Title: The potato superstar: food sovereignty and rural tourism in the Potato Park (Cusco, Peru)

Authors: Cristian Terry

Addresses: Escápate, Slow Tourism Carmen Alto 133A, Cusco, Peru

Abstract: This paper examines how rural tourism can contribute to food sovereignty from an empirical investigation of agro-ecotourism in the Potato Park, a union of five Andean communities in Cusco (Peru). This paper argues that native potatoes are high-performing 'superstars' of both rural tourism and food sovereignty, and work in synergy with each other: agro-ecotourism promotes local potatoes, in their varying shapes, colours and sizes, as the main tourist attraction; and local agriculture - predominantly potatoes - ensure that these communities can eat sustainably, as agricultural production enables a switch from selling to personal and family consumption. Agro-ecotourism provides an alternative income for local people, crucial to support food sovereignty. Furthermore, agro-ecotourism is compatible with current local practices and easily incorporated. This paper seeks to enrich discussions on the largely under researched agro-ecotourism and food sovereignty debate, its links to the market, as well as to create bridges between peasant and tourism studies.

Keywords: food sovereignty; rural tourism; market; potatoes; Cusco (Peru).

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2021.123196

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2021 Vol.8 No.4, pp.391 - 415

Received: 12 Feb 2021
Accepted: 04 Aug 2021

Published online: 01 Jun 2022 *

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