Seeking Serious Tourists – Balancing Culture Conservation and Economic Gains from Aboriginal Tourism
AbstractEthnic culture, often complemented by attractive relatively natural environments, is the core tourism attraction for indigenous areas. With the rise of aboriginal tourism, many regions with indigenous people intend to reform their economies by introducing tourism development. However, some places where this has occurred have exhibited adverse consequences, such as the breaking up of conventional social/cultural norms and distortion of unique ethnic cultures. Thus, it is critical to establish an approach to development that can satisfy both cultural and economic concerns to achieve sustainable development in aboriginal regions. Based on serious leisure theory, it is proposed that serious travelers can contribute offer enhanced prospects of contributing to aboriginal communities in terms of both economic gains and cultural conservations. The idea is assessed in the context of aboriginal community in Taiwan and the empirical findings mostly verify the above claims. Serious aboriginal tourists express their support for ethnic culture with real spending on culture-related products and services. Likewise, serious aboriginal travelers reveal their passions for ethnic culture by demanding more cultural experiences and, more willingly donate for aboriginal cultural conservation. Thus, it is suggested that, aboriginal destinations should cater more to the serious traveler market to make sustainable development possible.