chapter  3
Tourism, border disputes and claims to territorial sovereignty
WithDallen J. Timothy
Pages 14

This chapter examines the intertwined concepts of border conflicts and territorial claims, and how these affect tourism development, or how they become part of the interpreted tourism narrative. The main relationships between tourism and border conflict and territoriality include conflict as deterrent, tourism growth in spite of conflict, conflict as attraction, tourism as a catalyst for peace, tourism as a cause of hostility, tourism as a propaganda tool and tourism as a legal justification for territorial claims. To assess these concepts empirically, the chapter draws from two main case studies in South Asia and Southeast Asia. First, the border region of Jammu and Kashmir is hotly contested between India and Pakistan, as well as China. Yet tourism has been rather successful in the region, particularly in certain areas on the Indian side of the ceasefire line. The chapter discusses the limitations and opportunities presented by this South Asian situation in relation to the border of India and Pakistan and the disputed Kashmir area. Second, the chapter examines the concepts of sovereignty and territorial conflict as it pertains to the contested South China Sea and shows how tourism is used as a political propaganda pawn in asserting sovereign control over contested territory. This is what China has done in recent years with the islands of the South China Sea, as have other territorial claimants in the region. These actions, particularly on the part of China and Vietnam, have resulted in increased tension in an insular, volatile region. The two situations share many similarities, but are also quite different as regards the role of territorial conflict and tourism.