Ghetto Tourism and Graffiti Travel

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Ghetto Tourism and Graffiti Travel

With the third of the Earth’s urban population – a full one billion people – now dwelling in slums, more and more youth in the current generation are coming up in ghettos, barrios and favelas. The main reason of this “real tourism” is to cross class and racial boundaries and experience other lifestyles. These “safe-danger” or “controlled-edge” experiences are the hot new travel trend. From Brazil to South Africa, tourists are embarking on guided tours of the world’s poorest neighborhoods. For tourists it is bizarre to tour a ghetto as if it were a zoo, staring at its inhabitants like they are some exotic animals.

International tourists to New York City in the 1980s led to a successful tourism boom in Harlem. By 2002, Philadelphia began offering tours of blighted inner-city neighborhoods. After Hurricane Katrina, tours were offered in flood-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward, a notoriously violent and poor section of New Orleans.

Another reason of going to shantytowns is the interest in “gansta rap” and graffiti. Artists and some individuals travel to different urban settings to adapt and learn new graffiti styles.

Ghetto or "urban tourism" often encompasses travel to destinations made famous by direct or indirect mention by popular artists. Travel to certain parts of Detroit that include 8 Mile Road, known for the role the travel route played in the similarly titled 8 Mile film starring Eminem, or to Crenshaw Boulevard in South Central Los Angeles, a metropolitan area that inspired an entire generation of pioneering musical influence, could potentially be included as urban tourism.

The proponents of ghetto tourism consider it to bring much-needed revenue and to serve to break down the immense barriers of fear that separate these neighborhoods from the rest of the world. “Reality tourism” gives an opportunity to demonstrate that these places are full of regular people going about their lives — living, loving, working, having families, building communities.

Jungle tourism is a rising subcategory of adventure travel defined as travel in the jungle regions of the earth. Although similar in many respects to adventure travel, jungle tourism pertains specifically to the context of region, culture and activity. Jungle tours have become a major component of green tourism in tropical destinations and are a relatively recent phenomenon of Western international tourism.

Of the regions that take part in tourism-driven sustainable development practices and ecotourism, Mexican, Central and South American practices are the most pervasive in the industry; notably Mayan jungle excursions. Other regions include jungle territories in Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific.

The majority of jungle tour operators in Central and South America are concentrated in what is known as the Mayan World or "Ruta Maya". The Mayan World encompasses five different countries that hosted the entirety of the Mayan Civilization: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. Most tours consist of visits to popular Mayan archaeological sites such as Tikal, Guatemala, Chichen Itza, and Copan. These day visits will usually consist of a guided tour of a heavily tourist-concentrated Mayan and archaeological site. Tikal and Chichen Itza are prime examples of popular day-visit sites. Such sites involve a tour guide, designated either by the state government or by a private company, for the tourists. These tour guides are predominantly trained professionals, certified to take large parties of fifty through heavily populated archaeological sites.

Although most of the visits to these more prominent sites involve day trips, there are also many jungle tour operators that showcase less-known, remote Mayan jungle ruins such as Nakum, Yaxha, and El Mirador. These tours involve much more preparation, time and funding to explore as they are usually in very remote and generally inaccessible regions of the Mayan jungles. These ruins and sites are reached by alternative and physically taxing means of travel such as bicycle, canoe, horseback or hiking. This is what essentially differentiates jungle tourism from any other sort of adventure travel tours. There are several tour operators that will even employ the use of machetes during tours.

Another significant and noteworthy difference is the fact that the majority of tour operators that travel deep into the Central and South American Jungle will cap the number of persons traveling in the group at ten to fifteen. This is done to minimize the impact on the jungle flora and fauna. Federal laws in some countries prohibit any given group large than fifteen people traveling through the Mayan jungle, a generally protected region, but very limited resources have kept such practices from occurring under the radar.

LGBT tourismis a form of niche tourism marketed to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. They are usually open about their sexual orientation and gender identity but may be more or less open when traveling; for instance they may be closeted at home or if they have come out, may be more discreet in areas known for violence against LGBT people.

The main components of LGBT tourism is for cities and countries wishing to attract LGBT tourists; people looking to travel to LGBT-friendly destinations; people wanting travel with other LGBT people when traveling regardless of the destination and LGBT travelers who are mainly concerned with cultural and safety issues. The slang term gay cation has come to imply a version of a vacation that includes a pronounced aspect of LGBT culture, either in the journey or destination. The LGBT tourism industry includes travel agents, tour companies, cruise lines and travel advertising and promotions companies who market these destinations to the gay community. Coinciding with the increased visibility of LGBT people raising children in the 1990s, an increase in family-friendly LGBT tourism has emerged in the 2000s, for instance R Family Vacations which includes activities and entertainment geared towards couples including same-sex weddings. R Family's first cruise was held aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines's Norwegian Dawn with 1600 passengers including 600 children.

Major companies in the travel industry have become aware of the substantial money (also known as the "pink dollar" or "pink pound") generated by this marketing niche, and have made it a point to align themselves with the gay community and gay tourism campaigns. According to a 2000 Travel University report, 10% of international tourists were gay and lesbian accounting for more than 70 million arrivals worldwide. This market segment is expected to continue to grow as a result ongoing acceptance of LGBT people and changing attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities. The gay and lesbian segment is estimated at $55 billion annual market as of 2007. Outside larger companies, LGBT tourists are offered other traditional tourism tools, such as LGBT hospitality networks of LGBT individuals who offer each other hospitality during their travels and even home swaps where people live in each others homes. Also available worldwide are social groups for resident and visiting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender expatriates and friends.

Literary tourism is a type of cultural tourism that deals with places and events from fictional texts as well as the lives of their authors. This could include following the route a fictional character charts in a novel, visiting particular settings from a story or tracking down the haunts of a novelist.

Literary tourists are specifically interested in how places have influenced writing and at the same time how writing has created place. In order to become a literary tourist you only need a novel and an inquisitive mind-set; however, there are literary guides, literary maps, and literary tours to help you on your way.

Medical Tourism

Medical tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare) is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of traveling across international borders to obtain health care. Such services typically include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available. As a practical matter, providers and customers commonly use informal channels of communication-connection-contract, and in such cases this tends to mean less regulatory or legal oversight to assure quality and less formal recourse to reimbursement or redress, if needed.

Over 50 countries have identified medical tourism as a national industry. However, accreditation and other measures of quality vary widely across the globe, and there are risks and ethical issues that make this method of accessing medical care controversial. Also, some destinations may become hazardous or even dangerous for medical tourists to contemplate.

The concept of medical tourism is not a new one. The first recorded instance of medical tourism dates back thousands of years to when Greek pilgrims traveled from all over the Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria. This territory was the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepios. Epidauria became the original travel destination for medical tourism.

Spa towns and sanitariums may be considered an early form of medical tourism. In eighteenth century England, for example, patients visited spas because they were places with supposedly health-giving mineral waters, treating diseases from gout to liver disorders and bronchitis.

Factors that have led to the increasing popularity of medical travel include the high cost of health care, long wait times for certain procedures, the ease and affordability of international travel, and improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries.

Medical tourists can come from anywhere in the First World, including Europe, the Middle East, Japan, the United States, and Canada. This is because of their large populations, comparatively high wealth, the high expense of health care or lack of health care options locally, and increasingly high expectations of their populations with respect to health care.

A large draw to medical travel is convenience and speed. Countries that operate public health-care systems are often so taxed that it can take considerable time to get non-urgent medical care. Taking Canada as an example, an estimated 782,936 Canadians spent time on medical waiting lists in 2005, waiting an average of 9.4 weeks. Canada has set waiting-time benchmarks, e. g. 26 weeks for a hip replacement and 16 weeks for cataract surgery, for non-urgent medical procedures. In Costa Rica, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cuba, Colombia, Philippines or India, a wealthy patient could feasibly have an operation the day after their arrival, while the poor may die before they receive help.

The cost of surgery in India, Thailand or South Africa can be one-tenth of what it is in the United States or Western Europe, and sometimes even less. A heart-valve replacement that would cost $200,000 or more in the US, for example, goes for $10,000 in India - and that includes round-trip airfare and a brief vacation package. Similarly, a metal-free dental bridge worth $5,500 in the US costs $500 in India, a knee replacement in Thailand with six days of physical therapy costs about one-fifth of what it would in the States, and Lasik eye surgery worth $3,700 in the US is available in many other countries for only $730. Cosmetic surgery savings are even greater: a full facelift that would cost $20,000 in the US runs about $1,250 in South Africa.

Popular medical travel worldwide destinations include: Argentina, Brunei, Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and recently, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Tunisia and New Zealand. In Europe Belgium, Poland and Slovakia are also breaking into the business.

The typical process is as follows: the person seeking medical treatment abroad contacts a medical tourism provider. The provider usually requires the patient to provide a medical report, including the nature of ailment, local doctor’s opinion, medical history, and diagnosis, and may request additional information. Certified medical doctors or consultants then advise on the medical treatment. The approximate expenditure, choice of hospitals and tourist destinations, and duration of stay, etc., is discussed. After signing consent bonds and agreements, the patient is given recommendation letters for a medical visa, to be procured from the concerned embassy. The patient travels to the destination country, where the medical tourism provider assigns a case executive, who takes care of the patient's accommodation, treatment and any other form of care. Once the treatment is done, the patient can remain in the tourist destination or return home.

Music tourism is the act of visiting a city or town, in order to see a gig or festival. With the presence of the tourist, money is spent and the local economy benefits. This sort of tourism is particularly important to small villages such as Glastonbury, as well as large cities like Glasgow.

Music tourism is one of the newest typology of tourism. Music tourism can be categorized under pleasure tourism, as it involves travel of people to watch a music concert. Rock music and hip-hop music are the two main genre of music which create music tourism.

Nautical tourism is an increasingly popular way to combine love of sailing and boating with vacation and holiday activities. First defined as an industry segment in Europe and South America, it has since caught on in the United States and the Pacific Rim.

Not only is nautical tourism an enjoyable way to see unique parts of the world, it is also a very profitable industry. Many tourists who enjoy sailing combine water travel with other activities. Supplying the equipment and accessories for those activities has spawned businesses for those purposes. With many nautical enthusiasts living onboard their vessels even in port, nautical tourists bring demand for a variety of goods and services. Marinas developed especially for nautical tourists have been built in Europe, South America and Australia.

Tourist services available at marinas catering to nautical tourists include:

· leasing of berths for sailing vessels and nautical tourists who live onboard;

· leasing of sailing vessels for holiday and recreational use (charter, cruising and similar);

· reception, safe-guarding and maintenance of sailing vessels;

· provision of stock (water, fuel, supplies, spare parts, equipment and similar);

· preparation and keeping sailing vessels in order;

· providing information to nautical enthusiasts (weather forecasts, nautical guides etc.);

· leasing of waterscooters, jetskis, and other water equipment.

Overland travel or overlanding refers to an "overland journey" - originating with Marco Polo's first overland expedition in the 13th century from Venice to the Chinese court of Kublai Khan. Today overlanding is a form of extended adventure holiday, embarking on a long journey, often in a group. Overland companies provide a converted truck or a bus plus a tour leader, and the group travels together overland for a period of weeks or months.

Since the 1960s overlanding has been a popular means of travel between destinations across Africa, Europe, Asia (particularly India), the Americas and Australia. The "Hippie trail" of the 60s and 70s saw thousands of young westerners travelling through the Middle East to India and Nepal.

Rail Overland Travel

At 9,288km the Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the longest overland journeys in existence today, taking 7 days to reach Vladivostok from Moscow, and providing an alternative to air travel for journeys between Europe and Asia.

The Indian Pacific railway, completed in 1970, links Sydney and Perth in Australia. Covering 4,343km over 4 days, the railway includes the longest stretch of straight railway line in the world.

The introduction of Japan's high speed railway Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964 changed the face of rail travel. The railway has carried more than 4 billion passengers and its new N700 series trains are capable of 300 km/h. France's TGV holds the record for the fastest train, with a top speed of more than 500 km/h, making it faster than air travel for many journeys within the country.

Road Overland Travel

The Silk Route or Silk Road historically connects the Mediterranean with Persia and China. Today the route refers to overland journeys between Europe and China, taking either the northern route - through Russia and Kazakhstan - or the southern route - through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and North India - to Urumqi or Xian in China. These routes are still popular today, with companies such as Oasis Overland and Odyssey Overland offering tours on the southern route.

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