The Ethics of Tourism Development

The Ethics of Tourism Development

The Ethics of Tourism Development

The Ethics of Tourism Development

Synopsis

Drawing upon a variety of important philosophical traditions, this book develops an original perspective on the relations between ethical, economic and aesthetic values in a tourism context. It considers the ethical/political issues arising in many areas of tourism development, including:- the profound cultural and environmental impacts on tourist destinations- the reciprocity (or lack of) in host-guest relations- the (un)fair distribution of benefits and revenues- the moral implications of issues such as sex tourism, staged authenticity and travel to oppressive regimes.The book concludes with a detailed investigation of the potential and pitfalls of ecotourism, sustainable tourism and community-based tourism, as examples of what is sometimes termed 'ethical tourism.'Until now, the ethical issues that surround tourism development have received little academic attention. Explaining philosophical arguments without the use of excessive jargon, this fascinating book interweaves theory and practice, aided by the use of text boxes to explain key terms in ethics, politics, and tourism development, and drawing on contemporary case studies from South Africa, Mexico, Zambia, Honduras, Ethiopia and Madagascar.

Excerpt

Most tourists travel to 'get away from it all', to relax in new surroundings untroubled by the constrictions and irritations that characterize everyday modern life. Leisure is widely regarded as an essential part of contemporary life, and holidays are often presented as necessary to our mental and physical well-being (Krippendorf, 1997; see also Rojek, 1995b). It is, then, both ironic and paradoxical that the tourist industry, which provides so many of us with a means of escape from our mundane existence, should be so dependent upon and epitomize in so many ways this very same modern society. To take a simple example, if tourists are to break from their nine-to-five work routine successfully, to have the 'free time' to 'do their own thing', then those who work in the tourist industry must develop and stick to strictly organized timetables and routines. Planes and transport must be coordinated, waiters be on constant call, food available at short notice, and so on. in other words, the patterns of time management and work that tourists seek relief from are frequently transposed onto the culture of their destination, often in an exaggerated form (Dann, 1996b: 77-79; Markwell, 1997:138-141).

This transposition is not just a matter of meeting the tourists' expectations - that their holiday should run smoothly, be a home away from home, and so on; it is actually a structural feature of a tourism industry which encapsulates within itself the socio-economic forms and cultural contradictions of late modernity. This is why tourism has proved such an irresistible and important topic for those interested in trying to comprehend the social complexities of contemporary life. MacCannell (1999: xv), in the introduction to the third edition of his now classic text The Tourist, states this quite clearly: 'I wanted the book to serve as a new kind of ethnographic report on modern society, as a demonstration that ethnography could be directed away from primitive and peasant societies, that it could come home'. Tourists are a 'metaphor of contemporary life' (Bauman, 1997:93). To study tourism is to study modernity itself, both because, as Urry (1997:2-3) notes, 'acting as a tourist is one of the defining characteristics of being "modern"' and because tourism is directly responsible for physically exporting the patterns of development associated with modernity worldwide. Tourism, then, can be characterized as an engine and example of patterns of globalization (Duffy, 2002:127-154; Hoogvelt, 2001; Scholte, 2000). This relationship between globalization and tourism is clear, partly because there is now nowhere, from the Azores to

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