Developing Edu-Tourism In An Urban Indigenous Community : The Case Of Aldeia Bananal (Brasília – DF – Brazil)
Abstract: This work aims at developing a tourist visit to the Aldeia Bananal, a community located in Brasília, the Brazilian capital. The community is composed of three ethnic indian groups: Kariri-Xokó, Tuxá and Fulni-ô. The reason of the study is to research and develop Indigenous Tourism. Furthermore, I also wanted to evaluate the present and future benefits to the students and to the indigenous community of a project which relates Indigenous and Educational Tourism. The thesis describes three visits from public school children organized by the government and the official visit organized by me together with the leader Cacique Tanoné. The visitors or student-tourists were mainly from the 4th semester of a Tourism bachelor course. While developing the Educational Tourism visit we mostly focused on three concepts: Geotourism, which tries to enhance the cultural and natural characteristics of the indigenous group through participatory tourism; Ambience Generation, which relates to changing the learning environment of the students as a mean of catalyzing their educational process; and Staged-Authenticity for Community Empowerment. The thesis is developed in three phases: first, the description of the area; second, the development of the visit together with the community; and last the analysis of the visit based on the community leader’s and the students’ view. The most important fact that affects the community’s daily life and consequently the present tourist visitations is the construction – started in 2007 – around their land of the newest and most expensive neighborhood in Brasília, the Northwest Sector. Some conclusions of this study were: the community was at all times very positive towards the research; they received a fair amount of money and were satisfied with it; they spread their culture in a tense political moment; and enhanced their cultural heritage, although I think the visit did not enhance the natural environment as it could. For the students the project created a unique contact with the indigenous group which led to a higher knowledge and valorization of their culture; it also showed a practical example of indigenous tourism to Tourism students. The data did answer the question regarding to the benefits to the students and to the community; and the method for developing and evaluating an indigenous tourism practice is still in progress and can reach an ideal level with further research.
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