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Ecotourism vs Cultural Voyeurism Report

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Updated: Mar 3rd, 2021

Global Tourism

Do you think there should be controls on cultural voyeurism to protect local communities and cultures? Or should local communities be allowed to make that decision themselves?

Overall, the representatives of local communities need to decide if it is necessary to impose restrictions on the so-called cultural voyeurism. To a great extent, such activities can significantly diminish the culture of indigenous people. Moreover, cultural voyeurism can be attributed to the practices of international companies that do not attach much importance to the lives of indigenous people. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that the inflow of tourists can raise the income level of the local communities. These are some of the benefits that should not be overlooked. It seems that local communities should be empowered enough to raise standards for tourist businesses. These are the key arguments that can be advanced.

Should we set up cultural protected areas as we do with parks and wildlife? Does this sound ethical?

On the whole, it is not necessary to create cultural protected areas. Such a policy does not seem ethical. In particular, this strategy can stifle any form of economic development in the community. Thus, the lives of many local people can be impaired significantly. Apart from that, these communities can become isolated while isolation can be harmful to every culture. Finally, one must not compare communities to parks and wildlife. In my opinion, this comparison dehumanizes people living in these neighborhoods. This is one of the main issues that should not be overlooked. As it has been said before, such issues should be decided by local people. They can better evaluate the needs of the community and identify the policies that can benefit this neighborhood. These are the main suggestions that policy-makers should take into account.

The Navajo in Arizona arrange tours of their land and communities as part of an ecotourism venture. The enterprise includes picture-taking of the locals in costume or dress for a fee such as $5.00. Is this promoting a stagnation of culture or creating a false culture as described in the video? How do you feel about this type of ecotourism?

Ecotourism can give visitors only a false impression about the culture of the Navajo people. By taking pictures of local people dressed in traditional costumes, tourists can hardly understand the values, attitudes, and worldviews of this ethnic group. These elements are critical components of any culture. Additionally, tourists can come to the false conclusion according to which Navajo people should be considered only because of their unusual costumes.

This is one of the most dangerous pitfalls that should be taken into account. Provided that such attitudes become very widespread, the culture of Navajo people can indeed stagnate. In my opinion, ecotourism can be both informative and engaging. Nevertheless, such activities should give people some genuine insight into the lives and experiences of local communities; otherwise, the value of ecotourism can be questioned. These are the main issues that can be distinguished.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Ecotourism vs Cultural Voyeurism." March 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ecotourism-vs-cultural-voyeurism/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Ecotourism vs Cultural Voyeurism'. 3 March.

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