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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July 2005, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
What is the impact of tourism?
Maputo port
Maputo residents rely on tourism to keep their community alive

On Wednesday 6 July, Africa Live is in Newquay and Maputo, with BBC Radio Cornwall and Maputo Corridor Radio, Mozambique, as part of our week-long community conversations.

Separated by thousands of miles of ocean, what have Cornwall and Mozambique possibly got in common?

Well, both are coastal communities, both used to be home to miners - Cornish tin miners and Mozambicans who migrated to the pits of South Africa - and now both depend on tourism for their livelihoods.

And the two communities also share a heritage of music: in Cornwall, the traditional sound is of a male voice choir, in Mozambique it is the guitar and percussion-led dance rhythms of marrabenta.

So join Africa Live on the balcony of an historic rowing club in Newquay, as we listen to a Cornish choir and a Mozambican marrabenta band and we debate the benefits and drawbacks of tourism.

We're asking:

How do you open up your part of the world to visitors and still retain its uniqueness? What is the impact of tourism on a community's identity and its environment?

Here are some views on the impact of tourism on their communities in Africa and the UK.

Atanasio Muchanga from Maputo

I live in an improved house in the posh suburb of Triunfo which is along the beautiful beach of Costa do Sol along Maputo's Indian Ocean coast.

For me, tourism is a welcome business as long as it generates employment, revenues to the state and contributes to the well-being of the local communities.

Tourism provides the local people who are mostly fishermen with an opportunity to sell their catch to tourists.

However, not everything is rosy in tourism. There have been reports of racism practiced by some South African whites.

There have also been land conflicts sparked off by tourism operators who take away land from local villagers to build their resorts.

Another disadvantage of tourism is the promotion of prostitution. Many prostitutes go to resorts in search of the tourists, particularly those who are wealthy.

When you have to interact with people from different places, of different values and cultures, it can bring about disruptions to the way people live, especially in a rural set-up.

Personally, I'm not against tourism. I see it as Mozambique's future income generating industry.

But it must be regulated.

Rod Lyon from West Cornwall

Rod Lyon

I am the Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd, which is a non-political, non-religious organisation, working to uphold the Celtic identity and individual culture of Cornwall, which includes the language, music, literature and many aspects of our way of life.

This identity and culture is not only dear to me and the Cornish Gorsedd, but to all those who truly 'belong' in Cornwall - those who were born here and identify themselves as Cornish, and many of those who come here, settle and fully integrate into Cornish society.

I would expect every one who visits Cornwall to be welcomed

This culture however is in danger of being swamped - not only by faceless and bland media presentations, but through an increase in migration. Many of those who settle in Cornwall are innocently and perhaps unwittingly, through the continuance of their own 'culture', slowly eroding ours.

I would expect every one who visits Cornwall to be welcomed - as I would expect to be welcomed when I travel abroad - but I would also expect those who come to Cornwall to appreciate, respect and uphold our identity and way of life, as I respect their way of life on my travels.

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

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Your comments:

Most of the time the influence of tourism is negative
Kwaku Sakyi-Danso, Ghana
Tourism is now making many countries rich, and for less affluent countries, it is a way of reducing poverty. But you cannot open up your world to visitors and not expect to be influenced one way or another. Most of the time, the influence is negative. We are made to believe that tourists are bringing progress to host communities, but in reality that is not the case. Africans do need the revenue from tourism but there should be regulations to check the resulting moral degradation brought by the tourists.
Kwaku Sakyi-Danso, Accra/Ghana

I lived in Cornwall for 13 delightful years before moving to Luanshya, Zambia where I have a project on ecotourismby the bank of the kafue river. My years of living in Cornwall has prepared me for this venture. I hope that this venture can give the outside world a taste of the real Africa and generate employment for the residents of this part of the world. Ken, Zambia

I would like to suggest that my country's tourism agency regulate the sector properly to ensure that our cultural identities and values are not eroded. While I would love to see my country's natural endowments and culture showcased to the rest of the world, it would gladden my heart to know that our values and traditions would be preserved for future generations.
Frederick Odia, Nigeria

Tourists are fun-seekers and spread a leisurely way of life wherever they step in
Kingsley Ezenekwe, Nigeria
I do not believe that you can open up your society to the world and retain its uniqueness. You can preserve a part of it, by instilling the societal norms into your citizens and passing it along via anecdotes and stories. However, interraction with visitors will surely change the way your people reason. The presence of some white engineers, who worked on rural electrification in my town in the 1980's, who used to hold regular barbecues by the lake in the village, was electrifying. Youths of the town learnt picnicking from them and swimming off a diving board. The truth is that tourists are fun seekers and they spread that leisurely way of life wherever they step in.
Kingsley Ezenekwe, Nigeria

Tourism is the best antidote to being uncivilised.
King Anderson Emmy Snr, Nigerian.

In Florida we have had tourism and there has been no erosion of local culture.
Roberto c. Alvarez-Galloso, Florida
As a US Citizen of Celtic Ancestry, I believe in the need to balance tourism with maintaining the identity of the Celtic Culture. One of the reasons I write to BBC Radio Cornwall, BBC Radio Scotland, and Radio Galiza is that this is my blood. Mozambique too holds a place in my heart - I once wrote briefly to Radio Mozambique in the late 1970's, when I was living in Venzuela, about their music which is fantastic. I would like to thank Maputo Corridor Radio for participating in this exchange with Cornwall. Tourism and culture can be maintained. We should not isolate ourselves. In Florida, we have had tourism and there has been no erosion of local culture.
Roberto C. Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR, Florida

Tourism should not be the major source of income for any country. It is too risky!!
Korlue Alyce Draper, United States of America

When I mix with English communities, they tend to ask me stupid questions like, "Do you live with animals in Africa? How did you travel here to the UK? How do you live in those little huts with large families? Do you have TV sets?". In a way I don't blame them because they take everything from what they read and watch in the media. When they are showing anything about South Africa, they show Soweto, anything to do with Kenya, they only show the Massai. Don't forget that the biggest Ghetto is in New York City, where poverty is daily life, but whenever we see images of NY it is all heaven. As for London, we're sick and tired of seeing Big Ben & the London eye. Before I came to England, I never thought I would find beggars in the streets of London asking you for spare change. Now I live in the city of Manchester where some people are poor beyond belief. I come from a house that is ten times better than the so-called bedsits that I'm living in here. I never saw a lion or elephant in my life until I went to Cheshire Zoo.
Abraham, Zambia/UK

I wrote a university paper about the potential for tourism in Mozambique back in 1995. I submitted that Portuguese Mozambique was the favorite hangout for people from Johannesburg and elsewhere in the 1970s. Tourism brings direct income to a large part of local people and and the economy benefits.
Frank, France

I lived in Cornwall for 13 delightful years and I'm currently living in Luanshya, Zambia where I have a project on on ecotourismby the bank of the kafue river. My years of living in Cornwall prepared me for this venture. I hope that this venture can give the outside world a taste of the real Africa and generate employment for the residents of this part of the world. Ken, Zambia


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