Culture and Religion

Stone Statues in Myanmar
© Robert Wenzel

“Getting to know the country and its people” is a central motive especially when travelling to countries of the Global South– spiritual travel offers are booming all over the world. During their holidays, many travellers find the time and tranquillity to visit churches and temples or they visit isolated mountain villages, to learn unique weaving techniques of the indigenous craftswomen. The opportunity to look beyond their own lives changes the perspective on the world. However, there is a fine line between honest curiosity and touristic voyeurism. With Many beg the question, whether they are really desired by the local population or are rather developed for travellers. Our aim is to motivate travellers to experience encounters at eye level and to support community based travel initiatives to gain economic autonomy.

Waiting for a Law for Costa Rica's Coastal Communities

With increased large-scale investments in tourism and real estate, coastal communities in Costa Rica have found themselves under growing pressure to give up their land and resources. The tourism lobby found ways to displace local communities by sponsoring land use planning. As Ernest …

Candle Light and Phone Displays in Cambodia

Tourism in Cambodia is multi-faceted. As Jürgen Hammelehle of EED reports, the world-famous temples of Angkor Wat attract mass tourism, while in the village of Chambok, about two hours south of the capital, the local people have developed their own small-scale, community-based tourism …

Competing Paths to Paradise

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 …

Empowering Women in Benin

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 …

First certified package tour from Germany to South Africa

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 …

"I Can Make Choices"

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 …

South East Pacific: Rapa Nui Hotel "Squatters" Evicted

The Pacific island of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, made headlines in December 2010 when indigenous "squatters" were forcefully evicted from a hotel which they had been occupying in protest against the increasing influx of both immigrants and tourists. As Ulrich Delius reports …

Egypt: Social Responsibility under Difficult Conditions

In Egypt, it is not easy to integrate personal encounters between tourists and local people into tourist itineraries, says Heinz Fuchs. He reports on the efforts made by the German church-related tour operator "Biblische Reisen" to organise tours to Egypt in a socially responsible manner …

Sustainability in Tourism Training

Socially responsible and environmentally sustainable tourism has not yet become an integral part of tourism training. Travel agents are often at a loss if customers happen to ask for sustainable products. As Randy Haubner reports, the Information Centre on Human Rights and Development in …

Tour Guides as Cultural Interpreters

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 …

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