Fast-moving metropolitan life, lush surroundings, enchanting landscapes, hygienic environs, clean commuting and green organizing is what summarizes eco-tourism. It’s good enough if it’s soothing aesthetically. We’re civilized people, and hence we never try or dare to think beyond some fixed norms. How about extending eco-tourism to not-so-ecological slums? Well, there will be a school of naysayers negating such a suggestion.
Beverly Hills or the Mumbai slums, which would you prefer?
It’s but obvious anyone would like the Beverly Hills better. Certain issues viz. the unhygienic living conditions, sickly localities, poverty and unaesthetic spectacles in slums play the spoilsport.
A slum, as defined by the United Nations agency UN-HABITAT, is a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security.
Eco-tourists detest even the idea of visiting there. However, governments and NGOs across the globe are thinking about it strongly, not just slum-tourism but empowering and improving the standard of life at such places. Revenue generated out of this form of toursism can create a huge difference when it comes to visualizing any of such developments.
Slums in images:
Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya:
Dharavi Slum in Mumbai, India:
Slum in Tai Hang, Hong Kong:
Slums in Cairo, Egypt:
While we take pleasure in touring green locales flaunting our environmental awareness, respect for local culture and green credentials, can’t we try to reform the latter? Since small is beautiful, slum-tourism is definitely worth the pain considering the green impact it would create. Moreover, isn’t slum-tourism a sinister face of eco-tourism?