Title: The anthropology of tourism and development in Africa: mobile identities in a pastoral society in South-Ethiopia

Authors: Tamás Régi

Addresses: Keimyung University, Social Science Building, 1095-Dalgubeol-Dareo, Daegu 704-701, Korea

Abstract: While the travel industry increasingly contributes to most developing countries' GDP, it does not necessarily follow that international tourism fosters microeconomic stability. Local perceptions of tourism and development are often different from supraregional political and economic views. This article explores how tourism, as a new source of wealth, is perceived in a small-scale localised community in Ethiopia and how this view differs from the national rhetoric and development plans in the country. The paper discuses how relatively new forms of contacts give ground to emerging political institutions which begin as tentative interest groups but become protagonists in local politics. I analyse a process that I documented during a one-year anthropological fieldwork among the Mursi, a South Ethiopian pastoral society, wherein daily encounters challenged local groups' decision-making processes, compelling them to form new allies and cooperate and collaborate in a new way.

Keywords: politics; nomadism; pastoralism; migration; identity; border zones; Ethiopia; Omo River; Mursi; tourism; anthropology; economic development; East Africa; microeconomic stability; local perceptions; local communities; local groups; cooperation; collaboration; decision making; alliances.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2014.065585

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2014 Vol.3 No.4, pp.302 - 324

Available online: 30 Oct 2014 *

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