The Affective Negotiation of Slum Tourism

City Walks in Delhi

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


Each year, approximately a million tourists visit slum areas on guided tours as a
part of their holiday to Asia, Africa or Latin America. This book analyses the
cultural encounters that take place between slum tourists and former street
children, who work as tour guides for a local NGO in Delhi, India.
Slum tours are typically framed as both tourist performances , bought as
commodities for a price on the market, and as appeals for aid that tourists
encounter within an altruistic discourse of charity. This book enriches the
tourism debate by interpreting tourist performances as affective economies,
identifying tour guides as emotional labourers and raising questions on the
long-term impacts of economically unbalanced encounters with
representatives of the Global North, including the researcher.
This book studies the ‘feeling rules’ governing a slum tour and how they shape
interactions. When do guides permit tourists to exoticise the slum and feel a
thrilling sense of disgust towards the effects of abject poverty, and when do
they instead guide them towards a sense of solidarity with the slum’s
inhabitants? What happens if the tourists rebel and transgress the boundaries
delimiting the space of comfortable affective negotiation constituted by the
This book will be essential reading for undergraduates, postgraduates and
researchers working within the fields of human geography, slum tourism
research, subaltern studies and development studies.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages184
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-72989-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-18959-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesRoutledge Research in Tourism and Anthropology

Cite this

Holst, T. (2018). The Affective Negotiation of Slum Tourism: City Walks in Delhi. London: Routledge. Routledge Research in Tourism and Anthropology