Maori and tourism: A relationship of history, constitutions and rites

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This paper describes developments in Maori tourism. It argues that such developments cannot be understood without reference to a socio-political and ethical context of the history and ethical structures of Maori. It draws attention to Maori as an indigenous people as defined by the conventions on such peoples as adopted by the United Nations, and the recognition of ownership of cultural symbols. Maori claims of ownership of the symbols and practices adopted by tourist operators are thus sanctioned by international and national rights, but are equally tempered by Maori notions of hospitality to guests. However, Maori notions of gifts require respect and proper usage of gifts, and it is with this accord that Maori become involved with tourism. Furthermore, economic realities mean that Maori tourist operations will tend to be at an individual or extended family level, and hence the recognition of Maori ownership may be said to be more important. However, a further complicating issue is that Maori society is traditionally a tribal society; the Maori tourist 'gaze' is thus fractured by this consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-278
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997


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