Touring responsibility : The trouble with 'going local' in community-based tourism in Thailand. / Sin, Harng Luh; Minca, Claudio.

In: Geoforum, Vol. 51, 01.2014, p. 96-106.

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Touring responsibility : The trouble with 'going local' in community-based tourism in Thailand. / Sin, Harng Luh; Minca, Claudio.

In: Geoforum, Vol. 51, 01.2014, p. 96-106.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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@article{07560eb5c6834e45bc94fe1b55af755c,
title = "Touring responsibility: The trouble with 'going local' in community-based tourism in Thailand",
abstract = "This paper discusses the question of responsibility with reference to community-based tourism. Local communities are often presented by the tourist industry as an inherent value to recognize and protect. Tourists visiting distant places are thus frequently exhorted to {\textquoteleft}go local{\textquoteright} through having a {\textquoteleft}real{\textquoteright} experience with local people and communities; they are also invited to behave responsibly and to appreciate the value of responsible management. In this article, we reflect on the consequences of the {\textquoteleft}contact zone{\textquoteright} produced by these trends and, more in general, on the rapid changes that the label {\textquoteleft}responsible tourism{\textquoteright} is generating in the ways that many travelers approach the experience of local communities and their lifestyles. We do so, by analyzing an Elephant Camp in Thailand, where tourists spend periods being involved in life of the camp and the management of the elephants. The tourists at the Elephant camp indeed show how this approach to travel often becomes an imbroglio of detachment and involvement, of paternalistic protection and mutual exploitation, of generosity and hospitality, but also of corruption and self-interest. All in all, we present the Elephant Camp as a laboratory for reflecting on how questions of responsibility towards distant people and places, especially when actually enacted in place – which is what tourism does – often become a complicated affair, which is at the origin of new opportunities but also new tensions, of learning and but also misunderstandings, of neo-colonial practices but also of actual support to the local economy.",
keywords = "Community-based tourism, Responsibility, Care, Community, Local, Thailand",
author = "Sin, {Harng Luh} and Claudio Minca",
year = "2014",
month = jan,
doi = "10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.10.004",
language = "English",
volume = "51",
pages = "96--106",
journal = "Geoforum",
issn = "0016-7185",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Touring responsibility

T2 - The trouble with 'going local' in community-based tourism in Thailand

AU - Sin, Harng Luh

AU - Minca, Claudio

PY - 2014/1

Y1 - 2014/1

N2 - This paper discusses the question of responsibility with reference to community-based tourism. Local communities are often presented by the tourist industry as an inherent value to recognize and protect. Tourists visiting distant places are thus frequently exhorted to ‘go local’ through having a ‘real’ experience with local people and communities; they are also invited to behave responsibly and to appreciate the value of responsible management. In this article, we reflect on the consequences of the ‘contact zone’ produced by these trends and, more in general, on the rapid changes that the label ‘responsible tourism’ is generating in the ways that many travelers approach the experience of local communities and their lifestyles. We do so, by analyzing an Elephant Camp in Thailand, where tourists spend periods being involved in life of the camp and the management of the elephants. The tourists at the Elephant camp indeed show how this approach to travel often becomes an imbroglio of detachment and involvement, of paternalistic protection and mutual exploitation, of generosity and hospitality, but also of corruption and self-interest. All in all, we present the Elephant Camp as a laboratory for reflecting on how questions of responsibility towards distant people and places, especially when actually enacted in place – which is what tourism does – often become a complicated affair, which is at the origin of new opportunities but also new tensions, of learning and but also misunderstandings, of neo-colonial practices but also of actual support to the local economy.

AB - This paper discusses the question of responsibility with reference to community-based tourism. Local communities are often presented by the tourist industry as an inherent value to recognize and protect. Tourists visiting distant places are thus frequently exhorted to ‘go local’ through having a ‘real’ experience with local people and communities; they are also invited to behave responsibly and to appreciate the value of responsible management. In this article, we reflect on the consequences of the ‘contact zone’ produced by these trends and, more in general, on the rapid changes that the label ‘responsible tourism’ is generating in the ways that many travelers approach the experience of local communities and their lifestyles. We do so, by analyzing an Elephant Camp in Thailand, where tourists spend periods being involved in life of the camp and the management of the elephants. The tourists at the Elephant camp indeed show how this approach to travel often becomes an imbroglio of detachment and involvement, of paternalistic protection and mutual exploitation, of generosity and hospitality, but also of corruption and self-interest. All in all, we present the Elephant Camp as a laboratory for reflecting on how questions of responsibility towards distant people and places, especially when actually enacted in place – which is what tourism does – often become a complicated affair, which is at the origin of new opportunities but also new tensions, of learning and but also misunderstandings, of neo-colonial practices but also of actual support to the local economy.

KW - Community-based tourism

KW - Responsibility

KW - Care

KW - Community

KW - Local

KW - Thailand

U2 - 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.10.004

DO - 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.10.004

M3 - Article

VL - 51

SP - 96

EP - 106

JO - Geoforum

JF - Geoforum

SN - 0016-7185

ER -