In 2008 the Philosophy Department of Rachol Seminary, Goa organized a three day seminar on ‘impact assessment of tourism’ for its students who wished to later take up a research on studying Israeli tourist behaviour in Goa. The workshop was attended by thirty-five 2nd year students as a part of their capacity building in understanding tourism issues. Of the thirty-five, eleven students participated in the study on Israeli tourist behaviour in Goa. When the study was initiated, Israeli tourists were a prominent group among foreign tourists in Goa; there were growing tensions between Israeli tourists and local people, and the Rachol seminarians were keen to attempt a study on the impact of their activities, behaviour as tourists & their impact on the social, economic, environmental and cultural impacts. As this study goes into print, many other tourist groups defined by nationality – such as the Russians – are also making the headlines because of sites of conflict and tension between expectations and needs of tourists vis-a-vis local communities and the perceived impact of this dynamic.
This study is to be read as a preliminary research by seminarians. Its aim was to help the “researchers” understand the travel patterns and behaviour of Israeli tourists, situate it within the Indian and Goan context and make the links to their own studies in theology. The methodology adopted was one of seeing, observing, discussions (Israeli tourists, local population, traders, government officials), photo documentation. Therefore in the report we have retained this style of personal observations and personal narrative, left unaltered some repetitions, and have retained also much of their writing unedited without insisting on footnotes and references. Its value to the individuals involved was as much an immersion experience as it was a research study.
This work, the first of its kind to be undertaken by group of seminarians, has been supported by Caritas-Goa, Centre for Responsible Tourism, Council for Social Justice and Peace, EQUATIONS and Rachol Seminary.
To read More – Claiming the Right to Say No