Skip to main content
 

Editorial - 6.3

According to a recent ABC News Closeup, "Swords, Plowshares, and Politics", the Human Rights Division of the United Nations has spent US $10.5 million in the past two years. Only five percent was spent on field investigation of human rights violations. The rest of the money went to travel, salaries, printing and conferences. The Human Rights Division, which investigates human rights violations,…

The Cultural Costs of Tourism

INTRODUCTION: WHO BENEFITS? At a time when many tribal peoples and ethnic minorities face the prospect of cultural, and at times physical, annihilation, it may seem grotesque to examine the effects of mass tourism on poorer countries and regions in the same way as we would consider the consequences of a large-scale development scheme in a tropical forest zone. Tourism, quite clearly, has never…

The Caribbean Experience

In the twentieth century there has been a decline of European jurisdiction in the Caribbean and a corresponding rise of American influence as the United States has come to see the region as vital to its military, geopolitical, and economic objectives. The tourist industry has also grown rapidly. There is a direct connection between American involvement and the rise of tourism. During World War II…

Introduction - 6.3

Tourism is the world's second largest export earner, generating approximately US $79 billion annually. Only the oil business generates more. In 1980, 285 million tourists reached destinations throughout the world, with 85% originating from North America and European countries. This represents an eleven-fold increase since 1950. Developed countries receive 90% of all tourists and 83% of all…

Tourists and Balinese

In the past decade, tourism encouraged by the Indonesian government, the World Bank, international corporations and local entrepreneurs has become important on the famed isle of Bali. What are the effects of an annual onslaught of nearly a half million tourists on the island ecosystem already inhabited by over two million Balinese? How do the Balinese people respond to their international…

Tourism to Greenland: Renewed Ethnicity?

Tourism to Kalatdlit Nunat (Greenland) is being promoted as a "New Adventure in Tourism" and eyed by the government as a source of much-needed outside revenue and local employment to support the new economic demands generated by the 1980 semi-independence from Denmark. Unlike elsewhere, Greenlandic tourism is a conscious indigenous strategy and may well be an added stimulus to national ethnicity…

Tourism in the Seychelles: A Counterfeit Paradise?

Newly independent and socialist, the Seychelles are striving for social reform and nationalized industries. Yet tourism, Seychelles' major industry, threatens nationalist ideology and socialist ambitions. It has spawned an array of economic, social and cultural contradictions. An archipelago of 92 islands, with 67,000 inhabitants, the Seychelles lie east of Nairobi and southwest of Sri Lanka over…

Tourism and Native Americans - 6.3

Tourism and prosperity are generally seen to go hand in hand. The prosperous tourist has surplus funds for food, clothing, lodging, travel and material goods. Tourism is also thought to bring prosperity to host communities - stimulating the local economy in providing employment, improving facilities and services for natives as these are provided for the visitor, and generally enhancing local…

"What You Don't Know, Won't Hurt You."

There is an old saying, "What you don't know, won't hurt you." Too often, it has been proven false. When the Brazilian National Indian Protection Service (the SPI, later changed to National Indian Foundation - FUNAI) first began to market native Brazilian art and handicrafts in the late 1960s, one might have supposed that its motives were to preserve Indians in isolation from the corrupting…

Tourism and Change in a Brazilian Fishing Village

Regional tourism has triggered profound cultural changes in Coqueiral, a fishing village of 1,200 inhabitants in Northeast Brazil. Traditional patrons have lost their grip on the community yet socioeconomic inequality is increasing. Male-female relationships are changing. Motorboats are replacing balsa rafts, and televised soap operas draw larger crowds than the possessed dancers of the local…

Tana Toraja: A Decade of Tourism

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi, or Celebes, was once famous as the homeland of Buginese traders and pirates. Until recently, however, little was known in the West of the hundreds of thousands of Toraja people who lived in the mountainous interior of the island. In the early 1970s, the West suddenly discovered the Toraja. Within a decade, Toraja sculpture was exhibited in major North American…

Settling Down: Bedouin in the Sinai

On April 25, 1982, a profound change occurred in life in the Sinai desert. Under the Camp David accords, Egypt resumed control of the final third of the 26,000 square-mile peninsula from the Israelis, who had taken the area in the Six-Day War in June, 1967. At that time no paved roads penetrated southern Sinai. The Israelis built a major coastal highway from Elat south through Nueba and Dahab…

Selling Hawaiian Culture

In the past thirty years, Hawaii has become a tourist Mecca, a coveted vacation spot for residents of the mainland and, increasingly, for Japanese. The economy depends upon tourism, and specifically upon the marketing of a particular cultural ambience, which idealizes and invents the culture of native Hawaiians. Economically and politically, Hawaiians are the least powerful group in Island…

Kindling Self-determination Among the Kuna

The San Blas Kuna of Panama are an indigenous population of 30,000 people. Their reserve, the Comarca de San Blas or Kuna Yala, is a strip of land between the Caribbean coast and a mountain chain which runs from Colombia to approximately 60 miles east of the Panama Canal. Supporting themselves by subsistence agriculture, marine fishing, cash-cropping of coconuts, migrant wage labor, and tourism,…

Cultural "Authenticity"

No culture sees itself as having one among many possible versions of "reality." Cultural systems create genuine, authentic worlds that are experienced as "real." If this "reality" comes to be questioned seriously, it is a certainty that the culture is on the way to major transformation or collapse. In contexts of cultural interaction, "realities" often are pitted against one another. The outcome…