Exclusive tourism spaces have increased substantially over the past decades. From Macau’s glitzy mega-casinos to private islands in the Maldives, all-inclusive resorts in Egypt to ‘tourism special economic zones’ in Indonesia, these spaces carve out exclusive zones of fun and leisure.
Why are such enclaves proliferating? What visions of state-building and ‘development’ are driving the investment in tourism enclaves? How are such enclaves governed, and in what ways do these privatised ‘tourist utopias’ (Simpson 2017) affect local communities, deepen inequalities and foster dependence on the global tourism industry?
These were some of the questions explored at a recent workshop hosted at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Bergen from 15 – 16 September. The aim of the two-day workshop, which brought together geographers, anthropologists and legal scholars, was to bring a critical eye to globally connected tourism enclaves. In particular, the participants wanted to examine the effects of these large-scale projects on humanitarian research and policy. Of particular concern of these types of enclave tourism developments is that they often involve exclusionary dynamics.
Please find an overview of the workshop discussion here.
This workshop was co-convened by Kari Telle (CMI) and Jeremy Kingsley (Swinburne University of Technology) and was supported by the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies dynamic seed funding initiative.