What does ‘development’ exactly entail? How are power (im)balances restructured through tourism? How does tourism play a role in development more broadly? Each one of these questions remains debatable, and a large number of scholars look at tourism’s role in development more critically.
This trajectory investigates such fundamental issues related to tourism’s potential and pitfalls for empowerment, socio-economic and cultural development and we provide a conceptual foundation by examining theoretical frameworks from tourism and development studies. It addresses tourism’s relation to poverty, philanthropy, nature conservation, global environmental change, culture, health(care), urban and regional development and sustainability. Other important issues are how contemporary types of tourism for development (community-based tourism, participatory planning, pro-poor tourism, volunteer tourism, and so on) relate to neo-colonialism, intensify capitalist processes, and address race and gender issues.
This trajectory could lead to the following thesis opportunities:
- The challenges of increasing tourist numbers in cities and the implications for urban development
- The complex relations between stakeholders involved in tourism development (see e.g. “The 'unpaved' roads to development: change and continuity in the tourism development trajectory of Lake Sandoval”)
- Local perceptions on volunteer tourism (see, e.g. Voluntourism, othering and commodification; a case study in St Lucia and surrounding communities, South Africa)
- The interaction between tourism and agricultural development (see, e.g. The effects of tourism on agricultural sustainable livelihoods in Bukit Lawang and Timban Jaya, Indonesia)
- The struggles and dynamics of community-based tourism (see, e.g. Treesleeper Eco-camp: Changing dynamics and institutions in a community-based tourism project in Namibia).
- To critically analyse tourism impacts on urban and rural development
- To critically analyse tourism in relation to global development discourses
Students need to choose two out of the following four courses: