Category Archives: Conference

Creation of slum tourism operators network

Reality Tours and Travel, a well know and large operator in Mumbai, has joined up in partnership with researchers and tourism organisations from around the world, to take the initiave and create a slum tourism operators network. The purpose of the network is to share best practices, discuss the challenges slum tour operators face and to help each other problem solve these challenges. The ultimate goal is to ensure slum tour operators maximize the positive impact on the community and their guests while operating the tours as responsibly as possible. Pooling together the collective knowledge and experience on the matter of slum tourism can help achieve this goal.

In practice, the idea is to invite as many operators as possible into a dialog over their approaches and concepts, initially via an online networking process, but with the longer term aim of getting operators together in workshops, on regional and perhaps global level. For those interested in participating in this network, to share their knowledge and learn about slum tourism around the world, an online form has been created. We would like to ask practioners and researchers, who are willing to contribute or participate in this network, to fill in the form and share their knowledge about operators across different destinations. Although the initiative to set up the network comes from Reality Tours and Travel, we like to emphasises they have done this to learn and share information. Information from the network will be shared among participants.

You can go to the form by clicking on this link:

Second Destination Slum Conference

CFP: Second Destination Slum Conference

New Development and Perspectives in Slum Tourism Research

14-16 May 2014, University of Potsdam, Germany

In December 2010 slum tourism researchers gathered in Bristol, UK, for the first international “Destination Slum” conference addressing specifically the aesthetic, economic, historical, political and social DSCN0772dimensions of slum tourism. Slum tourism, defined broadly as touristic visits to urban areas of relative poverty, remains a controversial pastime. Despite the controversies this leisure practice is on the rise globally, in developing as well as developed countries. New destinations are added to an already comprehensive list of locations while some older destinations shows signs of maturity and saturation with high levels of diversification, policy interventions, including the integration of slum tourism into urban regeneration and urban tourism strategies. Slum Tourism seems to have entered a new phase.

Just like the development of the phenomenon of slum tourism, academic research has picked up in speed as well, accounting for the phenomenon in a range of case studies from diverse disciplines. The foci of research have also shifted beyond the pertinent questions of ethics, impact and motivation, to address the multiple connections of slum tourism to other forms of tourism, like volunteering, sustainable tourism, community based and pro-poor-tourism or dark tourism and others. Moreover researchers have turned to discuss the possible contributions research on slum tourism can make to questions arising in the study of global phenomena and questions like mobilities, social movements and protest, urban regeneration, security, mega events or poverty alleviation.

Slum tourism research has reached a new phase  and the second conference of the network will enable an engaged exchange of the insights gained over the last few years. We aim to better understand the recent rapid expansion and diversification of slum tourism as well as to develop new perspectives on the phenomenon.

We‚d like to invite empirical and theoretical papers that discuss slum tourism and related phenomena in various destinations, comparative research focusing on different case studies as well as conceptual cognate questions such as, but not limited to

theoretical reflections on slum tourism
tourism and poverty alleviation
informal economies ˆ informal tourism
authenticity and valorisation regimes in slum tourism
slum tourism in urban policy
urban regeneration, gentrification and tourism
slum tourism and mega-events
(changing) moral and ethical views on slum tourism
security, slum and tourism
entrepreneurship in slum tourism
social functions/roles of slum tourism
justice tourism and solidarity travel
volunteer tourism and poverty
economies of charity and slum tourism
the migration/tourism nexus and the slum
identity, culture and slum tourism
literary slumming in writing, film and games
histories of slum tourism and slumming

Please submit your abstract of up to 300 words with affiliation and contact details using the submit abstract page on the conference webpage. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed by members of the conference committee and we will notify within four weeks of your submission. Accepted papers are to be considered for publication in a special issue of an academic journal (negotiations are underway).

UPDATED Deadline for abstract submissions: 1st of March 2014

Conference Webpage:
We are also happy to accept panel proposal via conference (at)

Conference Cost

The conference fee is 100 Euros (50 Euros for post-graduate and non-waged
researchers) and covers conference two lunches and two dinners, coffee and
refreshments as well as a side programme.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Commodifying Urban Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Marginalisation: Spatial and Social Consequences

The 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences will host a session called: “Commodifying Urban Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Marginalisation: Spatial and Social Consequences”. The conference will be held in Manchester 5-10 August 2013, but the organisation is already asking for paper proposals (the deadline is 20 July 2011). This seems a good opportunity to present on slum and poverty tourism to a wider audience. More information can be found below:

CALL FOR PAPERS: Commodifying Urban Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Marginalisation: Spatial and Social Consequences

IUAES, Manchester 5-10 August 2013

Convenors: Eveline Dürr and Rivke Jaffe

This panel seeks to investigate the effects of increasing commodification and marketable global representations of the urban poor and their particular spaces. While many cities are eager to “clean” their central spaces and move pavement dwellers, beggars, street children and other “undesirable” citizens out in order to present a favourable image to visitors and potential investors, others draw attention to marginalisation, poverty and social exclusion and market no-go areas, gang life, drug districts, slums and other poverty-ridden urban areas as tourist destinations. While these socio-spaces were previously banned from the city’s representation, they are now tentatively included as integral parts of the urban environment. Increasingly, tourists seem to be keen to move into these spaces, yet in a controlled and safe way. The consequences of these quickly expanding, globally prevalent urban practices are manifold yet have hardly been investigated empirically, much less in a comparative perspective. This panel aims to examine the ways tourism intersects with spaces of urban misery and their representation. It seeks to understand how the commodification and increasing circulation of representations of the poor and their spaces affects city imaginaries, urban space, local economies and social relations. By emphasizing actors and socio-spatial dimensions, this panel includes a performative understanding of these practices and thus goes beyond the analysis of representation strategies. What are the consequences for cities and their dwellers when poverty and decay are turned into fashionable tourist experiences? How are cities transformed by these processes and how are social relationships reconfigured in these new spaces of encounter? Who actually benefits when social inequality becomes part of the city’s spatial perception and place promotion? Comparative and reflective empirical research contributes to the understanding and analysis of these fairly recent urban challenges. Papers addressing these aspects are welcome.

Please email your abstract (ca. 200 words) accompanied by information about the author (name, affiliation) to Eveline Dürr ( and Rivke Jaffe (

Deadline for paper proposals is 20 July 2011.

For more information about the IUAES conference see


Promoting tourism for sustainable development and poverty reduction

On the 10th of May the UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development is organising a Tourism Special Event at LDC-IV Conference. The idea is to “share strategic insights on major challenges and devise the way forward for tourism in the least the developed countries” and to “set the scene for a new framework for development through tourism”

Although the conference is by invitation only, the full brief of the event is given on the website and it is worth the read. It shows an interesting discursive UN-development with relation to tourism, sustainability and poverty reduction that will most likely influence international policy developments with regards to slum tourism.

Responsible Tourism in Cities mini-conference

Friday 6 May the City of Cape Town organises a day event on topics specific to Responsible Tourism in Cities as part of the Indaba tourism conference. This may be an interesting event for those wanting to learn  more about how Cape Town as a destination deals with township tourism. How does it fit in with the portfolio of the city and to what extent is it seen as responsible tourism?

Participants can not only go to the conference in person, but there is also the possibility to participate online via live video streaming of twitter.  Information can found on the website of the conference, but the wiki of and the website of Responsible Tourism Cape Town contain more information.

After the conference four sessions are will be made available on the Responsible Tourism Cape Town website as will videos of the presentations and discussions.


Annual RC21 conference

The Annual RC21 Conference that is held in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) on July 7-9 2011 has a session aimed particularly at  “Slums, Ghettoes, and the Internal Periphery of the Global Urban“. This session appears to be an interesting opportunity for the slum tourism community to present and discuss their work. The deadline for abstract submission is December 21st, 2010.

If you also know of a potentially interesting conference, please post it on this website or contact us using the contact form or via e-mail:

Destination Slum! great success

The international conference on slum tourism that was held in Bristol from 9-11 December was a great success. Delegates from 6 continents discussed a wide variety of subjects dealing with tourism in slums around the world.

The conference started with an interesting and entertaining discussion of tourism in the favelas by keynote speaker Bianca Freire Medeiros. Following this,  24 other presentations were given that sparked off great discussions not only directly following the presentation, but also during coffee breaks and the evening programme.

To all that came, thank you very much for your input. Let’s hope we can follow up on the momentum of this conference to increase research and insights regarding slum tourism so that a follow up conference can be organised soon! In the meantime the RC21 conference in Amsterdam may be a next meeting point for those doing research on tourism in slum areas.

Conference on Slum Tourism in Bristol, UK 9-11 December 2010

Langa Township, South AfricaThe conference Destinationa Slum! which is organised in Bristol,UK 9-11 December and aims to bring together researchers of slum and poverty tourism in urban areas, is shaping up to be an exciting event. Over 20 proposals of papers have been accepted and will be presented. More information about the conference can be found on its website.

For those wishing to attend, the deadline for the call for papers has now passed but it is still possible to attend the conference without presenting. The cost of attendance is £ 50.00 for graduate students or independent researchers without full employment and £ 100.00 for full academic researchers and researchers in full employment. To secure a place people can register here and pay the fee here (fees are paid through the University of the West of England).


International Conference, Bristol Business School, Bristol, United Kingdom

9-11th December 2010

Destination Slum: The production and consumption of poverty in travel and tourism

Slums (that includes favelas, townships and other notations as well) have long enticed popular imagination. They have been scandalised and fought, bulldozed down and walled in. Equally however they were idealised and sought out as places displaying a more authentic humanity, flourishing culture and deviant, but inventive entrepreneurship. Not just the recent fascination with films like “City of God” and “Slum Dog Millionaire” shows that these desires have all but vanished. Indeed in today’s ‘planet of slums’, slum-tourism flourishes. Concurrently the concept of slum tourism is problematised in a growing body of research that addresses this controversial past time.

Paramount in reflections of slum tourism are ethical concerns and potential benefits:

  • Is slum tourism voyeuristic and immoral?
  • How are guided tours organized or composed?
  • What is and why is it shown?
  • To what extent can it provide an income and positive visibility for people in deprived areas?
  • What motivations and expectations did and do people have to visit slums?
  • Why and to what extend are slum tours considered to be ‘authentic’ forms of holidays?
  • Which stakeholders are involved in slum tourism and who profits most?
  • How does today’s slum-tourism relate to its historic predecessors and to the legacy of colonialism?
  • What are the geographical scopes of slum-tourism and which place does it occupy in the new mobility system?
  • Where does slum tourism fit in a globalised world of tourist consumption?
  • What is the relationship between slum tourism and issues of migration, democracy and (in)equality?

An increasing number of scholars are working on these issues on different continents. This conference aims to bring together researchers of slum and poverty tourism in urban areas, in order to stimulate an exchange of experiences and contacts. Working towards the formation of an international network of researchers the conference will also aim to be stepping stone for further co-operations and projects on the subject.

enticed paramount

Keynote speaker: Dr. Bianca Freire-Medeiros, author of Touring Poverty (Routledge, 2011).

We are calling for propositions to present papers and their research on slum tourism addressing:

  • The histories of slum tourism: differences between earlier forms of slum tourism and the ones we witness today
  • Slums and their populations as tourist attractions
  • Slum tourism and the ‘search for authenticity’
  • The commodification of poverty.
  • Representations of the slum beyond tourism: photography, film, and literature
  • Favela Chic: the mobile imaginary of the slum in popular culture
  • The geographies of slum tourism.
  • Slum Tourism and the New Mobilities Paradigm
  • Voluntourism’s relation to slum tourism
  • Slum-Tourism in Disaster Zones
  • Slum-Tourism as Dark Tourism
  • Slum tourism as pro-poor tourism
  • Entrepreneurship and small business involvement in slum tourism
  • The business ethics of slum tourism
  • Theoretical, methodological and ethical issues in Slum Tourism Research.

Researchers from across all disciplines are invited to submit paper proposals. They should include the title of the paper, a short abstract (max. 300 words), institutional affiliation and contact information.

The conference will take place at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. The fees for the 3-day event are 100 Pound Sterling (50 Pound for Graduate Students), covering conference materials, refreshments, lunch and two dinners. More information will be available on

Proposals should be send before September 1, 2010 to Dr. Fabian Frenzel ( Accepted presentations are invited to submit full papers by 15th November 2010 to be considered for publication in a special issue of an international journal (Negotiations are under way). We look forward to hearing from you.

Organising committee:

Dr. Fabian Frenzel, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol

Ko Koens, ICRT (International Centre for Responsible Tourism), Leeds Metropolitan University

Professor Manfred Rolfes, Department of Geography, University of Potsdam

Dr. Malte Steinbrink, IMIS (Institute for Migration Research and

Intercultural Studies), University of Osnabrueck.