zoos, exploitation and dubious ‘traditions’ that actually
inhibit real cultural exchange – the relationship between
tourists and indigenous people is complex and frequently
disappointing for both, with often only tour operators
However tourism can bring in much needed revenue to indigenous
communities – who are often socially, politically and
economically marginalised from mainstream society - indigenous
tourism can also be very positive, a form of revitalisation for
their culture and a force of empowerment for the people.
Unfortunately there are many instances where villages become
mere showcases for tourists, and elements of their culture
reduced to commodities, offering little engagement and few
benefits to the community. This can lead to feelings of
frustration and resentment amongst local people towards
tourists, undermining the positive experience that should come
with equitable cultural exchange.
Tourism Concern has worked to raise awareness of these issues
with tourists and tour operators for a number of years. However
it is clear that if the interaction between tourists an
indigenous people is to be positive, then a strong code of
conduct for tour operator’s engaging with indigenous people is
We’ve done this sort of work before - and had real success. We
worked with tour operators and mountain trekking porters to
create a code of practice which made sure porters were better
protected and their rights upheld - and they have. We have also
developed a Code of Conduct for house boats in Alleppey, which
is being trialled right now.
Your valued support means so much to us. We’re a tiny charity
trying to do big things. And we can’t do them without you. Any
gift you can afford to give will allow us to help develop a code
which will protect indigenous communities from the more
destructive elements of tourism.