Table of Contents:

Concluding remarks

Tourism presents its most violent features in the aftermath of major disasters. Such events provide particularly fertile ground for tourism investors to take advantage of traumatised and incapacitated communities and to turn a temporary crisis into a protracted one. The ‘crisis discourse’ legitimises swift and decisive policy measures that would otherwise be strongly resisted. Since tourism is often afforded a pivotal role in disaster recovery, opportunistic and predatory' actors have an easy job of dispossessing legitimate customary landholders. As the case studies from Honduras and Thailand have shown, practices of dispossession can be both material and discursive (cf. Loperena, 2016) and do not always involve the physical displacement of communities. ‘Displace-ment-in-place’ (Mollett, 2014, p. 40), whereby Indigenous people become part of the marketed tourism landscape, while their ancestral lands and natural resources are enclosed and encroached upon, is also common. Yet all four cases have also shown signs of hope. In the long run, predatory practices of disaster capitalists do not remain unchallenged, as evidenced by the partially successful counter-movements along the north coast of Honduras, on Thailand’s Rawai Beach, on Haiti’s He a Vache and on Sicogon Island in the Philippines.

As the next chapter will show, governments and corporate investors do not only capitalise on ‘natural’ disaster events. Conflicts and post-conflict situations also provide ample opportunities for a variety of state and non-state actors to seize land from oppressed Indigenous groups and ethnic minorities, former enemies and occupied populations for tourism purposes. This problematic entanglement of armed conflict, militarism and tourism will be discussed using the cases of Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Israel/Palestine.


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