Tourism, peace, politics and ideology: impacts of the Mt. Gumgang tour project in the Korean Peninsula

Kim, Samuel Seongseop, and Prideaux, Bruce (2003) Tourism, peace, politics and ideology: impacts of the Mt. Gumgang tour project in the Korean Peninsula. Tourism Management, 24 (6). pp. 675-685.

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Abstract

A number of researchers have postulated that tourism between nations that have been divided or remain hostile to each other may be a means of reducing tension and promoting peace. The Korean Peninsula has remained divided since the Korean War and tensions between the North and South remain high. In the first tangible attempt to develop meaningful relations between the North and South outside of the UN structure, the Hyundai Corporation of South Korea was given permission to build and operate a resort destination at Mt. Gumgang in North Korea. The project has not been well supported by South Korean tourists and has required significant financial assistance from the South Korean Government. The paper examines the background of the project, the issues that were the primary cause for low demand and the role of the project as a vehicle for promoting peace. The paper finds that while tourism may be a method of reducing political tension as suggested by Butler and Mao (Asia Pacific J. Tourism Res. 1(1) (1996) 25) and Yu (Asia Pacific J. Tourism Res. 2(1) (1997) 19), it may also have a darker side and inadvertently become a vehicle for inhibiting peace. Further the paper suggests that in the case of Mt. Gumgang, tourism is the consequence of a political process aimed at rapprochement, not the genesis of the process.

Item ID: 10470
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Peace; Policy; North Korea; South Korea; Tourism development; Resort destination
ISSN: 1879-3193
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2010 04:02
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150601 Impacts of Tourism @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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