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Rocinha Tour / Credit: unknown on Travindy

Slum Tourism: is it ethical? It is difficult to find someone that can answer this question from both a professional and an academic background. However, Tamara Ramos finds the perfect fit: Elisa Spampinato. She has studied Anthropology & Sociology in Italy (Rome) and Production Engineering in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) and has an extensive portfolio of research on different subjects, from local governance and participatory democracy to local community development, social innovation and community-based tourism.

Tamara: What did your research focused on?

Elisa: My research did not deal with the simple moral question: is Slum Tourism good or bad. People go on these tours for lots of reasons – some for  the thrill of seeing poor people (the zoologic interest). Others for academic interest, or because they are involved with social and political movements, are  international volunteers, or simple curious travellers.

Confronted with a variety of realities,  I decided not to focus my research on the reasons that motivate tourists, but rather on the different ways in which Slum Tourism is offered in the city of Rio de Janeiro. My research aimed to analyse the degree of community involvement in the design, organization and delivery of the tourism services offered in that particular location.

Read the full interview here.

By  for Travindy.

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Volunteers are fueling the growth of orphanages in Uganda. They need to stop

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orphanages in Uganda

Image Credits: Kristin Klein/Abide Family Center

I was asked recently by a friend to meet some people from her church in the US who were visiting Uganda on a mission trip. The aim of the meeting was to convince them that supporting and visiting orphanages was doing more harm than good. As I entered the restaurant, the mission trip participants were easily identified by their beaming smiles and even brighter T-shirts. The conversation started well and they were, of course, lovely people who were incredibly generous with their time and resources; a common trait among mission trip participants I’ve met over the years. By Mark Riley. Read more.

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Volunteers

07 April 2015 – ‘Voluntourism’ has come in for plenty of criticism in recent years, but the stereotype of volunteers as well-meaning but incompetent students on gap years may need a rethink after a new report highlighted the “unique contribution” made by them in the fight to end poverty. Read more.

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Heritage managers are increasingly expected to use tourism as a source of revenue to maintain heritage properties. Many of these individuals and organisations have little or no skills in business/tourism planning or financial management. This report outlines approaches that can assist with the development of heritage tourism across a region including use of a thematic framework to link heritage places, stories and practices together. The report includes a list of currently available resources at the time of publication of this report.

by Tod Jones, Michael Hughes, Vicki Peel, David Wood and Warwick Frost
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This manual was devised to help overcome the professional isolation often experienced by staff working in Australian VICs. It is specifically designed to facilitate the sharing of ‘best practice’ approaches to information dissemination, customer service, staff training, sign and exhibit design and evaluation. Material is based on research in the areas of visitor studies; interviews with thirteen VIC managers; and surveys conducted with approximately 407 visitors at 18 VICs in Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It includes photographs, discussion questions and checklists to enable you to evaluate and improve your services and facilities. The manual concludes with four case studies designed to describe examples of ‘best practice’ in more detail.

by Roy Ballantyne, Karen Hughes, Marg Deery and Nigel Bond

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Meeting Visitor Needs: A Handbook for Managers and Staff of Visitor Information Centers

 

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