traditional culture and tourism

Community tensions and the impact of tourism

Community tensions may be exacerbated by tourism, especially when indigenous culture is disrupted. Vanuatu is a group of major islands near to Australia. Vanuatu's counterpart, Pentecostal Island, is characterized by poverty and underdevelopment. They still place a high emphasis on development; they do not see tourism as a superior means of economic advancement. The locals of Vanuatu participate in a land-diving ritual known as the "naghol tradition" (which is primarily done by the "sa" community that lives in the area Naghol). The naghol was commercialized by tourists, which did not sit well with the locals. Most of the locals want to keep outsiders away from their customs. With this kind of tensions, tourism may be given a major blow hence loss of foreign exchange on the part of the locals.

Reflective commentary

Culture defines how people live, relate to others, characters, and customs. This will in turn impact on community’s interaction with tourism. Most communities will embrace tourism without a critical review of the impact it can have on the society and local culture (via copy, 2017).

The negative impacts of tourism on traditional cultures

Traditional cultures are some of the tourist attraction components. In most cases in the world, tourism is seen as a flashy lifestyle only to be afforded by those in higher social status in the community. The drawbacks brought about by tourism will always impact negatively on the lifestyles of the local communities, and they can never be ignored. These will include environmental issues, population problems, transport problems, and loss of the traditional culture with the extinction of the traditional products. An example of the traditional culture problems can be seen in Beijing, China. Culture is to be preserved as it:

a. Keeps track of the development of people.

b. Culture represents historical inheritance and continuation of national development.

The erosion of community values due to overdeveloping tourism

Overdeveloping tourism is what brings with it the negative cultural impacts that lead to community values being eroded (Jiayi, 2017). In areas where tourists frequently visit, the living standards tend to be elevated, but at the expense of the locals. Prices of commodities will go high to the extent that the locals may never be able to afford it, hence increased poverty levels. In these areas, cases of moral decay are great, as people will tend to indulge in immoral behaviors so as to earn a living. This is a negative impact on the cultural values of the locals. It is a normal human habit to look better than others. This has led to locals copying the dress code and the behavior of visitors. In tourist areas, young people will tend to copy what the affluent visitors have or the way they behave. They may stop choosing the unwritten code of dressing and even neglect the code of conduct set by the community.

The need for education on community values and cultural preservation

In conclusion, tourism brings with it some positive benefits to the society that can be gained through the exchange of culture, but it is of concern for the youths, in particular, to be educated on what values the community thrives on (OECD, 2017).


Jiayi, Z. (2017). Social and cultural impact of tourism. Retrieved from

OECD. (2017). The Impact of Culture on Tourism - OECD. Retrieved from

Viscopy. (2017). The art of balancing cultural traditions with tourism. Viscopy. Retrieved from

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