Discuss the meaning of Ethnic Tourism. What is the difference between ethnic tourism and cultural tourism?

Meaning of Ethnic Tourism:

The term ‘Ethnic’ was originally coined to refer to all those groups which were not Jewish. By mid 15th century all non Jewish and non-christian groups were termed “Ethnic”. By the late 19th and early 20th century. “Ethnicity” was placed between the ideas of race and those of culture.

Ethnic Tourism signifies the tourists interests in the customs of the indigenous and exotic peoples. It is a form of special interest tourism as different from general tourism which focuses directly on the local people. It involves intimate contacts with the “authentic” indigenous culture.

In this form of tourism, the tourist visits the homes of the local people, observes and participates in their festivals, dances, rituals and other forms of cultural expressions. Human contacts with the indigenous people become very important in this form of tourism and it involves a study and purchase of local products as well.

In Ethnic tourism the tourist is interested to have a direct contact with the local people. He/she wants a first band experience with the way of life and cultural artifacts of the people who are being visited. In Cultural Tourism, however, the contact with people is indirect.

The tourists main interest is not direct exposure to and involvement with the traditional cultural practices of the locals. It is viewing the culture, not experiencing it. Thus, while in Ethnic Tourism, the tourist seeks more “intimate” and “authentic” contact. In cultural Tourism, the contact with the indigenous people is not so direct.

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