the guests feel ‘at home’. For this it is obvious that the hosts have to make significant changes in their own lives to create another environment which is not part of their everyday life.
The tourist-host contact is often “mis-interpreted”. Each has unreal expectations of each other’s reality and allows anthropologists to notice the kind of adaptations they make to their behaviour to meet these expectations. Salazar and Graburn in their book, Tourism Imaginaries: Anthropological Approaches (2014) deal with these very concerns.
Assignment – II
a. Explain commodification in tourism with suitable examples.
Ans – As an object of anthropological inquiry, tourism as Shepherd, 2002: 184, (cf. Graburn, 1983: 10; Nash and Smith, 1991: 22) has stated, can be defined and shaped by a series of questions that tend to revolve around three issues: ‘individual motivation (why do people travel?), economic gains and losses (who benefits from this travel?) and tourism’s cultural impact (what ‘cultural’ changes does tourism bring?)’. The commodification of culture thus involves a construction of culture wherein the cultural items and traits are being promoted as symbols of a particular culture. Such a reconstruction may dilute the original cultural element many a times. Claude Lévi-Strauss’s in Tristes Tropiques (1972: 39–40, 45, c.f. Shepherd 2002:184) stated that: travel books and travellers [contemporary tourists] serve only to ‘preserve the illusion of something that no longer exists’; genuine travel has been replaced by movement through a ‘monoculture’ in a fruitless search for a ‘vanished reality’. The very concept of monoculture arises from the commodification of culture. What tourism projects as ‘real culture’ is in reality a part of the culture that has been recreated for the benefit of the tourist, to give to the experience an appearance of being real. According to Shepherd (2002:184) cultural commodification is considered by many scholars as that component of cultural tourism that can help in the revival of local interest in traditional cultural forms, thus both reviving vanishing cultural traits and providing the host with material benefits (cf. McKean, 1989 ). This also brings to the forefront the fact that in commodification of culture, the host can easily distinguish between what is ‘sacred’ (and not open to tourism) from what is ‘profane’ (and hence open to commodification) (cf. Picard, 1996, 1997). In this regard, Goldstein’s, work on Commodification of Beliefs (2007: 170-173) can be cited. She has examined the role of commodification in a very different contexts that manifest in exploration and expression of beliefs. The work looks into the practice of Ghost tours, haunted hotels and advertisements for haunted restaurants in Scotland. In a modern world of rational and scientific beliefs, the concept of ghosts and haunted houses holds an aura of thrill and mystification that adds to the overall excitement of travel. Therefore, elements that have haunted attached to it forms the major attraction for tourists visiting Scotland. Such re-enactments and revivals of old myths and old wives’ tales are part of the contemporary consumer culture. The haunted elements are projected as part of the history of Scotland, the witch hunts, the wars and plagues which had ravaged the country in the past, giving it an aura of authenticity. Every tourist who had visited Scottish Highlands had gone on the tour of Loch Ness and been presented with the Loch Ness monster story also known as Nessie who lives in the water of the lake.
b. Discuss the political economy approach.
Ans – According to Bianchi 2018: 88, ‘Political economy comprises the study of the socio-economic forces and power relations that are constituted in the process of the production of commodities for the market and the divisions, conflicts and inequalities that arise from this. The roots of this approach emanate from the changes that occurred during Industrial revolution and the development of capitalism in Western Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries’. The study of political economy in its early stages as discussed by its founding thinkers like Adam Smith (1723-1790), David Ricardo (1772-1823) and J. S. Mill (1806-1873) highlighted the impact of capitalism on the social organisation of the industrial societies. They were concerned with the production and accumulation of wealth (i.e., economy) and distribution (the political dimension). Later Marx (1818-1883) and Engels (1820-1895) reconfigured the focus on political economy by focussing on the distribution (or lack of distribution) of wealth across social classes. Political economists study the complex and variable economic, political, social, technological and cultural forces that shape the organisation and dynamics of domestic and international economies (Gilpin 2001: 40). With regard to tourism development the studies that were done on various domains of tourism did not take into account the political economy approach. It is to be noted here that the original studies on tourism focussed on the cultural, aesthetic and economic dimensions, without paying any heed to the power equations that are inherent in all human situations.
It was much later during1960’s and early 1970’s, the focus on uneven development across the world led to critical research on development theory with a major focus on the reduction of inequalities and other social problems. Simultaneously a critical analyses of the tourism studies during the 1970’s was highlighted with the work of Young’s, Tourism: Blessing or Blight (1973) and de Kadt’s Tourism: Passport to Development (1979). Both these works critically analysed the advantages and disadvantages of tourism by focussing on tourism from the perspective of development and dependency theory and also from political economy perspective.
The key theme of dependency theory is the relationship between development and under development. Dependency theorists argue that developing countries have an external and internal political, institutional, and economic structure that keep them in a dependent position relative to developed countries. When developing and developed countries come together in the global economic scene it is seen that the developing nations (periphery) are feeding the developed nations (core) economy. Thus, as per dependency theorists, incorporating the peripheral economies into the global capitalist economies, results not only in influencing production to align at the demands at the centre, but also on siphoning the economic surplus to the dominant countries. As the dominant countries at the centre continue to develop based on that surplus, the countries at the periphery struggle with underdevelopment. The political economy that stems from dependency and underdevelopment theory has received little attention in tourism studies research. It was Britton (1982) who realised the importance of this approach and tried to understand the capitalist structures that not only drive tourism development but also inequalities that are visible in the uneven pattern of development.
The dependency paradigm on the other hand also argues that in a society it is not the internal factors that lead to underdevelopment, but it is the external political, institutional and socio-economic structures that keep the developing countries in a dependent position relative to developed countries. A. Frank (1967) in his work Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America described the global economic system as having two poles- a developed ‘metropolitan centre’ and an underdeveloped ‘periphery’. Raw materials that are taken from the periphery are converted into manufactured goods at the centre and then are exported back to the periphery. The periphery then becomes dependent on the centre to purchase its raw materials and also buy manufactured goods in return, resulting in a flow of capital from the periphery to the centre. This is known as leakage. Dependency theorists discuss about this interdependence between the core and the periphery.
c. Examine the impact of tourism on heritage sites with suitable examples.
Ans – A great deal of research has been directed on the fuller understanding of the impacts of tourism. It has been recorded that although the impacts of tourism are both positive and negative, they may be evaluated differently by different people and there may be considerable disagreement as to what is actually desirable and undesirable.
The major stimulus for the development of tourism is economic and it was understood that tourism was a powerful beneficial agent for economic and social change. The tourism industry stimulated employment, entrepreneurial activity and modified land use and economic structure. Most studies have emphasised the economic benefits that accrue to the destination areas particularly the developing countries which usually have low level of income, uneven distribution of wealth and income, high levels of unemployment, heavy dependence on agriculture and subsistence activities. An evaluation of the economic impact provided valuable information that further helped in the formulation of tourism development policies. Many developing countries and remote destinations that have opened up as tourist destinations have seen economic changes especially in the employment pattern. Since tourism is a labour intensive service industry, it employs large number of semi-skilled and unskilled labour who with little training join this hospitality industry either as tourist guides, tour operators, transporters etc. Many farmers and wage earners leave the agricultural jobs to pursue more lucrative jobs in tourism in urban areas.
The structural change from agriculture to tourism also creates changes in land use patterns. Anthropological studies have revealed that though it created wage labour opportunities, yet it destroyed agriculture and subsistence activities. Mansperger (1995) analysed how tourism among Pacific islanders led to the cessation of subsistence activities and made locals more dependent on the outside world. Rosenberg (1988) argued that tourism contributed to the demise of agriculture in a small mountain village in France, where grazing animals came to be used mainly for clearing ski slopes. Tourism also increases the competition for land, raising land prices and also contributing towards the fragmentation of landholdings. For instance, tourism may result in escalating real estate prices which may create difficulty for locals who intend to purchase property.
The research on the social and cultural impacts of tourism fall into three different categories:
- The tourist – here the research is focussed on the demand of touristic activities, the motivations, attitudes and expectations of tourists and their corresponding purchasing decisions.
- The host- looks at the inhabitants of the destination areas, the labour engaged in providing services and the local organisation of the tourist industry.
- Tourist-host interrelationships- the research deals with the nature of the contacts between hosts and guests and the consequences of the contact.
The social consequences of tourism basically enumerate the ways in which touristic activity has contributed towards the changes in value system, individual behaviour, family structure and relationships, collective lifestyles, moral conduct, traditional ceremonies and community organisations. The host-tourist encounter which is transitory in nature, is often superficial; lacks in-depth communication/interaction; is mainly confined to ‘tourist ghettos’ (hotels and resorts) is of unequal nature. The tourist-host interaction can be both positive and negative. Factors that affect the host-guest interaction are – length of stay, physical isolation of tourists (to hotels/ resorts), language and communication etc.
Relationship between hosts and guests and how they are formed and change over time is of profound importance to the anthropological study of tourism. The crosscultural interactions and the commercial transaction that occurs between the hosts and the guests illuminates how tourism affects the host’s society. On one hand tourism brings business and thus generates more employment opportunities for the host population. There are a number of other factors that affect the complex nature of interactions occurring when strangers coming from different cultures or subcultures interact. The length of the stay of the guest, attitudes and expectations (of both the host and guests), the length of the season and the role of the ‘cultural brokers’ or ‘marginal men’ are the focus of studies that are based on the host and guest relationship. subcultures interact. The length of the stay of the guest, attitudes and expectations (of both the host and guests), the length of the season and the role of the ‘cultural brokers’ or ‘marginal men’ are the focus of studies that are based on the host and guest relationship.
Assignment – III
a. Tourist and tourism
Ans – Tourist
A tourist has been defined as “temporarily leisured person who voluntarily visits a place away from home for the purpose of experiencing a change” (Smith 1977:21. cf. Grabun 1983). While according to Link 2008:8, someone who travels at least 80 kilometers from his or her home for at least 24 hours, for business or pleasure for leisure or other reasons is known as a tourist. Arunmozhi and Panneerselvam (2013: 84) stated that tourism is the short-term association of people outside the domicile where they ordinarily live and work to a destination that expressly meets their requirements. United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), 1995 provides a simplified version of the above definition.
- Domestic (residents of a given country travelling only within that country)
- Inbound (non-residents travelling in a given country)
- Outbound (residents of one country travelling to another country)
Tourism is a “modem ritual” in which the populace “gets away from it alI”, here the all represents the everyday life which we call normal day to day life, where we perform some specified activities as per our roles, be it at home or in office. Tourism involves the break from our normal everyday mundane life, where one goes off to another location and is not following the day to day routine. This short break is supposed to rejuvenate, revitalise and refresh oneself, so as to regain energy to go back and carry on with the day to day routine, once the break is over. Graburn (1983: 11) has stated that “tourism involves for the participants a separation from normal “instrumental” life and the business of making a living, and offers entry into another kind of moral state in which mental, expressive, and cultural needs come to the fore”.
b. Tourism and culture
Ans – Culture consists of behaviour learnt as members of a social group. And the knowledge, values and traditions so acquired are passed down through generations. Richards (1996) argued that culture is a complex whole and is both a process and a product. Culture as a process includes the behaviour of the individuals of a specific group through which people make sense of themselves and their lives. Culture as product includes the individual group activities to which certain meanings are attached. Richards further argues that in tourism both these overlap and are integrated. The tourist who engage in cultural experiences in search of authenticity are provided with culture developed specifically for their consumption. Thus, tourism as such transforms ‘culture as a process’ to ‘culture as a product’. Or it may be said that tourism itself is a culture industry in that cultural products and experiences are promoted as tourist attractions (Prentice 1997).
There is a strong inter relationship between tourism and culture. Tourism impacts both culture and society and is shaped by cultures and society. There are a few basic elements when we study the inter-relationship between tourism and culture. Let’s outline the elements below for a better understanding:
- acculturation i.e. the culture contact between the tourist and the host population
- the ‘manufactured’ tourist experience versus authenticity
- commodification of culture i.e. culture is seen as a commercial resource (culture is perceived to be unique or unusual by the tourists and marketing specialists).
- image formation of a place to convert it into a potential tourist destination.
Ans – The first formal definition of ‘Ecotourism’ was perhaps given by the Mexican architect Hector Ceballos-Lascurain. Ecotourism has been defined as “environmentally responsible, enlightening travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio- economic involvement of local populations” (Ceballos-Lascurain 1996). According to this definition, ecotourism can involve both cultural and environmental tourism and, bring benefits to the local population which is also an integral part of the activity. Various definitions on ecotourism were floated since then. Most of the definitions perceive ecotourism as a special form of tourism that has three important criteria:
- provision for environmental conservation that includes participation of community in a meaningful way;
- profitable to the host community; and
Carrier (2005) had stated that ecotourism is noteworthy as it is one of the ‘fastest growing sector in the tourism industry’. Ecotourism is sometimes referred to as alternative form of tourism; it is also used synonymously with cultural tourism. It can be formally defined as, “a form of tourism that is consistent with natural, social and community values. It allows both hosts and guests to enjoy positive and worthwhile interaction and shared experiences. Instead of condemning the impact of tourism on local communities, there is a tendency to applaud ecotourism as panacea for achieving a wide array of social, economic, and environmental goals.” (Stronza 2001: 274). In contemporary times, anthropologists are paying increasing attention to forms of tourism such as ecotourism, cultural tourism, community-based-tourism, or simply alternative tourism.
Ans – Anthropologists have shown interest in studies of pilgrimage, which started with Van Gennep’s (1908 (1960)) Rites de Passage and was taken forward by Victor Turner (1969) who dealt with rituals and pilgrimage as a path of transition. As postulated by Turner, an individual in society undergoes three stages of social transition. First is the stage of Separation where the individual is removed from their everyday activities with her/his community, second is Liminality where the individual is placed in a ritualistic and sacred environment and third, Reintegration where the individual is placed back to their routine life. The second stage of Liminality also holds a position of Communitas which is shared with others going through the same process at that point of time. Turner used this same outline to discuss pilgrimage. In pilgrimage too, he deduced that people move from a systematised, normal regime and enters into a liminal and sanctified environment of a pilgrimage centre. Anthropologists studying tourism, have been able to find likeness in the description of Turner’s pilgrimage with many tourism experiences. Anthropologists have linked it to Turner’s idea of Communitas where people in such situations experience, “spontaneity, personal wholeness, and social togetherness” (Nash and Smith 1991). An example of this is the involvement people feel during the popular festival, Fiesta de San Fermín, which is held in Pampola, Spain or while visiting the Walt Disney World.
Ans – A key anthropological concept to explain how tourism affects cultures is ‘acculturation’. Burns (1999: 99) defines acculturation as ‘the process by which borrowing of one or some elements of cultures takes place as a result of a contact at any destination between two different societies.’ To explain this further we can cite language as an example. In most of the places in India like Agra, Jodhpur and Jaipur which are frequented by tourists one would notice that the locals engaged in the tourism industry like the hawkers, folk artistes, and guides, speak English, French and other foreign languages, even though many of them are not able to read or write.
Within the framework of acculturation theory, it has been argued that when contact takes place between a strong culture and a weaker one, it is usually the former which influences the latter (Petit-Skinner 1977: 85). The underlying assumption of the studies has been that culture changes occur mainly in the indigenous host society’s tradition, customs and values rather than the tourist group. This might lead to gradual homogenisation of cultures and local identity gets assimilated into the stronger visiting (tourist) group. As Nunez (1989: 266) states, when two cultures come into contact, each becomes like the other through the process of borrowing. It is also assumed that tourists who are often western and wealthier are less likely to borrow from their hosts than their hosts would from them. The host societies are seen to adapt to tourism and make attempts to satisfy the needs of tourists and in this process may acquire attitudes and values of the visiting group and may become more like their visitors.
f. Tourism and sustainable development
Ans – Sustainable development is becoming an important focus for transnational, and NGOs especially in developing countries. This is the result of increased awareness of the need to preserve the environment (Grieves et. al, 2014). The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), published the Brundtland Report called ‘Our Common Future’. The Brundtland Report defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (1987:43).
As regards to marginalised indigenous communities, the guidelines stated in the report are not specific enough to implement sustainable development policies. Preservation of environment and elimination of poverty remain important domains of sustainable development, yet an increasing emphasis has also been made on participation of local community and their control in sustainable development endeavours. There is a focus on ecotourism, sometimes known as sustainable tourism, to sustain natural resources of indigenous communities. These ecotourism endeavours strive to rope in mechanisms that ensure that the benefits produced by ecotourism should profit the indigenous local community rather than external agencies. (Grieves, et.al., 2014). It is to be noted that such kind of partnership between indigenous communities and outside agencies, however noble it may sound on paper, are often encountered with conflicts and imbalance of power.
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