Orchestrated for tourists…..yes? no?


It does not really matter where we are – on Hawaii, in Africa or on a farm in Tyrol, Austria. Native culture is often an orchestration. But, this can have a silver lining.

Perhaps every second traveler is asking the question – “are they doing this only for tourists?” Well, yes of course. We as travelers are clients who get a product. That’s how simple it is.

But doing it this way gives the locals a possibility to show the visitors excerpts of their culture whilst protecting their other areas. It is called staged authenticity – someone is presenting something real and not a decal. However, the displayed is fine tuned for the visitor.

The request of some travelers is a different one nonetheless. They want to experience tradition in pure form. Despite the fact that ahistoric nativeness does not exist these visitors deny the locals their right to develop.

For example – Tana Toraja, Indonesia. It is well known for its opulent funeral rites and attracts a lot of foreign visitors. These burials are however extremely expensive, and the money is missed somewhere else. Economically speaking, it would be a good thing to stop these rites. This was discussed by the locals but the Ethno tourism demands retention.

Sometimes however, Ethno tourism can be a good thing. Because of the interest many traditions come back to life and enrich the culture of the natives for their own good.