Besides wildlife tourism in the African savannah, cultural heritage tourism (sometimes known only as heritage tourism) is a big draw in Tanzania. In order to attract cultural tourism dollars, Maasai communities have established cultural bomas, typically pseudo Maasai villages where they display cultural performances and crafts before tourists. Such cultural contact has resulted in the growing influence of globalization that challenges traditional ways. The economic, social and environmental impact of heritage tourism on intergenerational relationships and community well-being has not been examined among the Maasai people. In this study, focus groups were conducted with different age-groups of Maasai people residing in Esilalei and Oltukai villages. Results suggest that for the Maasai, heritage tourism appears to be a double-edged sword. While tourism results in some trickled down economic benefits for the Maasai community, economic change appears to have created a social distance between generations.
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This research project was supported by a grant to Drs. Buzinde & Kalavar from the Children, Youth & Families Consortium of The Pennsylvania State University.
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Kalavar, J.M., Buzinde, C.N., Melubo, K. et al. Intergenerational Differences in Perceptions of Heritage Tourism Among the Maasai of Tanzania. J Cross Cult Gerontol 29, 53–67 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10823-013-9221-6