A different perspective on tourism?


A different perspective on tourism?

Written by: Arun Kundnani


Tourism Concern, an organisation that campaigns to reduce the social and environmental damage that is often done by tourism in poorer countries, has launched a survey of British Black and Minority Ethnic communities to gauge their experiences as tourists.

The survey’s aim is to begin a debate on tourism’s impact among people whose ancestry is from many of the Third World holiday destinations that Britons now visit and to look at the impacts of tourism from a Black and Minority Ethnic perspective.

The topics which the survey hopes to examine are:

  • Black and Minority Ethnic holiday-makers’ experiences of racism
  • What people think of tourism as a tool for overseas development
  • Racism as experienced by employees within the travel industry
  • Contested heritage – that is, how Black and Minority Ethnic history is (or is not) conveyed through tourist attractions and objects

Tourism Concern’s outreach officer Michael Lomotey said: ‘The questionnaire will help us understand how Black and Minority Ethnic Britons feel about tourism and racism as well as about tourism as a means of helping the countries of their ancestral origin.’

He added: ‘A glance at the leading holiday brochures shows the majority of black faces are usually poor, smiling “natives” or waiters and brochures rarely show non-Whites as holiday-makers. We feel this survey is overdue as Black and Minority Ethnic communities in the UK have been marginalised in the British tourism industry and in the dialogue about Third World development for too long.’

Related links

To complete the questionnaire, please visit the Tourism Concern website


The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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