Poverty tourism: Theoretical reflections and empirical findings regarding an extraordinary form of tourism

  • Rolfes M
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During the mid-1990s, a new form of tourism was established in metropolises of several developing countries or emerging nations. This type of tourism consists in visits to the most disadvantaged parts of the respective city. Poverty tours or slum tours are offered on a relatively large scale in the South African cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, as well as in Indian metropolises, to name some important examples. The target group of these tours consists primarily of international tourists. It is estimated that 40,000 such tourists visit favelas in Rio de Janeiro each year, around 300,000 the townships in Cape Town. This contribution refers to and comments on these devel- opments and insights regarding poverty tourism or slumming, based on empirical research and experi- ences in South Africa, Brazil, and India. It will be shed light on the phenomenon from an observational- theoretical perspective. It is aimed to open a discus- sion on the ways poverty tours or slumming observes and simultaneously programmatically charges pov- erty. And, it will be considered in which way poverty tourism is observed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Favela
  • Observational-theoretical approach
  • Poverty tourism
  • Slum
  • Slumming
  • Township

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  • Manfred Rolfes

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