Community Based Tourism as a tool for empowerment and reconciliation – The case of Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka, diverse its natural assets, tropical its climate, rich its cultural and historical heritage, is an island called home by many different ethnic and religious groups. The country is fertile soil for both, good and bad. While friendly, dignified people and breath-taking landscapes dominate the appearance of the small island country, also violence has been present in the everyday lives of the islanders ever since history books record. Changing kings, colonialisation, ethnic and religious tensions and increasing Singhalese nationalism peaked in a violent civil war. During nearly 30 years, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fought for and the Sinhalese lead government on their side fought against the formation of an independent Tamil state in the northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka. In January 2009, the government troops defeated the rebels in a bloody climax and the war was officially over – won by the government troops. With the end of the war however, peace did not completely find its way into the country. Post-war Sri Lanka faced an increasingly authoritarian governance by then president Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was eager to push economic growth in the country in order to smudge the traces of the civil war. For this, he defined tourism to be a key industry for growth and initiated a masterplan for the development of infrastructure with the heavy involvement of the government itself, the military forces and large-scale investors.

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Community involved Tourism Pa-O region (Myanmar)

Pa-O region, part of the Southern Shan State is rich in tourist attractions. There are legacies of ancient cultures, places for rest and relaxation, well preserved forests and mountains with natural beauty suitable for eco-tourism. Three diverse ethnic groups the Shans, Pa-Os and the Inthas can also be found here, each with their own distinct cultures. Consequently the region has every opportunity for Community Involved Tourism (CIT) activities, increase incomes from the tourism industry and bring benefits to the local population.

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Facetten von Hong Kong

„Hello, my name is Hong Kong“, begrüßt uns ein Schild am Victoria Peak. Darunter erstreckt sich die Millionenstadt in ihrer vollen Größe, umgeben von üppigen Hügellandschaften und 263 vorgelagerten Inseln. Man blickt auf einen der am dichtesten besiedelten Plätze der Welt, auf der einen Seite in Menschen, auf der anderen in Vögeln und Schmetterlingen gemessen.

© Carina Forster
© Carina Forster

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„Sie erschrecken die Tiere!“

Herr Madesh ist wohl das, was man eine kritische Stimme im Tourismus nennen würde. „Es ist nicht gut, dass Touristen kommen”, sagt er. „Sie verursachen Probleme. Sie erschrecken die Tiere und indigenen Menschen. Stadtleute bringen schlechte Angewohnheiten – trinken, rauchen, Autos und Müll.“ Aber Herr Madeshs Stimme wird kaum gehört. Denn die Ansichten, die am Ende zählen, sind selten die von Menschen wie ihm. Weiterlesen „„Sie erschrecken die Tiere!““

Palästina und Israel – Eine Reise voller Gegensätze

Mai 2015: Nach Monaten der Vorfreude, Planung und Besprechungen ist es endlich soweit: Treffpunkt am Flughafen Berlin-Tegel für unseren Flug nach Tel Aviv. Von Tel Aviv soll es über Jerusalem nach Bethlehem gehen, wo wir unsere Partneruniversität Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture besuchen werden. Weiterlesen „Palästina und Israel – Eine Reise voller Gegensätze“