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Author : Peter Varga
School/Work Place : Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne, Switzerland
Contact : peter.varga@ehl.ch
Year : 2013

The question how native societies cope with the increasing pressure of global values, such as sustainability, westernization and democratic institutions has been asked in the last decades (Smith, 1989; Honey, 1999; Nash, 2001; Honey, 2008). Ecuador, as an important tourism destination in South America, has focused on eco-oriented tourism practices since the last decade of the 20th Century. Due to this increased global interest in the country’s diverse natural and cultural settings, ethnic groups in tourism destinations have experienced the growing demand for sociocultural adaptation not only to the tourists’ behaviors and expectations (Doxey, 1976) but also to the organizational strategies of the external stakeholders. As one of the central interests in the discipline of anthropology of tourism, various scholars have been focusing on the impacts of today’s tourism practices in the host populations (Chambers, 1997; Burns, 1999; Mowforth and Munt, 2009; Macleod and Carrier, 2010).

The present research is interested in how a local, indigenous community, the Siona in the Ecuadorian Amazon, has been experiencing the growing presence of the externally-led tourism practices in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Ecuador. Tourism statistics show a sixty-three-fold increase in tourist arrivals between 1984 and 2010, indicating an important growth in the sector (Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism, 2010). The author of this paper carried out several anthropological field-works in the area since 2001 (twelve months in 2001 and some shorter periods afterwards), with the objective to understand the current changes in the locals’ social structure due to, primarily, the increasing presence of non-native tourism actors in the reserve and second, the growing competition for tourism revenues not only between indigenous communities, but also within native families. The research highlights the growing lack of “interactive-participation” of the natives in tourism dynamics (Pretty, 1995). As one of the various responses from the Siona in front of this degrading situation, some families established a new community and started to revitalize certain traditional practices as authentic elements of their culture in order to attract more tourism revenues (Urry and Larsen, 2011).


List of Articles
No. Subject Views Date
234 Think Tank V Crisis Communications and Tourism Recovery Strategies ... file 3772 Oct 13, 2013

This paper describes the application of lessons and processes gleaned from previous crises and disasters to the tourism recovery process for the Maldives following the tsunami of December 26 th , 2004. An assessment of existing literature as...

Author: Jack Carlsen 

Year: 2005 

OPA: 2005 Outstanding Paper Award Winner 

233 OPA award Environmental Training and Measures at Scandic Hotels,... file 4939 Dec 01, 2013

Hotels are traditionally geared towards providing a high-level of comfort and entertainment, as well as a broad spectrum of services, often without giving much concern to associated environmental or socio-economic impacts. Hotel companies ty...

Author: Paulina Bohdanowicz, Branko Simanic & Ivo Martinac 

Year: 2004 

OPA: 2004 Outstanding Paper Award Winner 

232 Think Tank XIII Assessing Community Quality of Life in the Context of ... file 3111 Nov 06, 2013

One of major purposes of tourism development in a destination is to improve the quality of life (QOL) of host community. In the tourism literature, resident QOL has been discussed in the research of resident attitudes toward tourism. However...

Author: Chia-Pin Simo Yu, Shu Tian Cole & H. Charles Chancellor 

Year: 2013 

231 Think Tank XIII Understanding Sense of Place in Tourism Development: T... file 5246 Nov 06, 2013

This paper introduces the rationale for a study which explores the relationship between sense of place and sustainability at Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (TARP), Sabah. Sense of place encompasses an understanding of the meaning bestowed ...

Author: Paulin Wong Poh Lin & Balvinder Kaur Kler 

Year: 2013 

» Think Tank XIII Striving for Environmental Sustainability through Soci... file 5020 Nov 06, 2013

The question how native societies cope with the increasing pressure of global values, such as sustainability, westernization and democratic institutions has been asked in the last decades (Smith, 1989; Honey, 1999; Nash, 2001; Honey, 2008). ...

Author: Peter Varga 

Year: 2013 

229 Think Tank XIII Modeling the Index Components of Tourist Satisfaction ... file 3586 Nov 06, 2013

Destination performance evaluation has become an increasingly important task for effective destination management and sustainable destination development. However, it is a complex task due to the inclusion of diverse subsectors, business com...

Author: Toney K. Thomas 

Year: 2013 

228 Think Tank XIII Sustainable Tourism in Kerala - Chances for Local Comm... file 3270 Nov 06, 2013

The Indian state Kerala is positioned by Kerala Tourism as a sustainable tourism destination for domestic and foreign markets (cf. Jean-Francois 2011). Indeed sustainable tourism projects take place and are conducted either by NGOs like Kaba...

Author: Tatjana Thimm 

Year: 2013 

227 Think Tank XIII City Slicker to Roo Carer: The Journey of a Wildlife V... file 3015 Nov 06, 2013

The level of interest and participation in voluntourism has progressively become a major sector in contemporary tourism. The notion of combining a novel and pleasurable tourism experience with the fulfillment of contributing a worthwhile cau...

Author: Eunice Tan 

Year: 2013 

226 Think Tank XIII Regional Collaboration as the Conduit for Sustainable ... file 3488 Nov 06, 2013

Sustaining rural America is one of today's pressing issues. With the decline of family operated farms and the move away from traditional extraction industries, word about the benefits of developing tourism in rural communities and regions is...

Author: Paige P. Schneider, Cynthia S. Deale & Svitlana Iarmolenko 

Year: 2013 

225 Think Tank XIII Visitors' and Residents' Perception of Tourism Impact ... file 10221 Nov 06, 2013

Tourism is one of the leading contributors to service industry in Malaysia and is gradually growing. The growth of this industry brings impact towards the environment, specifically the water quality of islands. This study views into the visi...

Author: Murugadas Ramdas & Badaruddin Mohamed 

Year: 2013 

224 Think Tank XIII Exploring the Relationship between Cultural Capital in... file 3732 Nov 06, 2013

There is substantial literature on the impacts of tourism on culture, both positive and negative, however, there are relatively few articles that explore the relationship between cultural capital and sustainable tourism. This paper will repo...

Author: Laurie Murphy & Andrea Schurmann 

Year: 2013 

223 Think Tank XIII Local Residents' Involvement in Rural Tourism: The Cas... file 3379 Nov 06, 2013

Community involvement is regarded as a significant factor for the development of rural tourism. In Malaysia, cooperatives are used as a catalyst to achieve community development through community involvement. This paper focuses on the involv...

Author: Uma Thevi Munikrishnan, Sushila Devi Rajaratnam, Paolo Mura & Vikneswaran Nair 

Year: 2013 

222 Think Tank XIII Using Tourism to Build Social Capital in Communities: ... file 12389 Nov 06, 2013

Despite considerable discussion about how tourism could or should contribute to sustainable destination development, there is little evidence that the practice of tourism planning or development has altered in any significant way in the last...

Author: Gianna Moscardo, Andrea Schurmann, Elena Konovalov & Nancy G. McGehee 

Year: 2013 

221 Think Tank XIII Assessing the Impact of Rural Tourism Development on t... file 5568 Nov 06, 2013

Past literature has posited that tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors and has been signified as an attractive investment proposition. Rural tourism sector has been actively promoted by the Malaysian government and currently, it is c...

Author: May-Chiun Lo, Vikneswaran Nair, Peter Songan & Helen Lee HuiHui 

Year: 2013 

220 Think Tank XIII Measuring Tourism: Developing a Regional Level Framewo... file 5328 Nov 06, 2013

In the field of tourism impacts research it is often assumed that certain characteristics of tourism are related to the nature and extent of tourism impacts on the destination’s community well-being. However, a standard set of measures for t...

Author: Elena Konovalov, Laurie Murphy & Gianna Moscardo 

Year: 2013 

219 Think Tank XIII Sri Lanka, Tourism for a Brighter Future? A Review of ... file 4472 Nov 06, 2013

Tourism is considered to have the potential to generate foreign exchange revenue, create jobs for all levels, support handicraft and export industries, promote art and subsidise the development of transportation infrastructure; as it’s a vec...

Author: Zilmiyah Kamble & Frederic Bouchon 

Year: 2013 

218 Think Tank XIII The Politics of Community-Based Tourism Planning in th... file 2384 Nov 06, 2013

The management of protected areas has to deal with a wide range of challenges, amongst these, a growing array of social, political and economic expectations. In this regard, protected areas are increasingly expected to particularly serve as ...

Author: Anna Hübner & Truong Si Hong Chau 

Year: 2013 

217 Think Tank XIII Resident Perceptions of the Impacts of Tourism in Majo... file 3200 Nov 06, 2013

Despite the importance of cities and tourism flows to cities, the literature which explores the effect of tourism on host communities tends to focus on non-urban locations. As different types of tourists place different demands upon the reso...

Author: Tony Griffin & Deborah Edwards 

Year: 2013 

216 Think Tank XIII The Paradox of poverty amidst the plenty of nature: co... file 5657 Nov 06, 2013

Rural communities in South Africa have not been active stakeholders in tourism development. Community awareness and involvement in the preservation of natural and cultural heritage through sustainable tourism development in selected areas ad...

Author: Felicité A. Fairer-Wessels 

Year: 2013 

215 Think Tank XIII Tourism investment and sustainable development: A comp... file 12441 Nov 06, 2013

Despite the growing importance of foreign direct investment (FDI) for tourism in developing countries and its perceived importance for stimulating sustainable development, few empirical studies have examined its impact. This paper explored t...

Author: Lee Davidson & Mondher Sahli 

Year: 2013 

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