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Accepted Paper:

Ecotourism or culture for sale: constructing the 'European indigenous people'  
Ramona Velea (Universita degli Studi di Trieste)

Paper long abstract:

For the past few decades we have been facing a general interest for authentic culture and unspoiled nature. Like never before a constant request to conserve these two elements developed in the consciousness of policy makers and social actors.

Buzz words like genuine culture and tradition pushed western tourism to exotic places or rural areas, in search of pristine nature and culture. It seems like the "good indigenous savage" is meant to give us the solution for our modernity crisis.

In the paper I will analyze ecotourism practices that link western Europe to eastern Europe, namely Albania, as a way to experience false pristine realities, working under the framework of culture commodification through marketing strategies .

I will show how the economic and political backwardness of a community can lead to the construction of the image of "European indigenous people", in discourses promoted by tourism projects.

Panel W095
Commodification of indigenous cultures
  Session 1