‘What is your name, where do you come from, what is your grade?’ Using art-based interviews to highlight the experience of children hosting school tours in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe

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Abstract

The incursion of tourism into schools is an increasing phenomenon, whether through volunteer tourism, developmentourism or philanthropic tourism. Tourism studies have largely ignored children as stakeholders in tourism destinations. In Zimbabwe, economic turbulence has led to a broken education system that relies on external donors to finance schools. As part of this financing, some schools welcome tourists in exchange for funds, sponsorship or infrastructure. Tourists in these settings usually visit schools as part of a mass tour for between 2 and 3 h, with the expectation that children will receive financial benefits or improve their English speaking skills. This paper uses art-based methods to centre children in the research process and reporting. Using children’s drawings and extracts from the interviews and observations, the findings of this study indicate that children in the school experience the school tour in a repetitive manner. In contrast, interviews with adults suggest that school tours are positioned as enjoyable and valuable due to the exposure to English. The data generated by this study contribute to our understanding of children at host destinations and the use of art-based methods.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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