Critical Analysis of Slum Tourism: A Retrospective on Bangalore

  • Neha Itty Jose Paul

Abstract

Slum tourism is a relatively unknown and controversial niche tourism segment. This form of tourism is mainly found in small pockets around the so-called third world. Slum tourism is famous in the Kibera slum in Nairobi and the Rochina slum in Rio de Janeiro. The largest slum in Asia, the Dharavi slum, became popular notably through the release of the Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire” which highlighted the slum in Mumbai and thus brought the much-needed limelight on slum tourism otherwise known as poverty tourism. Slum tourism is the act of visiting low-income settlements also known as Favelas or simply as slums. Slum tourism has received mixed reviews of both a positive and negative character. A negative approach due to the very reason of it being seen as a means of showcasing the poor for the benefit of inquisitive tourists and critics say this form of tourism is voyeuristic and leads to the ill-treatment of slum dwellers. However, slum tourism can also lead to positive outcomes if managed in a sustainable manner it can develop employment opportunities for the slum dwellers. This paper deals with whether or not slum tourism has the potential of being developed in Bangalore, to find out if the much hype about slum tourism in Mumbai has created any demand for this niche market in Bangalore. A quantitative research methodology is used to investigate the matter. A survey and correlation analysis were conducted to delve into slum tours perspective of customers and travel agents of Bangalore. Findings of the study reveal that the potential customers or tourists are keen on taking such tours where as travel agents do not conduct slum tours as the profit margins are low.

Published
2016-07-01