Impact of Tourism – Dilemma?

White sand beach and cultural vibe, as well as the recent FIFA world cup, make Brazil into one of the most popular tourism destination in South America. Tourism plays major role in economic activities in several regions and constitutes a large part in boosting the economic growth. Many people were benefited from the industry through creation of jobs and the increase of money spending activities. In some sense, for Brazil becomes one of world largest economy, tourism sector is undeniable one of the major contributor.

Brazil White Sand Beach

Brazil White Sand Beach

However, while exploiting the benefit of tourism, some of the issue rise upon can’t be ignored. Similar to many other tourism destinations for its culture authenticity, Brazil suffers from loss of local identity and values. As this “tourism” authenticity become commoditize, “there is a loss of authenticity due to adapting cultural expressions to the tastes of tourist like performing shows as if they were ‘real life’”(Terrero 2014). Another example would be local handcrafts, it losses the original meaning and tradition to match up with the tourist demand. Displacement of the indigenous is another issue arises due to the popular tourist demand. In a more urban content, ethical issues such as increase in crime, child labor, culture clashes are also some of the negative impact of tourism.

Handcraft Store

Handcraft Store

Commentary: As a frequent traveler (I have admit, traveler does sound better than tourist), the dilemma of tourism towards one place was never once brought to my attention until recently. I guess most of time, when we travel to a place (short-term), we are still mostly self-orientated. This is as while we experience the other culture, we are actually going from the perspective of our own culture. In such way, it is near impossible for us to learn the culture deep enough to differentiate what is been commoditized. I guess the lesson from this is to just keep an open mind while travelling, after all, there is nothing much we could do towards this dilemma.


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