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Tourism, The State, And The Marketing Of Traditional Andean Artesanías: Problematic Encounters, Pitfalls, And Competing Interests

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Chapter Summary

While the nation state has an interest in developing tourism as a source of income, since the 1980s neoliberal economic restructuring in Andean countries, sometimes phrased as 'decentralization', has redistributed the responsibility for social services, including development, to the private sector. On one hand, the nation state invariably uses images of its indigenous peoples in the promotion of tourism, but is far less interested in seeing that the benefits of tourism accrue to these same people. In addition, encounters between tourists and vendors of artesanías are often problematic with competing interests at stake. In terms of social and economic development, there is undeniable potential for economic benefits from sales of artesanías, but there are also pitfalls, including dependence on outsiders for advice and technical help, fluctuations in the number of tourist arrivals and misappropriation of funds in cooperative ventures, which has led to the collapse of a number of co-ops.

Keywords: Andean countries; artesanías; competing interests; economic development; marketing; pitfalls; problematic encounters; tourism



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