chapter  5
18 Pages

Rights-based tourism – tourist engagement in social change, globalised social movements and endogenous development in Cuba


Using a theoretical framework of solidarity and new social movements, this chapter articulates a critical theoretical development of rights-based tourism. The research is based on my association with the former Oxfam Community Aid Abroad Tours (OCAAT) and Global Exchange’s Reality Tours (GERT) in Cuba. These are subsidiaries of development and human rights organisations that are devoted to ‘responsible’ tourism in developing countries. A central focus of their operations is to educate tourists about the development issues that people are faced with and what local and international efforts are being made to alleviate and improve these issues. The hope is that by educating tourists and providing them with opportunities to meet and discuss these issues with local people, they will a) minimise the negative impacts typically associated with tourism, b) disseminate what they have learnt to their peers, and c) work towards supporting efforts to help these countries.