Tourism experience Utopia, or maybe not?

The article ‘“Why call it tourist season if we can’t shoot them?” Towards the Utopian sensitized tourist‘, by Dr Lénia Marques, is the first academic publication of CultSense. It consists of a reflection of the need for initiatives, projects and movements who not only dream, but try to build a more sustainable tourism interactions, between hosts and visitors, based on respect and openness. A sense of cultural sensitivity and an understanding of how to relate this concept to education is included.

It is available for everyone in open access here.

This paper argues for increased awareness of local cultures through an educational approach, as it is explored in the CultSense project. The tourist experience is a multi-layered phenomenon moderated by a dynamic relationship with the places visited and local populations. A holistic approach to tourism tensions and challenges, as well as a more pro-active attitude from all stakeholders involved are important in finding strategic solutions. The project proposes an alternative approach, developing bottom-up initiatives that give a voice to local actors and develop global intercultural awareness for (young) travellers. The dissemination of methodological and pedagogical tools by third
parties should add to the body of knowledge around sensitized forms of tourism, stimulating non-demeaning and non-patronising attitudes achieved through a grassroots approach.