chapter  2
24 Pages

Rural Development Tourism: Poverty Unperceived

With the priority of poverty reduction and with accelerating change in many dimensions, up-to-date and realistically informed perceptions of the lives and conditions of people living in poverty have come to matter more than ever. At the same time, new pressures and incentives increasingly trap decision-makers in headquarters and capital cities, reinforcing earlier (1983) analysis of the attraction of urban ‘cores’ and the neglect of rural ‘peripheries’. These trends make decision-makers’ learning about poverty and from people living in poverty rarer and ever more important. One common means has been rural development tourism, the phenomenon of the brief rural visit from an urban centre. In 1983, six biases of such visits – spatial, project, person, seasonal, diplomatic and professional – against seeing, meeting and learning from the poorer people, were identified and described.