Haiti: Stark Contrasts and Tourism


Map of Haiti with Port-au-Prince shown

Image via Wikipedia

As we hear the numbers continue to rise of the estimated amputations that will occur as a result of earthquakes and see the devastation somehow tourism in Haiti takes on a powerful moral overtone. Rather than explore this topic which touches on every possible aspect of modern globalization I offer a link to this essay by Dave Thier and encourage us all to refect for a moment on what constitutes responsible tourism:

Cruises and resorts suffer from the same moral difficulties as sweatshops. On one hand, the symbolism behind impoverished workers slaving to provide luxuries to Western consumers is repulsive, while on the other hand, those industries are vital to the economies of developing nations. Guardian columnist Gwyn Topham points out that Friday's visit was really just business as usual -- the only difference was scale.

"Tourism provides a microcosm of modern globalized inequality, with all the advantages or injustices it bestows on those on different sides of the divide," he wrote. "From the Caribbean to Southeast Asia, cheap labor and land allow holidaymakers to relax in style for less."

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