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The challenge of marginality and collective identities in sustainable tourism development strategies: Two case studies in African mountains

English title The challenge of marginality and collective identities in sustainable tourism development strategies: Two case studies in African mountains
Applicant Debarbieux Bernard
Number 123903
Funding scheme Resource not found: 'bd31932a-e257-46d9-9dba-079f6f2c77c6'
Research institution Département de géographie et environnement Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.02.2009 - 31.12.2012
Approved amount 270'000.00
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Keywords (7)

sustainable tourism ; cultural and political geography ; territorial modes of development; collectives identities and territorialities ; mountain regions ; Morocco ; Niger

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Keywords: Sustainable tourism - cultural and political geography - territorial modes of development -collectives identities and territorialities - mountain regions - Morocco - Niger Laysummary: ObjectivesFor the past two decades, tourism has been widely promoted as an opportunity for local development in marginalized areas. More specifically, sustainable tourism has been encouraged worldwide. However, in this domain, the criteria of sustainability in social and cultural terms for tourism development have got little attention so far, and the question of adjustment of global recommendations to local contexts is often left aside. MIST.AA aims at analyzing the interaction of global models of sustainable tourism and local issues in terms of social equity, collective identities and well-being.Case StudiesThis project focuses on these issues thanks to fieldwork research in mountain regions of Africa will highlight the role of spatial arrangements and collective identities and territorialities in tourism development. This research will be done in High Atlas (Morocco) and the Aïr (Niger) regions.The related comparative approach will rely on the following idea: Tourism development in High Atlas and Aïr region presents some similarities (identified by international tourism, marketed as alternative mountain destinations for Western tourists, cultural minorities asking for more cultural and political recognition, etc.) and strong differences (spatial arrangements and territorialities of local people, national contexts, geopolitical issues, etc.) which can help to weight the influence of the spatial and territorial factors.Meaning Such a comparative approach is also motivated by specific objectives in terms of development and security. The Touareg rebellion, which has recently compromised tourism activities in the Aïr mountains, can partly be explained by the poor territorial adjustment of tourism, mining and traditional activities. The High Atlas region presents high cultural and territorial specificities which should make us aware that tourism development is not free of social and political risks. The research project, grounded on on-going development projects and social initiatives, aims at promoting sustainable tourism, social equity, poverty reduction, and recognition of the rights of cultural minorities.Moreover, the comparative approach with lies at the very core of this research project means to ease exchange and cooperation between Nigerians and Moroccans, as well as between scientists and development stakeholders.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
Creating territorial resources to renew the tourism product in the Alps and the Pyrenees
Oiry-Varraca Mari (2012), Creating territorial resources to renew the tourism product in the Alps and the Pyrenees, in Journal of Alpine Research, 100(2), on line.
The use of Amazigh identities in tourism development projects. Interconnectedness and embeddedness dynamics in the Moroccan mountains
Oiry-Varacca Mari (2012), The use of Amazigh identities in tourism development projects. Interconnectedness and embeddedness dynamics in the Moroccan mountains, in Via@, online journal of tourism studies, 2, on line.
Tourism and identity dynamics
Debarbieux Bernard, Tebbaa Ouidad, Staszak Jean-François (2012), Tourism and identity dynamics, in Via@, online journal of tourism studies, 2, on line.
Le "printemps arabe" à l’épreuve des revendications amazighes au Maroc. Analyse des enjeux territoriaux et politiques des discours sur l’identité
Oiry-Varacca Mari (2012), Le "printemps arabe" à l’épreuve des revendications amazighes au Maroc. Analyse des enjeux territoriaux et politiques des discours sur l’identité, in L'Espace Politique [En ligne], 18, on line.
Tourism, Imaginaries and Identities: reversing the point of view
Debarbieux Bernard (2012), Tourism, Imaginaries and Identities: reversing the point of view, in Via@ (open-access journal), 1, on line.
Jemma el Fna 2011. L'artiste, le touriste et le terroriste
Debarbieux Bernard (2011), Jemma el Fna 2011. L'artiste, le touriste et le terroriste, in Esprit, 376, 30-38.
Marrakech, un mois plus tard, 10 ans après
Debarbieux Bernard (2011), Marrakech, un mois plus tard, 10 ans après, in cybergeo, on line.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Université de Francfort Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Université de Marrakech Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Université de Niamey Niger (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Congrés annuel de l'Association des Géographes Américains 15.02.2012 New York
Ressources patrimoniales et alternatives touristiques: entre Oasis et Montagne 21.11.2011 Ouarzazate
Méditerranée Sud, le retour du cosmopolitisme 16.06.2011 Rabat
Tourism imaginaries 24.02.2011 Berkeley
Colloque de l’Association des géographes nigérians 14.02.2011 Sokoto (Nigéria)
Global Change and the World's Mountains 22.09.2010 Perth, UK


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Tourisme, Ressources et Identités dans les montagnes de l'Atlas et du Sahel 03.01.2012 Marrakech, Maroc
Rencontre des experts-chercheurs sur le tourisme dans les pays arabes 06.04.2011 Marrakech

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Symposium Économique Euro-Méditerranée " Concrétisons le Développement Durable" 02.11.2012 ONU
Atelier sur le développement touristique dans la région d'Agadez, Niger 18.11.2011 Agadez, Niger
Atelier sur le développement touristique dans la région d'Agadez, Niger 08.04.2011 Agadez, Niger


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Atelier sur le développement touristique dans la vallée du Zat, Maroc 24.04.2012 Tighdouine, Maroc
Atelier sur le développement touristique dans la région de Talouine, Maroc 08.01.2012 Talouine, Maroc

Abstract

For the past two decades, especially since the UNCED (1992), tourism has been widely promoted as an opportunity for local development in marginalized areas. More specifically, sustainable tourism has been encouraged, taking in account the environmental value and the cultural specificities of many of these regions. However, in this domain, the criteria of sustainability in social and cultural terms for tourism development have got little attention so far. This project intends to focus on these issues thanks to a deep and participative fieldwork research in mountain regions of Africa, and a conceptual and theoretical framework which will highlight the role of spatial arrangements and collective territorialities in tourism development. In order to reach these objectives, this research project will therefore be grounded on the theoretical and methodological resources of geography as an academic discipline.This research will rely on two regional case studies, the High Atlas (Morocco) and the Aïr (Niger) regions, thanks to a comparative analysis of respective tourism initiatives on one side, and social, cultural and political contexts on the other.Such a comparative approach is scientifically motivated by the following elements: Tourism development in High Atlas and Aïr region presents some similarities (identified by international tourism, marketed as alternative mountain destinations for Western tourists, cultural minorities asking for more cultural and political recognition, etc.) and strong differences (spatial arrangements and territorialities of local people, national contexts, geopolitical issues, etc.) which can help to weight the influence of the spatial ands territorial factors.Such a comparative approach is also motivated by specific objectives in terms of development and security. Indeed, the Touareg rebellion, which has recently compromised tourism activities in the Aïr mountains, can partly be explained by the poor territorial adjustment of tourism, mining and traditional activities. Though the High Atlas region shows different political, cultural and economic arrangements, the high cultural and territorial specificities of the region in the Moroccan context should make us aware that tourism development is not free of social and political risks. The research project, grounded on on-going development projects and social initiatives, aims at promoting sustainable tourism, social equity, poverty reduction, and recognition of the rights of cultural minorities.Moreover, the comparative approach with lies at the very core of this research project means to ease exchange and cooperation between Nigerians and Moroccans, as well as between scientists and development stakeholders. Therefore, the scientific cooperation which will be promoted here will target the improvement of the academic resources both in a North-South cooperation way, and in a South-South and global networking.
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