Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Knowledge dialogue through Indigenous tourism product design: a collaborative research process with the Lacandon of Chiapas, Mexico

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-22, 16:46 authored by Pilar Espeso-Molinero, Sheena Carlisle, María José Pastor-Alfonso
This research analyzes an innovative process employed by Indigenous entrepreneurs and employees to design new and imaginative products closely related to their cultural, social and natural heritage, values and resources. In the State of Chiapas, with over one million Indigenous inhabitants, where poverty has persisted for decades, government and international agencies have promoted the development of many Indigenous tourism initiatives. However, the employment of top-down strategies focused predominantly towards the provision of tourist facilities failed to recognize the crucial role of tourism products and activities, thus sustaining and promoting stereotyped ideas of Indigenous peoples. This paper focuses on the benefits of collaborative research and knowledge dialogue between scientific and traditional wisdom to overcome some of these limitations through the application of an Indigenous Tourism Product Development Model. Using Participatory Action Research processes, university researchers worked with the management and staff of four Indigenous (Lacandon) owned and operated companies located in the communities of Lacanjá Chansayab and Nahá (Lacandon Jungle) in Mexico, to create a series of new cultural and heritage-related products. The paper explores the capacity of this process to revitalize culture while fostering feelings of accomplishment, participation, cultural pride and creative confidence among the co-researchers.


Published in

Journal of Sustainable Tourism


Taylor & Francis


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Espeso-Molinero, P., Carlisle, S. and Pastor-Alfonso, M.J. (2016) 'Knowledge dialogue through Indigenous tourism product design: a collaborative research process with the Lacandon of Chiapas, Mexico', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(8-9), pp.1331-1349

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Management

Cardiff Met Authors

Sheena Carlisle

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • WCTR (Welsh Centre for Tourism Research)

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  • © The Publisher


  • en

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