The favela and its touristic transits
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The article discusses the development of the favela into a tourist attraction. Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, is the paradigmatic 'tourist favela', with tours taking place regularly since the early 1990s and with three thousand tourists visiting the site each month. The development of the favela into a tourist destination is seen as part of the so-called reality tours phenomenon and of the global circulation of the favela as a trademark. The methodology included different strategies: long interviews with qualified informants, field observation, and participant observation in different tours. The article concludes with some thoughts on tourism activities in impoverished areas. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.