Ethno Tourism Benefits Both Visitors as Well as Tribal Communities.

Topics: Tourism, Culture, World Tourism Organization Pages: 5 (1751 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Tourism industry has witnessed a fast development in the recent decades. As a new type of tourism, ethno tourism combines sightseeing and seeking the cultural experience of the tribal communities of the tourist destinations (Cooper, 2005). Since ethno tourism greatly stimulated the economic development of the local communities, people think that ethno tourism benefits both the visitors and the local communities of the destinations. On the one hand, ethno tourism enhanced the cultural communication between different ethnic groups. However, it is also worthwhile to note the possible dangers to the environment might be caused by the over-development of ethno tourism (McLaren, 2001). There are many other negative influences upon the local communities in the same time. These may include the pollution to the natural environment, the eroding of the local culture and the risk of infectious diseases. As a result, I maintain both the positive and negative influences of ethno-tourism have to be clarified so as to keep a balance between tourism development and the protection of the local communities. This essay, based on the analysis of the various influences of ethno tourism in both the industrial development and the change of people’s attitude, examine the benefits of ethno tourism to both the visitors and the local communities of the tourist destinations. In the meanwhile, I also intend to analyze the potential harms brought about by ethno tourism in the local communities. The development of ethno tourism mainly focuses on four major long-term positive influences within the local communities. These effects include the improvement of the local economy, the communication of different cultural groups, remarkable influence upon the society of the tribal communities and the advance of the local life conditions. With regard to economics, the benefit to the locals is considered to be the major drive force that stimulates the development of ethno tourism. Ethno tourists’ objective in visiting a local place is to seek the experience when enjoying the various types of cultural traditions which are exposed to the whole world and the influence is amplified to the outside (Mitchell, 2009). This might become an important premise to attract more travellers to the local tribes. As time going on, the local people gradually begin to benefit from the ethno tourism industry. More travellers bring more economic resources that are urgently needed for the local development (Kaplan, 2009a). In addition, ethno tourism attract outside economic resources, which are important for the development of the local economy (Vidal, 2009). The investors come to the tribal communities like a model as teaching them how to operate a business and how to use the resources efficiently. Therefore, these local communities may be able to manage their economy independently in the future. However, the more short-term investments follow by the more ethno tourisms will cause risks too. Over-development of ethno tourism may cause serious pollution to the local environment (McLaren, D. 2001). More visitors in the meantime may imply the pollution to the air, the water and the soil of the local environment, which used to be clean and tranquil. What is more, cultural communications are obviously resulting from the different cultural backgrounds between the tourists and indigenes. As the development of ethno tourism, these local cultures began to be known by the outside people (Mitchell, 2009). Gradually, the local culture of the tourist destinations might become influential in the country or even in the whole world (Buckley, 2000). Taking China for example, some of the products in the mountainous areas were not well known by the outside world. However, when more and more travellers coming to these areas, the products made by them that conveying the special colours of the local culture have been accepted by the outside people. The bamboo ware in South-east China, for instance, can be...
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