Some good advice from the people who walk the talk. - JN
SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE 3 August 2009
TOP 3 PLACES NOT TO GO ON HOLIDAY
© Adrian Arbib/Survival
• Barefoot Resort, South Andaman Island, India
• Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana
• ‘First contact’ expeditions, West Papua
Barefoot India has established a tourist resort near the edge of the reserve created to protect the Jarawa tribe. The resort puts one of the world’s most recently-contacted tribes at risk from swine flu and other diseases to which they are likely to have little immunity.
The Botswana government is promoting the Central Kalahari Game Reserve as a tourist destination, and is allowing a safari company to build a lodge that will use large amounts of water. But it refuses to allow the Bushmen to use a single water borehole inside the reserve.
Treks to meet isolated tribes in West Papua, Indonesia – including one offered by American ‘adventurer’ Kelly Woolford to an area where tribes supposedly ‘have had no contact with the outside world’ – could, if true, have catastrophic consequences.
Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Responsible tourists should keep well away from areas where uncontacted or recently-contacted tribes live. There are numerous cases where at least half of a tribe has died from disease soon after their first contact with outsiders.
‘Many of the Kalahari Bushmen would welcome tourism on their own terms. But promoting tourism while the Bushmen go thirsty is a slap in the face. Visitors will be sipping cocktails in the bar while the Bushmen living nearby are forced to travel hundreds of kilometres to access water.
‘There’s nothing wrong with tourists visiting tribal peoples who have been in routine contact with outsiders for some time, but only if the tribal people want them to, have proper control over where they go and what they do, and get a fair share of the profit. Unfortunately, this hardly ever happens.’
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