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EXPLORING ECOTOURISM

Crafting Our Future: Connecting Tourism and Artesania
by Ron Mader

FOLK ART WIKI

Never underestimate the entertainment value of shopping.
- Shopping Notebook

Salmon Carved by Ariel Playas @ Oaxaca 06.2011

FLICKR ALBUM: World Crafts


This essay explores the connections among tourism, shopping and conservation. We ask whether it's time to engage artesanos and fans alike in social web. This topic is explored in depth in the Slideshare presentation Crafting Our Future (Fabricando Nuestro Futuro).

BACKGROUND

Buying from locals assists local economic development. Shopping has great entertainment value and tourists love souvenirs, the reminders of a place where you are not.

On the downside, not all crafts are produced by or benefit local artisans. Nor is production always sustainable. Be wary of buying products made with feathers or animal skins if you're trying to protect nature!

PREPARATION

For travelers, educate yourself before you arrive. The Web is a great way to learn about a country's traditions. Buy a guidebook and surf the Web.

Figure out your own limits. Are you most comfortable in a gift store or in an artist workshop? Some programs are criticized as 'hardship tours' because of the amount of walking involved and rustic accomodations. If that's not for you, stay in the city.

Other travelers are disappointed if they don't see every step in the artistic process. Plan ahead!

MAKING THE PURCHASE

In many markets, negotiation is part of the process. Too often well-meaning tourists will drive a hard bargain. If you find something you like, offer what you consider a fair price rather than the lowest possible bid.

FEATURES

g Artesania, Tourism and the Web
g Tourism and Indigenous People
g Buying Crafts in Oaxaca City - Ron Mader
g Walk with the Weavers
g Huichol Yarn Paintings - Charmayne McGee

FLICKR

g Cazaneun d'beni ruin chei laadi
g Oaxaca Folk Art
b World Crafts
ONLINE FLICKR

WIKI

g Artesanos of Oaxaca
g Crafting Our Future
g Folk Art
g Textiles
g World Crafts
ONLINE WIKI

www.flickr.com

AUTHOR

Ron Mader is the responsible travel correspondent for Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning Planeta.com website.


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