chapter  2
28 Pages

Land Rights

In 1982, the United Nations (UN) asserted that tourism can 'provide the energy for moral and intellectual understanding'. Today people hear from the UN that tourism spurs poverty relief. There is talk of 'sustainable tourism', though the ecotourism industry itself has operated with impunity for three decades. People are now at a crossroad where their moral ambiguity must stop. A number of groups and personalities presiding over the domain of impact assessments have publicly supported Indigenous Peoples while discretely blocking Indigenous self-determination. Some world 'authorities' on sustainable tourism walk this fence. A recent case involved the Tourism Task Force of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). According to Ray Ashton, a long-time international consultant on sustainable tourism, 'It is a mess out there'. Most attempts to mobilize industry in favour of sustainable tourism emphasize how Earth changes affect sector earnings. In the midst of system-wide alerts, economic arguments are still the dominant psychology of persuasion.