n. Travel that includes tours of or accommodations in slums or dangerous urban neighborhoods.
Other Forms
Middle-aged, middle-class and not especially trendy, we represent the cutting edge of tourism, at least according to a report on world travel trends unveiled in London recently at World Travel Market, the flagship trade fair of international tourism. According to Euromonitor International, "safe-danger" or "controlled-edge" experiences represent a hot new growth area in travel. The thinking: Tourists jaded with the soft adventure of bungee jumping and whitewater rafting will instead line up to tour violent fringe communities, or traipse through former combat zones and chat with child soldiers.

This expanding niche — dubbed "poorism" by some media outlets — sparks questions.
—Shawn Blore, “And on your left, note the poverty,” The Globe and Mail, January 20, 2007
Dear Travel Doctor: I heard about something called "slum tourism." Is it a good or bad thing? — Ethi Cal

Dear Ethi: Probably a little of both. An agency called Salam Balak Trust that works with street children in Delhi, India, charges $4.50 to take visitors on a 2-hour tour of the Delhi slums and railway station.

Critics call it "poorism" — exploitation by voyeuristic travelers. Defenders say they are only trying to educate western tourists to the plight of the poor.
—Ellen Creager, “Weight your suitcase before you check it,” Detroit Free Press, August 20, 2006
2004 (earliest)
Meet the 'poorists' — tourists paying to stay in indigenous huts for an authentic experience. The latest example of this trend is in Soweto …

"Thank God," said my friend Fred. "How much is it?" "250 rand a night," said Neo. Fred snorted. That's the same as the B&B with its comfortable bed, a bathroom and Neo cooking the fat cakes (sugarless doughnuts), yoghurt and eggs.

"Yes," said Neo. "But you can fit eight people in there." The shack is eight feet square. "It's real Soweto." And so we discovered the latest example of "poorism" — the vogue in tourism for charging good money to live in rudimentary "indigenous" accommodation.
—Charlotte Eagar, “Shacked up with poverty,” The Evening Standard, November 19, 2004
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