Tourism in the Anthropocene is a powerful driver of global connections that has direct consequences for social and environmental well-being across the planet. This political ecological analysis of tourism in the Ecuadorian Amazonian presents ethnographic vignettes to account for the ways that interwoven global discourses related to biodiversity conservation and community development are encountered, contested, and leveraged to advance particular approaches to tourism at the local level. We invoke Tsing’s theory of friction to frame these discursive encounters in the context of tourism-related decision-making in the community of Misahuallí, including instances of discursive shifts being leveraged into improved well-being of local residents. This paper makes an important contribution to the scholarship on the political ecology of tourism by bringing the emic perspectives of local residents to the forefront and by demonstrating the value of Tsing’s friction metaphor for analyzing the global connections inherent in tourism. Frictions between inequities and imbalances of power, perpetuated by both the structures and discourses associated with the use of tourism to address conservation and development objectives, remain at the vanguard of tourism research as we move through the Anthropocene.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management