World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010

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TOURISM IMPACT WITHIN THE MIDDLE EAST - 1/2 (135) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel
 

· NOT_DEFINED date: TUE, 2.30 - 4.30 pm

· NOT_DEFINED language: English, Français

· NOT_DEFINED description: Chair: Omar Moufakkir (Professor, Stenden University, Netherlands)

Discussant: Maria Cardeira da Silva (Senior lecturer, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Centre for Research in Anthropology, CRIA)

Paper presenter: Forough Saleh-Dirin (Master, Reseacher, Iran), “Studying the challenges of 'cultural tourism' in IRAN and the ways of dealing with them”
Tourism can give birth to a kind of interaction between cultures which is unique and there is no other cultural reciprocation that has the same effect. Computers and networks have changed our lives and also primary meaning of 'Place' and 'Time'. Communications are taking-place in a short time and with minimum cost nowadays but there is another kind of communications which is not obtainable in these ways: That is 'Tourism'. The most important issue in communication is the presence of 'Body', Immanuel Lunias the famous French philosopher suggests, and without that the communication loses an important element. Additionally, a tourist enters a culture and merges with it so that he becomes a part of that culture and communicates with this unique 'Whole' not the ingredients. Tourism has got more importance in UNESCO as a cultural issue, so regional policies should be assigned to develop cultural tourism. Applying such policies result in protection of cultural and traditional texture of target region. The cooperation of the natives is also important for communication between the cultures in order to declining the negative effects and also these policies should try to provide a peaceful and friendly atmosphere for national and international tourists. Developing of regional policies should be included in government's general policies in order to meet tourism needs. This study unveils some problems in Iran's cultural tourism and suggests solutions and methods to develop regional-cultural tourism. We do help this methods can help attracting more cultural tourist to Iran. Key words: Cultural tourism, cultural interaction, regional policies, developing policies, developing of 'cultural tourism', methods to develop cultural tourism, hinders of cultural tourism.

Paper presenter: Zina Ouaglal (Doctorante, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense), “Tourisme des racines en Kabylie”
Cet article propose de donner sens au témoignage de familles kabyles installées en France, un groupe singulier et leur retour au pays, l’Algérie durant la période estivale. Cet étrange ballet entre la France ou bien l'Europe et l'Algérie se produit chaque année en direction de la Kabylie. Cela se passe entre les mois de juin à septembre. Avec une certaine minutie, réglée comme du papier musique, comme ces oiseaux voyageurs (migrateurs) qui répondent à un appel silencieux, ces familles décident de repartir vivre le temps d'une saison sur leur terre nourricière. Ce que nous proposons au travers des ces histoires de vie, c’est de comprendre aussi l’histoire des aménagements et mobilisations perceptibles à la fois sur les moyens mis en place pour satisfaire la demande de ces familles et d'autre part sur place au niveau des villes qui accueillent ces touristes particuliers. Les sites concernés sont ceux de la Petite Kabylie: celui de « Yemma Gouraya », la maison de la sainte qui protège la ville de Bejaïa et « la grotte Merveilleuse » de Aokas (des stalactites aux formes curieuses et stalagmites).Le texte suivant prend en compte l’exemple de communauté maghrébine issue de l’Algérie vivant à l’étranger, ayant vécu et vit de cet état de faits : entre déchirements, résignations, espoirs de revoir cette patrie, qui est soit liée à une partie de l’enfance, à une partie de l’adolescence, à des parents, à des amis laissés derrière soi. Comment ce tourisme des racines peut se définir pour ceux qui le pratiquent ? Comment et quelles sont les implications socio-économiques qui peuvent être à l’origine et les conséquences de telles pratiques? C’est l’objet de la partie méthodologie autour de laquelle s’invitera la problématique de notre texte. L’exemple traité pour l’Algérie (qui n’est pas représentatif au vue de l’échelle du pays, ce n’est qu’une modeste approche coté kabyle qui est soulevé ici tout en sachant qu’il doit y avoir des similitudes avec d’autres régions et pays) n’est pas isolé car comme tout a chacun de rechercher à savoir d’où il vient malgré le temps et la distance : pour le réaliser, ce tourisme des racines tient lieu d’un véritable trait d’union entre la volonté et le désir de recoller les morceaux avec une partie de soi, de retrouver la pièce du puzzle qui permettra de continuer à avancer dans l’élaboration, la construction de sa vie.
Le tourisme des racines est vécu comme au terme d’une «expérience» et c’est cette dernière qui est l’objet des observations d’entretiens, des enquêtes historiques-biographique, pour terminer sur une analyse de corpus.
Les corpus sont principalement composés de :
- Des données sur l’évolution du taux de passager durant ces cinquante dernières années et les retombées variables (logistiques, …) auprès des différentes compagnies aériennes qui desservent la destination de voyage.
- Des entretiens concernant l’expérience du retour (sur différents plans, à la fois sociologique et psycho-sociologique), ce qui est attendu, la réalité du terrain, ce qu’il faut consolider ou réaliser.

Paper presenter: Omar Moufakkir (Professor, Stenden University, Netherlands), “Re-evaluating Political Tourism in the Holy Land”
Once in Jerusalem, politically-oriented tourists are catered for by a host of bodies and individuals, ranging from the Israeli Government to private tour operators, Israeli and Palestinian alike, who provide them with what they came to see and experience. Most hosts hope to promote a political agenda in the process. For them, visitors are potential agents, won-over carriers who can propagate desired political messages upon returning to their countries and communities (Brin, 2006, p. 216).Political consumerism has emerged as a relevant form of political expression, and a form of “active” civil disobedience used to put pressure on governments or corporations to pursue a cause. Boycotting or “buycotting” lies at the heart of political consumerism. Not buying a product or service has received the attention of politicians, policymakers and academics around the world. Serving the same purpose as boycotting, buycotting, or the act of buying products or services to support or influence the international economy and politics through communicating a message or position, has emerged as a participatory action that falls into positive political consumerism. This paper focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian situation. The purpose was to set the ground for a discussion of the two concepts within the tourism and peace discourse in the Israeli-Palestinian context. While the lenses of the two strategies “boycotting or buycotting” are different, the goal is nevertheless, the same. However, the results may be different and in some instances counterproductive. Both protagonists look at social justice through the prism of their ethical value systems, hoping that their voices or actions will impact on the lives of those with whom they sympathize. Generally, political consumerism is “based on attitudes and values regarding issues of justice, fairness, or non-economic issues that concern personal and family well-being and ethical political assessment of business and government practice” (Micheletti et al., 2006: xiv). This paper juxtaposes political tourism with “peace tourism” in an attempt to conceptualize the latter as the antithesis of the former. First, I will provide a brief historical account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, discuss political consumerism as a theoretical background for my case, present the case as an example, then discuss my proposition.

Paper presenter: Gina Haney & Alessandra Peruzzetto (World Monuments Fund, USA), “Management Planning and the Development of Cultural Tourism at Babylon, Iraq”
As early as 2004, the Iraq State Board of Antiquities recognized the extreme challenges of managing Babylon in light of the changes to the site from the 1980s through the Polish and American occupation of the site during the period of armed conflict. In May of 2009 The New York Times reported on the opening of Babylon for tourism. A photograph showed a large number of local college students, purportedly unguided, crossing the site. The following month World Monuments Fund began field-based work at Babylon towards the creation of a site management plan. This plan will address regulating access to and use of the site and include recommendations for the development of cultural tourism. An additional goal is the creation of a World Heritage nomination for Babylon, which will necessitate the establishment of firm site boundaries, buffer zones, and clear plans for the tourism and educational experiences. The challenges at Babylon are many, but the development of a clear vision for managing responsible visitation to the site looms large. The Governorate of Babil, as well as local entrepreneurs, considers the site as a tool for economic development. The US Department of State, the primary project funder, recognizes the archaeological and historical value of the site, but also sees the conservation and long-term protection of the site as essential to the economic and social recovery of Iraq. The Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH), the national agency governing the site, understands the push for opening the site for visitors, yet is protective of its fragile archaeological material and research potential. Working with Iraqi stakeholders to find the balance between discovering and maintaining the past, healing and cohesion within a post-occupation society and providing economic development via cultural tourism and other lucrative mediums is no easy task. This paper details the work of World Monuments Fund in partnership with the SBAH at Babylon. Through the lens of the priority site areas, as designated by the SBAH, the paper will examine tourism in the past, as it now exists and how its development is envisioned. These periods of tourism and tourism development will be placed within the context of a sustainable site management planning process.

Paper presenter: Carlo Perelli (Research Assistant, CRENoS, Centre For North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and University of Sassari), "Visions of the coast. Participation and tourism planning in Mediterranean Morocco"
Participation analysis is increasingly relevant in geographers’ reflections. The interaction between space and power relationships in participation processes is central to a debate that is contributing to redefine participation as a basically spatially embedded phenomenon. Relevant contributions to the reflection arrive from poststructuralist geographies of participation, which explore empowerment issues, the role of local communities, the production of new spaces or the reshaping of old spaces for political agency. The spatial dimension of participation governance processes, the emergence of power discourses and practices and the relation between participatory spaces and the outside reality are among the key research questions of this paper. The analysis stems from investigating the development and impacts of a two-year project for the implementation of Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment practices in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment (TCCA) is a tool designed to help decision-makers to (re)define the direction that tourism development ought to adopt. The TCCA achieves the best results when conducted within Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) process. This process envisages the use of different development scenarios that will help to select the more appropriate option. Based on TCCA and involvement of all relevant stakeholders through participatory process, Strategic Tourism Plans for project areas have been developed. Drawing from the direct experience accumulated in two years of activity as scientific consultant and focusing on the Moroccan case of Al Hoceima bay, this paper explores the mechanisms governing the participation process and how facilitating techniques interacted with local knowledge and actions as well as the role of local NGOs in shaping, organizing and leading the empowerment process. Furthermore, the analysis investigates the integration process between local stakeholders’ agenda and the national tourism development strategy in Morocco, reporting the conflicting strategic visions on the future of Al Hoceima bay.