Community-based Tourism in Santa Marta Favela /RJ: social, economic and cultural opportunities

Abstract Justification of the topic: Debates about the causes and impacts of the process of touristification of slums have been carried out over the last years across various fields of study and countries. Purpose: This article presents the results of a research conducted in Santa Marta favela (slum), in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, aiming at investigating the effects of community-based tourism activities in that place. Methodology/Design: To this end, two studies have been undertaken: the first one, quantitative, has investigated tourists' and residents’ perceptions of positive and negative aspects of tourism; the second one, qualitative, was designed to understand local community-based tourism chain. Findings and Originality: The results show that tourism alternatives based on residents’ empowering and leading role may turn tourism practices in slums into something more socially committed. The key contribution of the research is the reflection on the experience of Community-Based Tourism in urban environments such as slums, suggesting that active participation of residents can change tourism profile, strengthening cultural exchanges. The maturity of this kind of community tourism network has to do with the deconstruction of stereotypes related to favelas and to the attainment of more positive and significant socioeconomic and cultural impacts in comparison to more traditional forms of tourism.