Inclusiveness of the ‘Othered’ in Tourism

Stephen Wearing
Simon Darcy


This paper highlights that tourism, due to the fact it is a multi-faceted activity and by implication its management has similar multiple contexts, often leads to the exclusion of many who are part of that tourism context. One area that has been left on the fringes of tourism is how contemporary tourism management has “othered” those regarded as being removed from the neoliberal business foundation of tourism. One such group is the host communities in developing countries. The failure to involve and engage with host communities and develop collaboration in the process of planning and management for tourism is and has in the past been detrimental to the sustainability of tourism. In many cases, host communities have been ignored by the industry, with few or no mechanisms or processes put in place to enable them to participate in the management of tourism. This paper presents an overview of how this engagement of host communities can expand the market for tourism and lead to more satisfying visitor experiences, enhance the sustainability of these experiences and, thus, be considered good management practice within the industry. The paper examines how to engage in these practices and create processes that are both enabling for communities and incorporate research techniques that move beyond the very limited monocultural attempts undertaken by the majority of tourism enterprises today. In widening the involvement of the host community, we turn to mechanisms for engagement to provide a platform to demonstrate how this can be done to provide better management practice. In doing so, we extend the scope of engagement to involve those previously considered to be outside of mainstream tourism enterprises, and present an argument that, if sustainability is to move beyond economic and environmental Western constructs to embrace social sustainability, changing global values require tourism management to adopt more inclusive ways of practice and management principles.

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