Tourism: Manufacturing the Exotic
The objective of this document is to outline the relationship between tourism and cultural minorities. It aims to understand the nature of the relationship, to point out its most serious and harmful effects and to make known some of the survival strategies which cultural minorities employ. Tourism is the greatest economic and socio-cultural phenomenon of our epoch and cultural minorities suffer more than anyone from its negative effects.
This document developed over the space of three years through the common interest of several people in tourism and its consequences. The contributors have each studied the problematic relationship between tourism and cultural minorities and provide concrete examples covering a wide geographical and cultural spectrum. The richness and variety of the authors' observations arise from their differing perceptions, approaches and formulations of the problem. This heterogeneity has permitted the emergence of a theoretical framework which is presented in the first article: Tourism and cultural minorities: double marginalisation and survival strategies.
We have all discussed the virtues and limits of the concept of cultural minority, a concept which cannot be defined in itself and holds no absolute and unequivocal value. Over and above this is the problem of understanding the hold which the processes of tourism have over peoples already facing many difficulties.
Tourism is, for most people, a sun bathing of pleasure and play. But this ought not to obscure the profound harm which this chance of affluence creates. In the short term it seems that the effects of happiness for some continue at the expense of others' misfortune.