Rethinking Tourism and Ecotravel

Rethinking Tourism and Ecotravel

Rethinking Tourism and Ecotravel

Rethinking Tourism and Ecotravel


• Exceptional overview of the tourism industry worldwide

• Case studies of indigenous people's responses to tourism development

• Detailed listing of tourism and ecotourism resources

This is a fully revised and comprehensive overview of the history and global development of tourism--one of the largest industries in the world. Despite promising great benefits to hosts and guests alike, tourism often results in some very stark and painful consequences for local host communities and the environment.

The second edition provides updated information on global tourism and examines how local communities in different parts of the world, especially indigenous peoples, have responded to the challenges and opportunities of tourism and ecotravel.


My reasons for supporting change in the tourism industry came about through personal experience. I began to think about taking a vacation to Jamaica many years ago. I had heard about the island all my life and looked forward to going there. As a child, I had watched home movies of my missionary grandfather working in Jamaica. I particularly remember a film where twenty or so people were dancing outside under some trees; what most struck me were the spirit and joyousness the people projected.

My interest in Jamaica and Jamaican culture continued to take various turns over the years. During the early 1970s, when I was growing up in a small town in northeastern Oklahoma, some of my friends started a band and began singing the reggae songs of Bob Marley. Living in an economically depressed rural area and grappling with social and cultural issues of my own, I could identify with the meaning and message of struggle. More than a decade later, with some experience behind me and enough money to make the trip, I went to Jamaica to look, idealistically, for a chance to better understand the meaning of the revolutionary spirit. What I found was very different from what I had imagined. I had not realized the depth of struggle against racism and oppression, the sheer poverty that many Jamaicans live with every day, the historical oppression and hardships the culture had experienced. I had simply glossed over much of it. I bought into the dream that I could go to Jamaica as a package-deal tourist and have a profound experience with local people.

In fact I did have a profound experience, but not the type for which I was searching. The plane landed at Montego Bay, and I was immediately besieged by hawkers and hustlers, self-styled entrepreneurs in an economic situation born directly out of the business of tourism. I didn't even have time to look around as I downed my welcome-toJamaica shot of rum because I was so preoccupied with the hustlers:

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