• Community-owned tourism and degrowth: a case study in the Kichwa Añangu community

      Renkert, Sarah Rachelle; Univ Arizona, Sch Anthropol, Emil W Haury Anthropol Bldg (CHANNEL VIEW PUBLICATIONS, 2019-09-06)
      Tourism is a booming global industry, seemingly at odds with a degrowth movement seeking to challenge the profit-maximizing model embedded in capitalist expansion. However, the tourism industry is not a homogenous entity, but is instead characterized by diverse forms of distinct tourisms. In Ecuador, the Kichwa Anangu Community has chosen to dedicate their livelihood to community-owned tourism. Anangu owns and operates two lodges, whose management and oversight are administered through communal governance. As a result, tourism is locally embraced as a vehicle for livelihood wellbeing, cultural reclamation, and environmental stewardship. Community-owned tourism will not provide a cure-all answer to the critiques levied against tourism or to the vulnerabilities inherent in the practice of tourism. However, Anangu's project offers a compelling case study for considering how certain tourisms could become a vehicle for developing a localized degrowth society. The Anangu have decentralized the value placed upon profit in the practice of tourism, replacing it with Kichwa forms of communal organizing guided by their goal for Sumak Kawsay, or the "good life." For the Anangu, the sustainability of their project cannot be separated from its economic viability, however, success is also measured by how tourism contributes to a number of community-defined goals.