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Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 967; doi:10.3390/su8100967

Food Tourism in Indigenous Settings as a Strategy of Sustainable Development: The Case of Ilex guayusa Loes. in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Ikiam Universidad Regional Amazónica, Via a Muyuna, Tena 150150, Ecuador
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE), University of Goettingen, Platz der Goettinger Sieben 5, Goettingen 37073, Germany
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Avenida 10 de Agosto y Carrion, Quito 170517, Ecuador
Centro de Investigaciones Botánicas, Herbario y Jardín Botánico; Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí, Urbanización El Cabrero, David 0426, Panamá
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ian Patterson
Received: 13 June 2016 / Revised: 14 September 2016 / Accepted: 19 September 2016 / Published: 22 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [576 KB, uploaded 22 September 2016]   |  


This paper seeks to contribute to the discussion on how to enhance food tourism in emerging, tropical countries characterized by a large number of indigenous groups and a high biodiversity. A sacred plant for the Kichwa indigenous communities labelled Ilex guayusa Loes. (Aquifoliceae) is used as a case study. Twelve recorded interviews with different stakeholders of the Amazon region of Napo in Ecuador were analysed. The results of this qualitative research show that the Western-based theory on niche tourism based on experiential and intimacy theory is compatible with four principles which are related to the cosmovision (worldview) of Kichwa indigenous groups, namely: mutual learning, empowerment, regulated access to intellectual property and community legislation. The framework proposed seems suitable to understand food tourism in an indigenous setting. Furthermore, the integration of Western-based food tourism with an indigenous cosmovision might contribute to a more sustainable land use and more equitable social development. View Full-Text
Keywords: food tourism; indigenous communities; ancestral knowledge; guayusa; biodiversity; Kichwa food tourism; indigenous communities; ancestral knowledge; guayusa; biodiversity; Kichwa

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sidali, K.L.; Morocho, P.Y.; Garrido-Pérez, E.I. Food Tourism in Indigenous Settings as a Strategy of Sustainable Development: The Case of Ilex guayusa Loes. in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Sustainability 2016, 8, 967.

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