Extraordinary tourism

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Extraordinary tourism

While it can be considered a standard tourism practise in some destinations, it remains a deeply controversial form of tourism that is greeted with much suspicion and scepticism Freire-Medeiros, In the emerging research Extraordinary tourism of slum tourism, the practices are no longer only seen as a specific niche of tourism, but as empirical phenomena that bridge a number of interdisciplinary concerns, ranging from international development, political activism, mobility studies to urban regeneration Frenzel, Slum tourism is sometimes cast as a laboratory where the relationships and interactions between the global North and South appear as micro-sociological encounters framed by the apparent concern over inequality.

Beyond questioning the ways in which participants shape the encounters in slum tourism, structural implications and conditions come to the fore. Thus spatial inequality influences opportunities and hinders governance solutions to manage slum tourism operations Koens and Thomas, Evidence has been found for the use of slum tourism in urban development Frenzel, ; Steinbrink, and more widely in the commodification of global care and humanitarian regimes Becklake, ; Holst, Research has also pointed to the ethical implications of aestheticizing poverty in humanitarian aid performances and the troubles of on-the-ground political engagement in a seemingly post-ideological era Holst More recently a geographical shift has been observed regarding the occurrence of slum tourism.

No longer a phenomenon restricted to the Global South, slum tourism now appears increasingly in the global North.

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Refugee camps such as Calais in the north of France have received high numbers of visitors who engage in charitable action and political interventions. Homeless tent cities have become the subject of a concerned tourist gaze in the several cities of the global north Burgold, The resurfacing of slum tourism to the global North furthers reinforces the need to get a deeper, critical understanding of this global phenomena.

Mobility patterns of slum tourists also destabilise notions of what it means to be a tourist, as migrants from the Global North increasingly enter areas of urban poverty in the South beyond temporal leisurely visits, but as low level entry points into cities they intent to make their temporal home.

Such new phenomena destabilise strict post-colonial framings of slum tourism, pointing to highly complex geographies of inequality. In this session we aim to bring together research that casts the recent developments in slum tourism research.

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Extraordinary tourism

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