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Icarus Film
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Friday, March 28, 2008

Questionable New Trends in Tourism

On March 9th, 2008, an article in The New York Times titled "Slum Visits: Tourism or Voyeurism?" explored the new trend of "slum tours" in developing countries such as India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico. This latest offer for adventurous tourists raises questions of voyeurism, exploitation and ethics. Tour operators, however, believe they can create awareness and change people's attitudes towards poverty through these visits. They also claim to be sensitive to the situation and give back to the communities financially through donations, by employing locals and fostering entrepreneurial activities such as the creation and sale of souvenirs.

portrays another tourism trend related to the desire for "more reality." The film follows a group of international tourists as they visit the mines in Potosi—the poorest city in the poorest nation in Latin America—where Bolivian miners work by hand, just as they did centuries ago, to extract silver from the earth.

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