Deconstructing the right to tourism

Publication date:
Jordi Gascón, profesor asociado, Departamento de Antropología Social, Universitat de Barcelona

Since the 1980s, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has been developing and spreading a discourse that takes tourism to be a right. This paper critically analyses the basis of this idea in order to attempt to scrutinise the aim behind it. The study reaches the conclusion that considering tourism a right helps to legitimise the presence of the UNWTO within the

United Nations structure and to defend the interests of tourism capital, to which the organisation has close links.

Key words: right to tourism, human rights, World Tourism Organization, United Nations, tourist industry

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