Why Does the Phrase “Global Tourism” Make Me Feel Uneasy?

When I combine the concept of global tourism and indigenous peoples, I instantly begin to think of the word arrogance. Maybe this word isn’t deserved of the tourist community, but for the most part I feel that tourists visit other countries with the mentality of their home country still in their mind. This isn’t always a bad thing, but there’s a reason Americans often have negative reputations as travelers. An example is of people who enter the selected country of travel with the notion of the country being in some way less important, valuable, valid, etc., simply based on acknowledging differences in the culture. I think this particularly relates to indigenous people because of the stigma often associated with them as inferior, dirty, or savage. The three indigenous groups I would like to visit are Australian aboriginals, arctic Inuit’s, and practically any group of people indigenous to South America. In regards to single stories, I approach them from the standpoint that neighboring cultural groups would describe them, often in the form of a stereotype. I don’t think all single stories necessarily portray negativity or judgement, but I also think that those that are negative or judgmental are the ones that need redirection, and often those people just need to be more educated on the subject. Single stories are formed from having limited view on a certain subject – a single view, for that matter. Often times, seemingly harmless stories or judgements harbor underlying criticisms, bias, or negative assumptions behind them. Examples are a assuming groups of people lack a certain form of communication, or access to resources. Generally, those comments allude to a lack of development or education among a group of people. That’s not to say that the single story is always wrong, but that they aren’t complete, they lack context, history, and interpretation.

Single stories:

Australia

  1. Aboriginals of Australia are believed to be uneducated
  2. Aboriginals are primitive

Inuit

  1. “Eat cute seals – cruel”
  2. Isolationists

South American

  1. Abuse drugs
  2. Extremely ancient, can’t catch up with modern societies
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