Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Favela tourism: a good idea?

An interesting article which explores the issue of favela tourism in Brazilian cities.

A new bill being debated by the city council calls for formally designating favelas as “areas of special tourism interest” in order to regulate how tour companies operate there. The proposal includes getting input from locals on where visitors should go, as well as promoting “community-based tourism” that benefits the local population.
I was sent a load of favela photos about 10 years ago by Marie Hart, and one of them is shown here.
Image copyright: Marie Hart

Favelas are home to many millions of people in cities in LIDCs.
The article explores the growing thoughts of people calling it slum tourism, and describing it as voyeuristic. Also links to the idea of thanatourism.

This comes at a time when favelas have been cleared for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and communities impacted by that, which have perhaps been developing for decades but will be lost for the sake of a few weeks of sport.
There's a useful research paper as a PDF here looking at the overall value of this activity.

There are quite a few related articles. I'm going to write a little more about this over the next few months for another writing project.

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