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Title:Converging claims to social inclusion via tourism in Salvador, Brazil: cosmopolitan tourists and low-income residents
Author(s):McKenna, Erin F
Director of Research:Santos, Carla
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Santos, Carla
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Moodie, Ellen; Stewart, William; Ciafone, Amanda
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Social Inclusion
Abstract:As international tourism has become a trillion-dollar industry (UNWTO, 2013) and the world is seemingly more interconnected than ever, we see new trends emerging in the tourism sector to take advantage of the economic and cultural opportunities that international tourism presents. Two of those trends include the cosmopolitan formation of tourists: a tendency to engage in tourism endeavors that facilitate cross-cultural skills so as to acquire global citizen status, and low-income tourism: the simultaneous tendencies to use tourism as a means to alleviate poverty while others engage in tourism as a means to be exposed to it. Both of these trends produce groups of people: low-income locals and cosmopolitan-aspiring tourists, for whom social inclusion is a goal of their participating in tourism. This paper explores these two converging claims to social inclusion in Salvador, Brazil through ethnographic research. The paper first addresses the social inclusion of the locals, as social inclusion literature has primarily focused on the exclusion of marginalized and underprivileged populations, a group to which the low-income locals belong. Through interviews and participant observation of people from Salvador's low-income communities who are working on establishing tourism to their neighborhoods, as well as several tours that took place there, this paper establishes that social inclusion is a goal and is possible in certain circumstances, but that it is hard to accomplish because it is hard to establish tourism and keep it sustainable in an inclusive way. Next the paper addresses the social inclusion of the cosmopolitan-aspiring tourists. Because the concept of social inclusion has never been applied to the tourists insofar as what they are aiming to accomplish, this chapter first establishes how we can understand social inclusion to be a goal of these tourists. It then goes on to demonstrate the ways in which social inclusion occurs and does not occur in the tourism experiences of the tourists. Because one group of cosmopolitan-aspiring tourists proved exceptional, both in their willingness to participate in this study and in their desire to not only be included in Salvador but to also participate in low-income tourism, this final group that is discussed separately provides further insights into the goals of social inclusion as well as the ways in which low-income locals’ claims to social inclusion and the tourists' claims come together. Ultimately this paper allows for conclusions to be drawn about social inclusion for the two groups separately and together, providing us with a greater understanding of these converging claims in a global system. The low-income locals highlight the importance of establishing inclusion internally while also demonstrating that inclusion on a local level can be facilitated through inclusion at the global level. The tourists illustrate the importance of understanding how inclusion fits into their goals in order to manage expectations and foster more positive outcomes. In looking at the two groups together, we see a complex power dynamic emerge between the cosmopolitan-aspiring tourists and the low-income locals, where each group holds power over the other in terms of the degree of social inclusion in the destination society. However, because the tourists are simultaneously desiring global citizen status, or inclusion on the global level, they can spin their experiences at the local level however they like and still find that global inclusion. The locals, in contrast do not have that ability and for that reason we can see that the tourists, have a different degree of power than the locals in regards to social inclusion in a global system.
Issue Date:2016-03-31
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Erin Flynn McKenna
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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