Tourism, race and ethnicity : the perceptions of Manchester's Afro-Caribbean community concerning tourism access and participation.
Tourism research has tended to overlook issues relating to the variability of tourism
access and participation across diverse social groups. This study selects one particular
minority group, the UK Afro-Caribbean community, and examines whether this group
emulates, or may wish to emulate, various tourism patterns.
It is hypothesised that the community's impetus to travel and be involved in tourism is
, different from established norms. This supposition is derived from a theoretical
assessment of the possible factors which influence Afro-Caribbean access and
participation: the economic, the social, the cultural and the product-related determinants.
Accordingly, this work considers, through a "marginality perspective", structural factors
which could have a significant influence upon tourism involvement, especially racism,
economic disparities and urban constraints. However, through recognising an "ethnicity
perspective", it is suggested that "tourism" could be culturally discordant and considered
not to be a priority in people's lives. Therefore, particular forms of "travel" (eg. the
visiting of friends and relatives market), reflecting cultural aspirations and preferences,
are believed to be of importance to the Afro-Caribbean community.
This study employs an ethnographic method, applied to various members of
Manchester's (Moss Side) Afro-Caribbean community. This method, developed through
a variety of strategies (informal/unstructured. interviews, "casual conversations",
observation/participation, etc.), attempts to reveal people's perceptions (impressions!
opinions) and experiences of traveVtourism. The approach adopted is reflexive,
intracultural and based on an emic (insider) perspective ..
The ethnographic presentation explores degrees of access and forms of participation
through particular case studies: UK travel (with reference to countryside travel),
European travel, Caribbean island travel, and transatlantic travel (with reference to
America and Canada).
The fmdings indicate that "travel" by the study group is atypical of mass and mainstream
"tourism", distinguished by differences of kind and volume. Tourism involvement per se
is limited, an outcome of both the marginality and the ethnicity determinants. The
interrelationships between ethnic and racial boundaries have an effect of differential
access, thereby influencing various aspects of tourism and travel: motivations,
preferences, trips and destinations chosen (and not chosen), frequency of ventures,
quality of experiences, host and guest relationships, etc .
.. . An analysis of the social data reveals that whilst members of an Afro-Caribbean
community do not aspire to a tourist identity, tourism and travel can, in various ways,
reinforce an ethnic and cultural identity.