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Simpson BH. Competing for the City: Child Friendly Cities, Children's Rights and Tourism. 2009.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/9591
Competing for the City: Child Friendly Cities, Children's Rights and Tourism
Tourism is fundamentally antagonistic to the rights of children. The tourism industry - which for this purpose includes government tourism bodies - has constructed tourism in a manner which disguises the extent to which the rights and needs of children are not served by tourism. In part this has been achieved by a focus on the more brutal forms of child exploitation practised by the tourism industry, in particular through 'child sex tourism'. But this merely averts our gaze from the many more subtle ways in which tourism defeats the rights of children. For the most part tourism's hostility to the rights of children is concealed by making children in tourism invisible. Tourism is a process whereby children are methodically neither seen nor heard. As a consequence children's rights are also misunderstood, misrepresented and marginalised by tourism. While much may be made of the economic benefits of tourism for communities this often fails to speak to the economic and social rights of children. Cities in particular have become sites of tourist consumption, attracting global capital seeking to reap profits from that industry. This has led to the transformation of cities for the benefit of the rich and powerful, and to the detriment of the non-rich. (See e.g. Beazley, et al, 1997) Many children live within those cities in non-rich families. The effect of the creation of the 'tourist city' is the creation of an urban environment that fails to meet the interests of children.