Tribal tourism, a gift or a plague?

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Tribal tourism, a gift or a plague?

Meeting a local tribe Imagine you are approaching a tribe in the Amazon Rainforest. They greet you with a local dance and show you their way of living. Luckily for you, they just started a traditional dance to worship the Harvest God for the great yield this morning. Everything looks normal, but when you look closer you see some strange things. For example, a cell phone lying around. And where is the yield they just memorialized the Harvest God for? This is an example of tribal tourism, a rising phenomenome in India and South America where tourists pay money to visit ‘authentic’ tribes. But what are the effects of Tribal Tourism on the visited tribes?

The pros of Tribal Tourism According to Gondwana Ecotours, a tour operator offering Tribal Tourism, they offset more than 130 tonnes of carbon emissions by offering partially tribal tours. By doing this, they contribute to keep places where tribes life habitable. Tribes also make money with tourism, money which they do not need to earn by, for example, cutting down the rainforest. This way, tourism can help protecting the local environment.

The cons of tribal tourism According to The Guardian (Vidal, 2009) Tribal Tourism exposes tribes to diseases they aren’t immune for which can lead to extinction of tribes. This type of tourism also brings the western culture to these tribes, which could potentially lead to the total disappearance of the original tribe culture. Not to much Tribal tourism could be a sustainable form of tourism. But only when the tribes already adopted elements of the western culture. Exploring untouched tribes could be harmful to these tribes and can potentially lead to the extinction of the last remaining tribes. Sources Global Sustainable Travel Eco Tours - Gondwana Ecotours. (n.d.). Retrieved from Vidal, J. (2009, July 24). Tribes and tribulations: the rise of ethno-tourism. Retrieved from rawa


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