Why are we interested in Slum Tourism?

»As a reporter I was drawn to urban mobilizations for social justice. Practices of slum tourism are twofold; thinking about it helps thinking more broadly about inequalities and how to address them.«

[Philippe Rivière]

»Because i’m interested in pro-poor tourism and discussed my master project in this field and i hope to complete my PHD in the field of slum tourism as a part of pro-poor tourism.«

[Marwa Khater]

»I am interested in the nexus between poverty and tourism mainly from the perspective of members of the local population. Additionally, I am interested in studying the development of poverty tourism (i.e.slum tourism; volunteer tourism) within the discourse of responsible tourism to understand the wider socio-political trends that underpin it.«

[Elisa Burrai]

»I research urban tourism and tourism imagery, particularly in the US. Slumming used to be a phenomenon at the end of the 19th century. Ghettoized spaces remain, poverty, social inequality, racism remains, but tourism has a different function in urban “America” in the 20th and 21st century. I am interested to compare the “global South and North”, because the world is interdependent and responsibilities need to be shared, not blamed on others.«

[Lina Tegtmeyer]

»Egypt; my home land, holds a number on informal settlements. Being in such a like/network could be able to share ideas and gain more experience as well.«

[Abeer Elshater]

»Tourism in economically disadvantaged regions is performed by a wide range of formal and informal actors, both small and large, all of whom compete heavily as they seek to make a living. Trying to understand how they operate, network and maintain (informal) relations in such uncertain circumstances may be challenging but it is also highly intriguing and interesting. In addition, slum tourism highlights certain ethical aspects of tourism that may remain hidden at other more ‘aesthetically pleasing’ destinations. For example, it is at the same time criticised on an ethically basis and on the other hand heralded for its potential for responsible or inclusive tourism. Understanding how this form of tourism can be performed in a more ethical way can therefore help those involved in slum tourism, but also provide rich insights to the wider tourism literature.«

[Ko Koens]

»The study of slum tourism provides insights into a number of contemporary issues, ranging from the ‘social question’ and the answers to it, to transformations in the ways activism, the voluntary sector and urban policy are conducted.«

[Fabian Frenzel]

»To explore the overrated principle of commodification process of slum tourism is a central of my interest. The romantization over poverty and poor living conditions of the inhabitant and the valorization among marginalied urban area is an urban oxymoron which contributes to the dynamic of the city.«

[Rizky Suci Ammalia Podlaszewska]

»Slum tourism, whether activities or practices, if well planned and initiated in a responsible manner, is an important development path and an example of a profitable and sustainable business, because it boosts the local economy at impoverished areas and raises tourists’ social awareness and understanding of this hidden world, it targets disadvantaged inhabitants by unlocking opportunities for economic improvement and participation in decision-making. Importantly, economic enhancement seems to happen when slum tourism activities provide opportunities for residents to sell goods and services through the growth of small enterprises in the slums, which encourages them to actively participate in economic activities and which eventually leads to increased personal income.«

[Moustafa Mekawy]

»The widespread opinion of slums being dirty, dangerous and unattractive places should be changed. Mostly because of the people living in slum areas are welcoming foreigners that are interested in their lifestyles and cultures. In fact, it is an art of living! However, the majority of slum dwellers are not considered as official residents and thus neglected by governments. Thus, open-minded tourists visiting such places in a responsible organized way can help to reduce stigma, raise the social status of people living in slums and consequently contribute to a life in dignity.«

[Maria Graf]

»My interest in slum tourism is led by the following questions: (1) How did slum tourism (in the Global South) evolve and how does it spread? (> History and globalisation of slumming) (2) How is the tourist gaze on slums generated; how do slums become tourist sites? Who is involved in the production of the “tourist slum”? (3) What implications does ‘slumming’ have for slum residents? (> poverty, identity and power) (4) What implications does ‘slumming’ have for urban development?«

[Malte Steinbrink]

»Slum tourism is an interesting subject to study as it reflects the complexity and interrelatedness of contemporary society and its commodification processes which take place practically everywhere and at every moment. It is a contested field with specific, very diverse agents, highly ethically loaded and controversely discussed and still a rather new form of tourism that requires further research.«

[Thomas Frisch]

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