Knowledge dialogue through Indigenous tourism product design: a collaborative research process with the Lacandon of Chiapas, Mexico
Pastor-Alfonso, Maria Jose
Taylor & Francis
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This research analyzes an innovative process employed by Indigenous entrepreneurs and employees to design new and imaginative products closely related to their cultural, social and natural heritage, values and resources. In the State of Chiapas, with over one million Indigenous inhabitants, where poverty has persisted for decades, government and international agencies have promoted the development of many Indigenous tourism initiatives. However, the employment of top-down strategies focused predominantly towards the provision of tourist facilities failed to recognize the crucial role of tourism products and activities, thus sustaining and promoting stereotyped ideas of Indigenous peoples. This paper focuses on the benefits of collaborative research and knowledge dialogue between scientific and traditional wisdom to overcome some of these limitations through the application of an Indigenous Tourism Product Development Model. Using Participatory Action Research processes, university researchers worked with the management and staff of four Indigenous (Lacandon) owned and operated companies located in the communities of Lacanjá Chansayab and Nahá (Lacandon Jungle) in Mexico, to create a series of new cultural and heritage-related products. The paper explores the capacity of this process to revitalize culture while fostering feelings of accomplishment, participation, cultural pride and creative confidence among the co-researchers.
Journal of Sustainable Tourism;
Espeso-Molinero, P., Carlisle, S. and Pastor-Alfonso, M.J. (2016) 'Knowledge dialogue through Indigenous tourism product design: a collaborative research process with the Lacandon of Chiapas, Mexico', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(8-9), pp.1331-1349
This article was published in Journal of Sustainable Tourism on 11 July 2016 (online), available at https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2016.1193188
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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