Cultural Tourism in Latin America
Edited by Michiel Baud and Annelou Ypeij
Cultural tourism has become an important source of revenue for Latin American countries, especially in the Andes and Meso-America. Tourists go there looking for authentic cultures and artefacts and interact directly with indigenous people. Cultural tourism therefore takes place in close engagement with local societies. This book analyse the effects of cultural tourism and the processes of change it provokes in local societies. It analyses the intricacies of informal markets, the consequences of enforcing tourist policies, the varied encounters of foreign tourists with local populations, and the images and identities that result from the development of tourism. The contributors convincingly show that the tourist experience and the reactions to tourist activities can only be understood if analysed from within local contexts.
Contributors: Michiel Baud, Annelou Ypeij, Lisa Breglia, Quetzil E. Castañeda, Ben Feinberg, Carla Guerrón Montero, Walter E. Little, Keely B. Maxwell, Lynn A. Meisch, Zoila S. Mendoza, Alan Middleton, Beatrice Simon, Griet Steel, Gabriela Vargas-Cetina.
“Tourism in Latin America – especially the sort of cultural tourism that plays to desires for authentic experiences – has become a key foreigner currency earner for many countries. This important volume examines the impact of tourism across the region, providing a rich survey of the range of experiences and teasing out the theoretical implications. From the almost surreal Mi Pueblito theme park in Panama to mushroom-hunting tourists in Oaxaca to the eco-trail leading to Machu Pichu, these chapters present compelling cases that speak to identity formation, nationalism, and economic impacts. As the contributors show, benefits are differentially accrued to various actors – and often not to the communities that tourists come to see. Yet, the contributors also make it clear that in struggles over ownership, authenticity, and political representation, local communities actively shape the contours and meanings of tourism, at times successfully leveraging cultural capital into economic gains.”
Edward F. Fischer,
Director Center for Latin American Studies, Vanderbilt University