Holiday destinations we should avoid

| 3rd August 2009
New holiday resorts are endangering the existence of indigenous tribal people
New holiday resorts are endangering the existence of indigenous tribal people

New holiday resorts are endangering the existence of indigenous tribal people (Image © Survival)

Survival International says holiday resorts are putting tribal peoples' lives at risk.

Three major holiday destinations have been named and shamed by a human rights charity today.

Survival International, which campaigns for the rights of indigenous tribal peoples, has warned holidaymakers to avoid the following:

•    Barefoot Resort, South Andaman Island, India
•    Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana
•    ‘First contact’ expeditions, West Papua

According to Survival, Barefoot India has established a tourist resort near the edge of the reserve created to protect the Jarawa tribe, putting them at risk of contracting swine flu and other diseases to which they are likely to have little immunity.

In Botswana, the government is promoting tourism in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and has allowed a safari tour company to build a lodge that will use large amounts of water. However, it refuses to allow the Bushmen to use water boreholes inside the reserve.

Survival has also highlighted treks being run in West Papua, Indonesia. It says one offering trips to tribes that have had no contact with the outside world could have 'catastrophic consequences'.

‘Responsible tourists should keep well away from areas where uncontacted or recently-contacted tribes live. There are numerous cases where at least half of a tribe has died from disease soon after their first contact with outsiders,' said Survival’s director Stephen Corry.

‘There’s nothing wrong with tourists visiting tribal peoples who have been in routine contact with outsiders for some time, but only if the tribal people want them to, have proper control over where they go and what they do, and get a fair share of the profit. Unfortunately, this hardly ever happens,' he said.

Useful links

Survival tourism brochure

More from this author


The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate now.