Culture and Religion

Slums, Townships or Favelas: disadvantaged neighbourhoods are increasingly visited by tourists. If such excursions are organised in a socially responsible manner, they may be beneficial for both, local people and tourists, creating win-win situations. Visitors can get a better understanding of the...
“Come in, the house is yours!” Many Brazilians still use this old saying to make visitors feel at home. However, this hospitality is not found in Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, but lives in the hearts and houses of people outside the hustle and bustle of the big cities. The much closer relationship...
Privacy is a very personal issue. Some might feel their privacy violated when someone else peeks through the window. Others live a very open analogue and digital life. Privacy is also a legal matter. How is the right to privacy regulated? What are the challenges we face in the protection of human...
Tourism as a prime economic-generating activity has a trade off. In the Philippines, some people earn from tourism, but it has also affected the preoccupation they played in the community as providers. In many cases, fishermen who used to catch fish to support the whole community decided to become...
Tourists who decide to travel to the „Holy Land“ usually do so only after due consideration. They often have serious concerns to visit a region which has time and again been a powder keg. However, the divided city of Jerusalem boasts of some of the sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam....
International residential tourism – or the retirement migration – is a recent phenomenon in the Andean area. However, in some places it has already caused conflicts and rapid changes in social and economic structures. Sharp increases in the price of rural land have made it almost impossible for...
Every year, large numbers of tourists visit the Chilean Easter Island Rapa Nui to see the well-known Moai statues. As Corina Schaub reports, this has serious consequences for the local population. In March and April, indigenous people occupied the Rapa Nui national park in order to draw attention...
By Tulika Bansal and Vicky Bowman Myanmar is going through a “triple transition”: from a military system to democratic governance, from a centrally directed economy to a market-oriented economy, and from 60 years of conflict to peace in its border areas inhabited by different ethnic groups. Ethnic...
Volunteer tourism is a rapidly growing sector of the tourism industry. Over the last 20 years, we have seen the merging of volunteer travel, which has often been facilitated by NGOs, and the commercial tourism industry, with the view that the two are mutually beneficial. While this has created many...
In March, 2011, a "Theological Consultation on Tourism" took place in Chennai, India, led by the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT)and organised in collaboration with the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI). It was followed by an international consultation "Theology of Tourism"in...
My local tradition for welcoming guests, including strangers, is built around knowing whether one has already eaten. "Kumain ka na ba?"(Have you eaten?), would always be the first query. The intent is to make sure that the guest or stranger is not hungry and is well. In many indigenous cultures of...
The Caribbean economy has been historically designed to meet colonial priorities and tourism, too, serves the interests of the North. Tourism built around four infamous “S’s”: sun, sea, sand and sex has led to disruptive behaviours, raising issues of human dignity that invite a response from the...
Justice is a deeply human aspiration and right, more so for the suffering, marginalised and oppressed in the Global South. The cry for justice is validated in the prophetic calls repeatedly made in the Old Testament, and in prominent texts in the New Testament such as Luke 4:16-19 (the Isaiah ‘...
The Holy Land, notably Israel and Palestine, is a region of extraordinary historical, religious and cultural significance. At the same time, it has been suffering from conflict for decades, which often escalated in violence. In the past few months, too, the region has made sad headlines. In an...
These days in Bali, visitors will see enormous banners with the words “Bali Tolak Reklamasi Teluk Benoa” – “Bali is against land reclamation from the sea at Benoa Bay”. Tourism is at the roots of the struggle against a mega project that would have devastating ecological consequences and further...
Non-governmental organisations and tour operators in the German-speaking area have joined forces and founded the "Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism" in order to develop concepts about how tourism businesses can fulfil their responsibility of respecting human rights. The members want to acquire and...
„2050 – Tomorrow's Tourism" by Ian Yeoman brims with enthusiasm, optimism and daring prophecies as his predictions are projected from today’s wealth, technology and resources. As a result, the consequences of global technology and income divides that will definitely persist beyond 2050 are paid...
In Arthungal, 30 km north of Alappuzha in Kerala, South India, the Kerala Independent Fishermen's Federation has been one of the most active local groups in the fight against tourism's expansion. Recently, they fought to help people regain access to a local church, which had been cut off by a new...
The Atacora region in the North West of Benin is of great natural beauty and one of the country's main tourist attractions. As Eva Maria Helm reports, people mainly live on subsistence agriculture, which is affected by drought and soil erosion. Many people are illiterate and suffer from poverty...
SKR in Cologne is the first German tour operator to offer a fair trade travel package to South Africa, and South Africa the first country with fair trade certified accommodation and other services. Compiling the package was a challenge, though, says Kim Geffen, who organised the tour for SKR....
Ella Mahlulo (40) is one out of many. She is one out of very many people in South Africawho have suffered in the past. But she is one out of not so many who have faith in the future and have taken the initiative to make a difference in their community. Together with Penny Mainwaring, Ella runs "...
Ella Mahlulo (40) ist eine von vielen. Sie ist eine von sehr vielen Frauen in Südafrika mit einer leidvollen Vergangenheit. Doch ist sie eine von denen, die auf die Zukunft vertrauen und die Initiative ergriffen haben, um in ihrer Gemeinschaft etwas zu verbessern. Zusammen mit Penny Mainwaring...
Tour Guides as Cultural Interpreters While intercultural competence has become a key qualification in the "global village", it is not an integral part of tour guide training programmes. With "Intercultural Motivation Seminars for Tour Guides in Developing Countries", the Studienkreis für...
After five years of operation, Ecuador's controversial oil pipeline "Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados" (OCP) experienced its first oil spill. According to official sources, more than 14,000 barrel of crude oil polluted the Santa Rosa river, about 100 km east of the capital Quito. Other rivers further...
How to share their culture and at the same time preserve its authenticity is one of the challenges confronting indigenous people involved in tourism. At the "Indigenous Day" event at the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) in March in Berlin, indigenous representatives from North America and...
Life has been difficult for the Palestinian population under Israeli occupation. The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) seeks to support local and international efforts to end the occupation. Götz Schindler, a German EAPPI volunteer, reports about his experiences...
"weltwärts", a programme funded through the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, is aimed at training young Germans in the field of development cooperation. More than 200 German NGOs send volunteers to work with their partner organisations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America....
By Anouk Reitz Many local initiatives in Guatemala need volunteers. Without their help, they would not be able to keep up their work as they used to. However, as Anouk Reitz reports, successful cooperation depends on several factors, including good preparation and communication. Volunteering...
This year’s annual conference of the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) focussed on the paradoxes in tourism, culture and heritage. At the conference "Selling or Telling" in Brighton in July, participants discussed the concept of heritage as compared to earlier paradigms such as...
In his article on the current situation in Bethlehem, Pastor Mitri Raheb describes the day-to-day reality of occupation. He points out that under these conditions, Mary and Joseph would not have been able to reach Bethlehem. They would have been stopped at the check point and denied access to the...
In his article "To Go or Not To Go", a contribution to the forthcoming ECOT publication "Transforming Tourism/Re-forming Tourism", the Buddhist monk Sukthawee Suwannachairop looks at tourism from an Engaged Buddhist's perspective. In TourismWatch, we have reprinted a shortened version of his...
Subscribe to Culture and Religion