Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research
Most research related to domestic tourism, including this study, has been done in a country-specific context. While the dynamics of domestic tourism certainly vary from country to country and region to region, systematic approaches that can be applied in a variety of contexts would give a broader understanding of the phenomenon. Future research might include comparative case studies across countries and/or regions. This study also focused primarily on an indigenous perspective and would be balanced by future research with ladino residents to better understand potential areas of integration. Furthermore, the systematic collection of quantitative data on domestic travel would go a long way towards providing a more complete picture of domestic tourism worldwide.
Although tourism has provided integration in some contexts, it has deepened divisions in others. Despite claims that domestic tourism is less troublesome for communities than international tourism, additional challenges exist. Furthermore, longstanding and historical challenges can exacerbate tensions, which may or may not be present with foreign tourists. In Guatemala, foreign tourism has actually renewed indigenous pride and tempered outward racism by non-Maya Guatemalans, particularly in popular tourism destinations. Tourism has fuelled a variety of transportation networks that move people from urban to rural areas, but transportation systems remain disparate depending on the traveller’s means. Economic linkages are in many ways dependent on strengthening connections in the areas mentioned above. Observations show that international tourism can enhance linkages where domestic tourism falls short, but greater familiarity with the destination may give domestic tourism an advantage in other ways. Therefore, a better integration between international and domestic tourism can work to enhance linkages and reduce divisions between urban and rural areas, as well as indigenous and non-indigenous Guatemalans.