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What is the host community perception of slum tourism in Colombia?

María Dolores Herrero Amo (ESCP Europe (Madrid Campus), Madrid, Spain)
Chandana (Chandi) Jayawardena (Chandi J. Associates Inc. Consulting, St. Catharines, Canada)
Salomé Laloum Gaultier (Sustainability Communications Consultant, Paris, France)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 8 April 2019




This paper aims to find answers to two research questions: What is the perception of the Moravia community on tourism in their neighbourhood? What are the conditions under which they can accept slum tourism?


The foundation of this paper was laid during a field trip to Medellin, Colombia, in March 2018. More than three weeks were spent in the neighbourhood of Moravia, one of Medellin’s “barrios” or slums, where a qualitative study was led. Semi-structured interviews with the local community were done around the neighbourhood.


The main finding of this research is the positive perception of slum tourism within the Moravia community. The researchers found that the locals are proud when outsiders visit to see their neighbourhood. The locals felt that, it breaks the prejudice surrounding their homes, and tourists are seen as spokespeople for the barrio. There are visible improvements made to the barrio owing to tourism. This research drew attention to the conditions under which this type of tourism can be accepted in the neighbourhood: community participation, interaction between hosts and tourists, education and respect of tourists and the visible improvements to the neighbourhood.


Slum tourism is an understudied topic in Colombia, especially in Medellin. By researching on the host perception on slum tourism, this paper contributes to literature on slum tourism from a new angle.



Herrero Amo, M.D., Jayawardena, C.(C). and Laloum Gaultier, S. (2019), "What is the host community perception of slum tourism in Colombia?", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 140-146.



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