Statement on Just Tourism, Salvador - March 18th, 2018
Following on from the meeting of the Tourism Advocacy and Action Forum (TAAF) in 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey, a group of activists and representatives of organization working on tourism issues met at Salvador, Brazil in March, 2018 in a side event to the World Social Forum (WSF). The WSF ran under the theme “To resist is to create, to resist is to transform!” and the TAAF took inspiration on resistance and transformations in tourism.
Amending our name to the Tourism Alert and Action Forum, our group of activists and representatives:reaffirmed our commitment to the principles of the Istanbul Statement and considered the experiences of communities suffering the negative impacts of tourism policies and projects that are included within the imposition of models of hegemonic development. We also recognized that tourism works together with the execution of mining, oil, energy, forestry, marine resources extraction, bio-prospecting, privatization of lands, water, goods, public services and cuts or violates human rights extensively.
RECALLING THE ISTANBUL PRINCIPLES
In Istanbul, we:
Pointed out our opposition to corporatized neoliberal forms of tourism and the dynamics of market fundamentalism that supports them.Insisted that the development models of the global tourism industry, including institutional frameworks, policies and practices, must be restructured and decolonized. A vital component of this is the decrease in tourism. The additional accumulation of tourist debt (ie, social, cultural and environmental damage) is not acceptable.
Contemplated non-exploitative relationships in tourism. This includes fighting against the destructive forces of capitalism, racism and other forms of discrimination and oppression. This is the basis of our solidarity. It entails caring for both the biosphere that we share and all peoples and living beingsresiding within it.Set out to promote the self-determination of local communities by committing ourselves to principles for action grounded in social justice, including support for peoples’ and communities’ rights to say no to tourism.Committed to the shared responsibility of evaluating tourism alternatives on multiple scales, with an ethic of justice and an ethic of equity, understanding the current global challenges through local struggles.
Recognized that the identification and support of local forms of tourism that act as a political force for the common good are essential, rather than models of globalized tourism that harm people and places.
THE WITNESSING AT SALVADOR, BRAZIL
At our meeting in Salvador, the testimonies shared by people who experience the impacts of tourism in the communities gave us firm foundations for the renewal of our work in TAAF. These testimonies shattered the illusion provoked by a rapacious industry of corporate tourism that uses beautiful and idyllic images to distract us from the structural problems posed by the contemporary tourism system.
These reports indicated that this system works systematically to the detriment of the local people(s) and place(s). The testimonies came from several regions(Africa, the Americas,and the Asia-Pacific) and reported the harmful impacts and alternative experiences in Palestine, India, Benin, for the Mapuche people in Chile,for the Tremembé people in Brazil and for communities of Costa Rica. These stories highlighted the local contexts of struggle and the dynamics of power and oppression, revealing key points to build solidarity and action. This sharing and listening together inspired a commitment for future action. WE PROPOSE TO: Act as a solidarity network to support communities resisting imposed forms of tourism that work against their human rights and environment; Stand with populations that are often exploited or harmed by tourism practices, particularly women, children, Indigenous peoples, minorities, migrants, peoples under occupation, etc.; Offer rigorous analysis based on in-depth learning and listening from the communities facing the destructive forces of corporatized tourism and market fundamentalism; Demand that governments and tourism corporations immediately cease imposing tourism policies and processes and tourism developments that violate the rights and interests of the local community; Promote alternative forms of tourism that are underpinned by self-determination of local communities. This can only be done through processes that start with communities and are true to local decision-making processes, conducted through appropriate consultation approaches and accountable to communities throughout the life cycle;
Offer our support to organizations and communities that seek advice on how to build forms of local resistance to hegemonic tourism, as well as to build alternative tourism initiatives that are beneficial for local communities.
Articulate a coalition committed to TAAF principles in order to create an effective network of solidarity to activate both resistance and transformation of tourism.
Gautier Amoussou, Eco-Benin, Benin
Centro de Estudios Sociales Aplicados-CESA, Perú
Centre for Responsible Tourism, India
Ruben Collio, Newen community of Tranguil, Mapuche People
Eunice Contreras, Defense Front of the Sardinal-Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Freya Higgins-Desbiolles, Australia
Rami Kassis, Alternative Tourism Group of Palestine
Herman Kumara, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement and Tourism Watch-Sri Lanka
Marie Ange Lundu, High Point Resolutions,Democratic Republic of the Congo
Pierrette Nicolosi, MouvementChrétien Pour la Paix and Altervoyages, Belgium
Ranjan Solomon, Badayl, India
Erbene Verissimo, Indigenous people of Tremembé –Itapipoca, Brasil
For more information, contact: