The word ‘tourism’ refers to journey for recreational or commercial purposes. It is majorly considered as the practice of travelling for pleasure and contentment. While most of us are familiar with the fun, delightful and relaxing sides of tourism, there is another atypical concept that has been taking the tourism industry by storm these days. Well, I’m talking about ‘slum tourism’. Just sneak peek into this odd yet interesting idea and know why we you must go for a slum tour.
What is ‘Slum Tourism’?
So, what do you actually think of ‘slum tourism’ as a whole? Is it only about a number of wealthy foreigners with meddling cameras gaping at poor people? Is it only about watching a number of deprived people struggling to meet their basic requirements and getting entertained by that? Is it only about taking advantage of the hard luck of underprivileged people and robbing them of their self-esteem? Not at all. Though the basic concept of ‘slum tourism’ revolves around traveling to slums or other poverty-stricken areas in various developing countries like India, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, Kenya, etc., you can take part in it in ethical as well as responsible manners through community involvement. There are several upsides of this practice and we should definitely focus on those.
Why You Must Go on a Slum Tour?
From the tour operators to the tourists to the communities, each and every section of the society associated with this exclusive tourism should have right approach towards it. If you love to travel and explore human life, you must consider a slum tour because of the following reasons:
- It would give you an excellent scope to judge your own life from a different perspective. You can see how poor people live and how much hard work they need to do in order to maintain their families.
- You would be able to come out of the misconception that slums are nothing but places of poverty and desolation. The presence of lively, optimistic communities with lots of schools, shops, and other institutions will simply make you surprised.
- Slum tours contribute to the local economy to a great extent. Be it getting your food or purchasing some tribal artworks from the local shops, everything is known to be generating a flow-on benefit for the communities.
- There are lots of slum tour operators who are based in these communities. If you plan your tour through them, they will get to earn a decent amount and you will also get the opportunity to make the most of your visit at the same time.
- If you wish, you can directly donate money or goods to the needy people during your slum tour. Usually, a significant part of your contribution gets lost as ‘administration cost’ when you seek the help of a large NGO. But, this way, your entire contribution will reach the distressed people, which is undoubtedly a great fact.
So, next time you plan for a tour, do not forget to take slum tourism into account.
Image Credit – 1,2