In this episode, Maggie, Lily, and Savannah explore the intersections between ecotourism and Indigenous tourism. Using the lens of agency, they use specific cases to highlight how the agency of Indigenous peoples within tourism ventures varies, and with what consequences.
Maggie Chory graduated from Duke in 2019 with a Masters in Coastal Environmental Management. After graduating, Maggie worked as a Data Technician in the Basurto Lab for the Illuminating Hidden Harvests (IHH) project, a collaboration between Duke, WorldFish and the FAO that seeks to provide a ‘snapshot’ of the contributions, impacts and drivers of change of small-scale fisheries globally. Most recently, she completed a Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in NOAA’s National Sea Grant Office, which has a mission of supporting coastal and Great Lakes communities through research, extension and education. At Sea Grant, Maggie worked to increase the capacity of state Sea Grant programs to economically value their program activities.
Lily Huffman graduated from Duke in 2019 with a Master of Environmental Management degree, with a concentration in coastal environmental management. She is now the Communications Specialist for the North Carolina Coastal Federation. In her free time, Lily is an avid photographer and filmmaker. When she doesn’t have her eye glued to the viewfinder, she enjoys curling up on the couch with a good book and her quarantine kittens, Gus and Archie.
Dr. Lisa Campbell hosts the Conservation and Development series. The series showcases the work of students who produce podcasts as part of their term projects. Lisa introduced a podcast assignment after 16 years of teaching, in an effort to direct student energy and effort to a project that would enjoy a wider audience.
Supplemental material for this episode
Transcript: Indigenous Tourism
[“Oyster Walts’ theme song]
Lisa Campbell: Hi, this is Lisa Campbell and you’re listening to Seas the Day, a podcast from the Duke University Marine Lab. Today, Lily Huffman, Savannah Horton, and Maggie Chorly bring you the third of the three podcasts in our conservation and development series that tackle tourism and spin-offs like ecotourism. I think that three groups of students chose tourism as a topic is reflective of how large and impactful the industry is. Today, Lily, Savannah and Maggie take a look specifically at the intersections between ecotourism and indigenous tourism. Now, if you listened to the other two tourism podcasts, you won’t be surprised when I tell you that the story, they tell is a mixed one, with positive and negative outcomes and cases.
And just a reminder before we get started: If you enjoy our podcast, please leave us a rating in Apple Podcasts.
Maggie: Think about the last time you went on vacation. Maybe you explored an interesting Metropolitan area. Maybe you went to a beach resort and went snorkeling. Maybe you drove to the mountains and went hiking. Maybe you experienced the culture of an indigenous community. Have you ever considered how your vacation fits within larger narratives of tourism?
Tourism is an ever-growing industry with globalization and improved infrastructure for transportation worldwide. All corners of the world are more accessible than they have been at any other time in history. In response to this mass tourism, niche tourism industries have emerged. Two major categories of this are ecotourism and indigenous tourism. They are distinct, but overlap in many interesting and important ways. Today we’re going to have a more detailed discussion about some of the issues surrounding these two types of tourism and see some examples of how those dynamics have played out in real communities. This is Tourism Talks.
Maggie: I’m Maggie.
Savannah: I’m Savannah.
Lily: And I’m Lily and we’ll be your hosts today.
Savannah: You know, I never really think about there being different types of tourism.
Lily: Well, what you’re thinking of is tourism is probably what some would consider mass tourism. Mass tourism is what allows a lot of people to travel to destinations generally around the same time during what’s considered peak tourist season. It’s characterized by things like cheap flights or package deals with resorts or cruise ships.
Maggie: Oh, cool. So, what is ecotourism?
Lily: Well, in 2015 the International Ecotourism Society defined ecotourism as responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.
Savannah: So, it’s just tourism that has a focus on the environment, right? Can’t you do that in mass tourism?
Lily: You can, and it’s caused a lot of environmental degradation. According to Tazim Jamal et al. in 2006, ecotourism was actually developed in the 1980s as push back against mass tourism and the harm it was causing the environment. The actual term “ecotourism” is commonly attributed to Hector Ceballos-Lascurain in 1987. Ecotourism is more concerned with environmental conservation, with the added interest of the impacts on host communities, as well as their culture.
Maggie: Wait, if ecotourism is about nature, how did culture get wrapped up in all of this?
Lily: I mean, a lot of tourism has a cultural component to it, right? We go to places to experience the food, the architecture, and the way of life of other people. But with ecotourism it was more of a means to an end. According to Jamal et al., conservation was the primary focus in the early days of ecotourism. People who promoted ecotourism believed that the best way to boost conservation in these areas was to get local communities to participate. If they saw economic benefits, they were more likely to buy into ecotourism and support the long-term success of conservation. That was the thought anyway. It is because of this, that a narrative about ecotourism helping indigenous communities has sprung up and now dominates the conversation around ecotourism.
Savannah: But what if these communities aren’t interested?
Lily: Well, practitioners make a lot of assumptions about the willingness of these communities to buy into conservation. The communities that these ecotourism ventures target are generally indigenous communities living in more pristine environments. According to a paper by Jessica Coria and Enrique Calfucura in 2012, people assume that indigenous communities have an inherent tie to the land that drives them to be one with it, and that because of this they are more likely to be stewards of the environment. It might be because indigenous groups have a longer history in a place that people would think that they are more concerned with the environmental impact than just a local community with a shorter history in a place; however, Coria and Calfucura argue that the presumption that indigenous groups are inherently environmentalists is flawed.
Maggie: And I would argue that that’s probably way too general of an assumption to make.
Lily: You aren’t wrong, but regardless, that was the thought, and it is what has brought us to where we are today. These ideas about conservation and indigenous involvement have created definitions of ecotourism that generally include elements like the natural environment, education, protection and conservation of resources, preservation of culture, as well as community benefits. There’s also a focus on ethics, but Drum and Moore in 2002, argue that this has been lost or twisted along the way.
Savannah: So how is that different from indigenous tourism? How does that differ from ecotourism if ecotourism involves communities and community benefits?
Lily: There’s definitely some overlap, but indigenous tourism doesn’t necessarily have the environmental component. According to the University of Northern British Columbia, “indigenous tourism” is tourism activity in which indigenous peoples are directly involved, either through control and/or by having their culture serve as the essence of the attraction. So, in ecotourism, culture is a piece of the tourist experience, but in indigenous tourism it is the focus of the attraction.
Maggie: It seems like these approaches to tourism might open themselves up to issues, especially with indigenous communities.
Savannah: They do. We actually see a lot of tension within tourism’s relationship to indigenous communities. Ecotourism was founded on the promise that the development of a community through ecotourism will ultimately facilitate their economic well-being by cultivating another income opportunity through more jobs. It was also meant to encourage or ensure the preservation of natural and cultural landscapes, thus meeting human needs while also conserving the natural landscape. Furthermore, indigenous tourism has these ideals in mind, but specifically for indigenous groups, not just those who live in places where tourists visit. Papers by Anna Carr et al. in 2016, and by Amanda Stronza in 2009, discuss how these forms of tourism were initially meant to be a positive opportunity to enhance social, cultural, and place identity for indigenous people involved in the development of their community through tourism.
Lily: But aren’t there lots of different indigenous groups living in wildly different places and under a lot of different circumstances? How can we possibly generalize about the impacts ecotourism or indigenous tourism would have on each?
Savannah: You’re right and you bring up a great point that is at the core of this tension. There are actually over 5000 indigenous groups worldwide, each influenced by their particular cultural, political, and social histories. So there’s not just one way to positively influence the development of ecotourism and to encourage positive outcomes. These complex circumstances lead to Western rooted ecotourism and indigenous tourism ventures facing a myriad of complex challenges within communities who are attempting to maintain their social, ecological, and cultural integrity in the development process.
Maggie: So how can these alternative types of tourism navigate this?
Savannah: A lot of researchers who have examined this topic emphasize the importance of interconnecting governance collaboration with indigenous communities, and this can be the empowerment of communities in the decision-making processes or encouraging traditional ecological knowledge. And, also, embedding indigenous values within the framework for development are really crucial to the success of eco- and indigenous tourism within indigenous communities.
Lily: Ensuring that all of these factors are interconnected in the process is difficult though.
Savannah: Yeah, you’re right, and it’s heavily dependent on the indigenous community’s agency in the process.
Lily: Wait. What do you mean by agency?
Savannah: By agency I am referring to the social science definition of the term. Dr. Nicki Lisa Cole, a researcher at the University of York, defines agency as the thoughts and actions taken by people that express their individual power.
Lily: So why is this form of agency so important?
Savannah: Well, agency is really important to individuals because how much agency individuals or groups have shapes their experience and influences the freedom they have within certain structures. For indigenous communities interacting in these structures of tourism, the more agency they have, the more power they have to maintain their resource and cultural integrity. So, while indigenous communities have been promised certain things, in the event that an ecotourism or indigenous endeavor is undertaken by, or in, their community, their agency varies case by case and there’s a broad spectrum of response from indigenous communities to the structure of tourism that’s really closely tied to the agency that they hold within these very Western rooted structures.
Maggie: So, what does the spectrum of agency look like?
Savannah: As we have touched on responses to eco- and indigenous tourism vary widely and are heavily tied to the agency that indigenous communities hold within specific cases. This agency ranges from locally driven and fully indigenous run endeavors that are small in scale, to externally run enterprises, perhaps by private tourism companies or NGO, that will usually provide jobs to locals, but not have them in positions that have power in management decisions or how their culture is commodified as a draw for tourists.
Lily: What do you mean by commodifying culture?
Savannah: Commodification, as it relates to our topic, is defined as transforming something cultural into a commercial product that is bought or sold. For indigenous and ecotourism, some of the sell for tourists is getting to experience the indigenous culture like paying to watch a traditional dance. Amanda Stronza in a journal article from 2009, talks about the dangers of commodifying cultures and the concerns that indigenous people have related to it. She talks about how a lot of attention to cultural practices as part of a tourist experience might affect how culture in the community is interpreted, represented, and exploited for profit. She goes on to say how who is making decisions about such matters is really crucial because that, along with it becoming a commodity, can strip meaning from the culture’s original intent.
Maggie: So, is it safe to assume that indigenous cultures used in this way are indicative of groups without much agency?
Savannah: Not necessarily. In some cases where indigenous communities do have a lot of agency within a tourism venture, for example like a management position, we see that they actively play a role in commodifying their own culture for their own benefit.
Maggie: Okay then, what is indicative of an indigenous group having a lot of agency?
Savannah: Cases where indigenous groups have a lot of agency are usually associated with locally driven eco-cultural tourism ventures where the indigenous community co-produces the proposal for ecotourism within their community. This gives the indigenous communities most, if not all, of the management power for the tourism enterprise. Researchers studying Indigenous involvement have shown a variety of case studies in which the more agency indigenous communities hold leads to a more long-term sustainable management of these ventures.
Lily: But what does long-term sustainable management look like?
Savannah: Well, by giving indigenous groups more power and agency in these situations, the indigenous community and tourism have the opportunity to tailor the venture to the place-based needs of the natural landscape and the local indigenous communities. This encourages the initial buzz and engagement of the venture to not fizzle out in the communities. Locally driven ventures have been more closely tied to noted positive impacts such as their means of living improving, more power and voice by indigenous communities in the management of their natural resources at a government level, and in the locals’ interactions with tourist. Ultimately, research has noted that by having a more local focus that give Indigenous people more agency, there seems to be more positive responses from indigenous communities.
Lily: You know this brings to mind a paper written by Katherine Turner et al. in 2012, looking at the Gitga’at First Nation in British Columbia perspective of ecotourism, as they submitted a locally driven proposal to establish an eco-cultural tourism enterprise. The Gitga’at community emphasized their desire for control and management of resources, equitable distribution of benefits, and emphasized environmental and cultural sustainability.
Savannah: That’s a really good example of what is important to a high level of agency for indigenous communities. It’s interesting to note that the things that they emphasize as important to them would give them a high level of agency and are also things that researchers have tied to successful versions of tourism in indigenous communities. I think looking at the topic of developing eco- and indigenous tourism in these communities, from the local perspective, we will naturally see a high priority on them retaining their natural right to hold a lot of agency over their traditions and resources.
Maggie: That sounds pretty good, but a majority of eco- and indigenous tourism ventures do not grant this much agency to indigenous communities though, right?
Savannah: Not really. While it is not the majority of tourism endeavors that are locally driven or run, according to a 2016 study by Romero-Brito et al. found that 79% of these ventures are community based and giving indigenous communities some level of agency. Also, a majority of the community-based ventures have an affiliation that a private industry or NGO brought to them.
Lily: So, a large part of that 79% will most likely fall within the middle of the spectrum of agency, right?
Savannah: Yeah exactly. There are many tourism ventures that involve less agency and are run by NGOs or private companies, but still involve local participation and management. How indigenous communities respond to this will be very dependent on their relationship to the external party and how much power they have in this situation. Agency impacts are again always really dependent on the specifics of varying cases, because there’s never one story.
Maggie: So, what might it look like when indigenous communities have very little agency?
Savannah: In instances where indigenous locals have the least amount of agency, such as cases where external stakeholders manage the business with very little input from locals, researchers note that the benefits and positive responses to eco- and indigenous tourism plummet for indigenous communities. Although governments, private companies, and NGOs that play the power role in these endeavors may have intentions to use the venture to improve the welfare of communities and their environment, it usually does not play out that way. Quoting Carr et al.’s 2016 paper we see that external players tend to play a rather paternalistic role in the development and management of the business which ultimately decreases empowerment, autonomy, and reduces ecotourism’s ability to operate in a culturally appropriate manner. It can also exclude indigenous voices from conversations about land management and decision making of their natural environment.
Lily: And even if the community’s relationship to their environment does not fit within the narrative of good stewards, as we talked about, they still hold a natural right to have a say in their land and resources, and to have some form of agency in this structure.
Savannah: Exactly. Agency plays a crucial role in the success of eco- and indigenous tourism and its ability to positively influence conservation and the development of communities. Where each case of tourism falls within this spectrum heavily influences its ability to accomplish what it claims to have originally intended.
Lily: Okay. So I get this theory, but what does this actually look like in practice?
Maggie: Okay, well I found a few examples in which the indigenous groups affected experienced markedly different levels of agency, and as a result had different opinions of the tourism involving their cultures. I found our first case study in a really interesting 2004 paper by Kirtsoglou and Theodossopoulos in Critique of Anthropology, which talked about a particular group of people in Honduras. One community in Punta Gorda on Roatan, one of the Bay Islands of Honduras, is a Garifuna village, the Garifuna are a group descended from West African slaves who mixed with local populations of Arawak people on the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In the early 1800s they were exiled to Roatan by the British, leading to their further marginalization. Today, the Garifuna population is spread on the Caribbean coast from Honduras to Belize, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. The Garifuna are the minority on the island of Roatan, with the rest of the population made up of an English-speaking Creole population and Spanish speaking people from mainland Honduras.
Because of Roatan’s location along the Mesoamerican Reef, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Honduras and attracts many divers as well as cruise ships. Excursions are eco-centered, involving snorkeling, mangrove tours, and eco-walks. In addition, since the 1970s, the Garifuna culture has become a tourist attraction on the island with cruise ships offering excursions to see the Garifuna people. The authors go into detail about research they did in Punta Gorda, and the people’s views on what it means to be a tourist attraction.
Savannah: So, what did they find?
Maggie: The authors heard repeatedly from Garifuna interviewees, “They’re taking our culture away.”
Savannah: So, what does that mean?
Maggie: So, to exemplify this, let’s think about one specific aspect of Garifuna culture, the Punta dance – a Garifuna musical tradition. This audio is from a video of Punta dance performance recorded by a tourist and posted on YouTube.
Maggie: This Garifuna dance is the major cultural attraction for tourists on Roatan. The authors describe in detail one scenario in which they saw this dance performed for tourists in a typical setting. This took place outside of Punta Gorda, as did all of the Punta dances for tourists scheduled in June and July of 1999. There were multiple performances every day in resorts or bars specifically for tourists. The Garifuna danced, but no part of the presentation involved an explanation to the audience of the significance of the dance, the Garifuna history and culture, or of the nearby town of Punta Gorda. The Creole guide of the tour is quoted as saying, of the tourists, “They do not need to know much.” The hosting location received a large income from drinks, the cruise ships that bused in the tourist got excursion fees per person, and Creole and white vendors were making money selling T-shirts and trinkets. But the Garifuna dancers only received a small portion of the revenue, either in a prepaid sum, or in small tips. This whole process was repeated three times in a row as new groups from the cruise ship came one-by-one.
Lily: Okay, that’s what the authors of the paper observed. What was the Garifuna take on these sorts of performances?
Maggie: Garifuna people interviewed said that they felt that the dance they were asked to perform was not authentic, and they wish that tourists who wanted to see the Punta dance would come to Punta Gorda to get a version of it within its proper context, controlled by local people, and so that their town could benefit from the economic development that bringing tourists directly into town can bring.
Lily: It sounds like they wanted to cut out the middleman.
Maggie: Exactly, it is important to note, though, that the Garifuna did not object to the commodification of their culture, like Savannah mentioned earlier. In fact, they repeatedly expressed a willingness to make money off of their culture and showcase it for tourists. Their problem is with the fact that the current control over that commodification was in the hands of others. This meant that they not only did not get to have agency over their own representation, but they also did not see the majority of the economic benefits of such actions. The Garifuna expressed a desire for active participation in tourism development, and that the tourist gaze would be on them instead of a, and I’m quoting from the authors language in the paper here, “A visualized and decontextualized version of their customs.”
Lily: This sounds like what I was talking about before with mass tourism, even though there’s a cultural aspect involving indigenous community, it seems to fail to differentiate itself from some of the harmful aspects of mass tourism.
Maggie: Exactly, this example is a kind of misappropriation of indigenous culture into, or as part of, mass tourism.
Savannah: How do we know that this is the Garifuna viewpoint, not just that of the authors?
Maggie: That’s a good point. The authors are outsiders, not part of the Garifuna community or indigenous peoples themselves. They took what they heard from the Garifuna and made generalizations about what the majority of the community believed. The idea that often the authors of academic papers about indigenous tourism are themselves outsiders is important to keep in mind during discussion of our next case studies as well.
Lily: You said the dances described took place in 1999. That’s 20 years ago now. Has anything changed?
Maggie: A quick Google search reveals that these offsite Punta dance performances for cruise passengers still persist. However, in 2011, the Flamingo Cultural Center was established in Punta Gorda, which gives presentations to tourists, which are curated then performed by local Garifuna people in their hometown. It still seems to be a very much off-the-beaten-path attraction, but does have 34 positive Trip Adviser reviews and could represent an encouraging step towards Garifuna people having actual agency in the representation of their culture. This center could be viewed as a sort of reclaiming of Garifuna culture, taking it away from being just a feature consumed by mass tourism.
Savannah: Did you find any examples where indigenous communities hold more agency?
Maggie: Yeah, so a second case study is of the native Tlingit people of Hoonah, Alaska, and their involvement in the development and running of Icy Strait Point, a refurbished cannery about a mile and a half outside of Hoonah that now acts as a cruise port with activities ranging from cultural dance shows and tours, to whale watching, fishing, wildlife hikes, an even one of the world’s longest zip lines.
Maggie: This next clip comes from a commercial for Icy Strait Point found on YouTube.
Audio recording: “This is great, this is great when you walk up that gangway and the first people you see and all of your guides all day, they’re telling you first-hand because they live here.”
Maggie: A 2009 article by Heidi Bohi in Alaska Business Monthly Magazine elaborates: Icy Strait Point was developed by the Huna Totem Corporation, an Alaskan native owned village corporation, with 1400 shareholders with aboriginal ties to Hoonah. With the logging and fishing industries lagging, HTC decided to move into the tourism sector as a way to create new jobs for the community. In original surveys conducted, community members were wary of the effects of tourism on their small, subsistence-based community and feared the social and cultural changes that had come along with tourism to places like Skagway and Ketchikan. Rather than have cruise ships dock directly in town, Icy Strait Point was an innovative way to get some of the benefits of tourism, while also allowing the small town’s subsistence lifestyle of the Tlingit people of Hoonah to persist and not put environmental stress directly on the village. ISP has created more than 130 seasonal and permanent jobs in a community of less than 900, of which 90% are held by employees from Hoonah and 85% are Alaskan natives. ISP manages to both align with the desires of the cruise ship industry and the mores of local people. It won the Travel to a Better World Award for sustaining an indigenous culture or community from the Travel Industry Association and National Geographic Traveler Magazine in 2008, and it also won the Royal Caribbean’s 2014 Tour Operator of the Year Award, because it had the highest gross revenue of any port per day. Icy Strait Point was even in the news as recently as December 2018, highlighting the construction of another new pier at ISP to increase the number of cruise ships that can come into port at a time. One Alaskan native from Hoonah who works at ISP, is quoted as saying “Everyone is benefiting from this,” and mentions that one of the things she appreciates about ISP is the ability to share her culture with visitors from around the world” Unlike the Garifuna, because of the Native Alaskan power within ISP, this is more likely to be an image and representation that the indigenous group has control over.
Savannah: But that’s only one voice and from a magazine article that celebrates the success of ISP. What do other Tlingit people think of Icy Strait Point?
Maggie: You’re right. Icy Strait Point may be an example of indigenous tourism that offers a greater degree of agency to the people involved then our Garifuna example, but it’s definitely not perfect. A more in-depth paper from The International Indigenous Policy Journal by Wanasuk and Thornton from 2015, reveals some of the remaining issues with this structure. The article mentions that Tlingit workers notice the difference in salary between local and non-local employees. One staffer is quoted as saying “This place is built for us, but we see the big proportion of salary and benefits go to those outsiders. I worked so hard for ISP, being proud to show my visitors about my homeland, but I don’t feel that I’m treated properly.” Additionally, people expressed concern about the pressure that recreational charter fishing for tourists from ISP put on the stocks and competes with the subsistence fishing of the Hoonah community. The authors convey that many Tlingit view that this is a lack of respect from tourists for locals. Also, the few shops that are not native-owned and sell goods that are not produced locally, reviewed by some respondents, as representing a stereotypical view of Alaska. This article again stresses the significant economic boost that ISP tourism has provided Hoonah, but questions the distribution of those benefits. Lastly, in order to be a successful tourist enterprise, Icy Strait Point must cater to tourists and meet nonnative people’s expectations for a travel experience. Also central to Icy Strait Point’s operation is their ability to accommodate cruise ships and that whole industry, which could arguably be viewed as an even more extreme version of the Western standard for tourism. This significantly limits the ability for ISP to keep indigenous interests and authentic cultural content at the forefront despite indigenous involvement.
Lily: You could say that this is an indigenous community, recognizing how mass tourism works and explicitly trying to create an alternative that works within it.
Maggie: Yeah, I think that’s a good way to look at it.
Lily: So, these first two examples are framed around cruise ships. What would indigenous tourism without the constraints of that industry look like?
Maggie: I’m glad you asked. I actually have a third case study that doesn’t involve cruise ships and really gets at what we might call full agency. A paper by Stronza from 2005, tells of the Infierno indigenous community in Southeastern Peru. The area along the Tambopata River in the Amazon rainforest, where they live is a biodiversity hotspot hosting three large protected areas and attracting many visitors, especially birders. The Posada Amazonas Lodge in this region is particularly notable, not just for its popularity, luxury, or variety of activities, but because it’s co-owned by the 80 families that make up the Infierno community who are from three different indigenous groups. The lodge is the result of a partnership between these peoples and Rainforest Expeditions, a private company. The two groups split profits with 60% going to the community members and 40% to Rainforest Expeditions. Both partners bring unique value and experiences to the venture. The outside company trains and hires the staff, but Infierno community members are equal partners in ownership, administration, and future planning for the lodge. The agreement states that after 20 years, the community will have full ownership of the lodge, and they can choose whether to continue to collaborate with Rainforest Expeditions, carry on, on their own, or discontinue the venture altogether.
Savannah: Oh wow, that sounds like an awesome sort of hybrid approach to indigenous ecotourism. Were there any difficulties?
Maggie: Definitely. The author mentions that at first there was some tension and a period of configuration where Rainforest Expeditions and the community needed to learn to work together as equal partners, not one as the employee of the other; however, because of the setup of the contract the outside company needed Infierno involvement in order to be successful, meaning that both sides continued to work through their difficulties even when it got hard. Though this paper doesn’t have as much direct testimonial from the indigenous community as our other two cases, the business model Posada Amazonas created is one that can uniquely cater successfully to the tourist set, while also granting the indigenous community the power and flexibility to make any changes they desire, as well as ultimately carry on, on their own, after the 20-year period if they choose.
Another paper by Stronza and Gordillo on the same case notes that in addition to improving the economic well-being of the families involved with Posada Amazonas, the, and I’m quoting here, “Substantial community involvement has seemed to foster greater levels of trust, leadership, and organization, thus expanding social capital.” This is a great example of how greater agency and adventure through ownership and management can lead to positive outcomes for an indigenous community that go beyond just economic gain.
Lily: It’s interesting to see how the ideas we’ve talked about have played out in real life examples.
Savannah: Yeah, although this kind of tourism can be fun for us as visitors, it can have real impacts on these communities.
Lily: For sure, I think it’s important for us as tourists to acknowledge the narratives we’ve accepted about these forms of tourism and consider how they might be incomplete.
Maggie: Perhaps the next time you are planning a vacation, think about the role you play as a tourist in these contexts. Consider what factors draw you to a specific place and how your visit might impact the places and communities you visit. Who do you want your trip to benefit?
[“Oyster Waltz” theme song]
Lisa: You’ve been listening to Seas the Day. In our next episode, we’ll take a break from Conservation and Development and return to PhDeep, when Rafa Lobo and other international students will share their experiences of living in the US:
Phillip Turner: I bought a set of twin bedding, because twin means two! So I translated into double, which is how we size beds in our country… Hahaha.
Junyao Gu: My mother say: Why do you miss me so much? I say: “while I was hungry, I miss you so much mommy, you cannot imagine”
Elisabetta Menini: What are they?? Hahaha… Like. What. Is. US credit?? I was like is the credit card? I have a credit card? Look! This is my credit card! He was like: “no no no… Your US credit!”
Xavier Basurto: My sense of humor, I can guarantee is better in Spanish.
Lisa: Join us for a thoughtful and surprisingly funny show.
Today’s episode was written and recorded by Lily Huffman, Savannah Horton, and Maggie Chorly.
Rafa Lobo edited the podcast.
Our Theme Music was written by Joe Morton.
Visit our website www.nicholas.duke.edu/seastheday to learn more about this and other episodes.
Follow us on Instagram and twitter @seasthedaypod
Thanks for listening
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