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Encountering the other.....

July 4, 2020
Harold Goodwin
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One of the reasons that we travel is to experience other cultures, to encounter "the other", to understand and to share something of the other vicariously and briefly. Sometimes this is voyeuristic and exploitative. This resource page has been created to enable those who facilitate responsibly encounters with the other, whether for local, domestic or international visitors.

Slum tourism makes all but the most voyeuristic feel uncomfortable. Tourists have leisure and money to travel in the backstreets and slums, or guided by the homeless the experience of a fundamentally unequal encounter is stark.

Inside the Controversial World of Slum Tourism National Geographic

Slumming is not a new phenomenon. the Oxford English Dictionary dates the first use of the word slumming to 1884, in this first phase it was often driven by philanthropy, the desire to see how the other half lives, but also for illicit sex and drugs. Gazing on the poor, better engaging with them, bring s awareness of their plight.

Over the last decade, there has been a significant growth in organised opportunities to  see those places not visited by tourists or see tourist places through the eyes of the economically poor and marginalised

This resource page provides links to organisations, businesses, charities and NGOs which enable encounters with the other, those who would otherwise not have the opportunity to benefit from tourism.

These tours are available in the developed world, for citizens and tourists alike.
Unseen Tours
a Social Enterprise working with homeless, ex-homeless and vulnerably housed Londoners. Brick Lane, Camden, Covent Garden, London Bridge & Shoreditch
Hackney Tours: alternative experience walks, radical running tours & brilliant bike rides in the most exciting part of London

Graffiti Walking Tour of Camden Town
Rebel Tours: Alternative London

Invisible Edinburgh 

Hidden City Tours 

Amsterdam Underground
  City walks by former homeless guides

Jacqueline Ngo Mpii founded Little Africa in 2014, a tour company, publishing house and cultural agency with the mission of “connecting the African diasporas to the world, and the world to the diasporas”. Jacqueline’s tours take place in la Goutte d’Or, also known as ‘Little Africa’, a working-class neighbourhood that has been branded a ‘no-go zone’ by some cultural commentators. This densely populated, lively pocket of the north of Paris lies to the east of the Montmartre hill, but while (in non-pandemic times) tourists arrive by the bus-load to visit the neighbouring Sacré-Coeur, the vast majority never set foot here." more


is a social enterprise that challenges the stereotypes associated with homelessness by enabling people to experience the world from a homeless perspective.

Shedia Invisible Tours

Homeless     Refugees 

Nevid(e)na Lublana

Shades Tours


"International migration is increasingly characterised by transnational traits that create strong linkages between different places and cultures and that impact, in particular, the routes and spaces of urban migration. In 2010, from this observation, sprung the idea of promoting a form of responsible tourism at kilometre zero that envisages as its protagonists, fellow citizens of sometimes very different backgrounds."

"Between 2010 and today in Turin, Milan, Florence and Rome, over 11,000 people, have taken part in these walks – mostly secondary schools students, but also curious citizens, tourists, local residents, groups and associations" more














There are many Favela Tours in Brazil 

Delhi & Mumbai Reality Tours and Travel

There are many Township Tours in Namibia

Slum tourism 

South Africa
There are many Township Tours in South Africa 

Other resources

Better Host-Guest Encounters

Why visiting orphanages is not acceptable 

Articles debating poverty tourism 

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