E.g., 06/29/2024
E.g., 06/29/2024
Heritage Tourism and Nostalgia Trade: A Diaspora Niche in the Development Landscape
September 2010

Heritage Tourism and Nostalgia Trade: A Diaspora Niche in the Development Landscape

Diaspora populations can play an important role for less-developed countries as bridges to broader markets, through the promotion of trade and tourism in their countries of origin. In general, poorer countries benefit less than others from the comparative advantages that come with international trade in goods and services. As these countries are typically inadequately integrated into the global economy, this opportunity for expansion is seen as key to economic progress.

As part of a series examining the role of diasporas in developing policy, this report explores how nostalgia trade and heritage tourism can involve diaspora populations in transactions that ease the integration of their homeland economies, while helping maintain their ties to their countries of origin or ancestry. Diaspora tourism includes medical, business-related, heritage (or “roots”), and education tourism; and exposure or “birthright” tours, VIP tours, and peak experience tours. Each of these forms has the potential to contribute to development, by attracting diaspora investors, volunteers, philanthropists, or consumers. Tourists from the diaspora are also more likely than most international tourists to have or make connections with the local economy, and migrant households are regular and heavy consumers of home-country “nostalgia” goods. Ample opportunities are available for donors, home-country governments, and diasporas to partner in the development of nostalgia trade and diaspora tourism.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

II. Diaspora Tourism

A. Forms of Diaspora Tourism

B. Can Tourism Create a Diaspora Identity?

C. How Do Governments Promote Diaspora Tourism?

D. Civil-Society Engagement in Diaspora Tourism and Development

E. Challenges for Diaspora Tourism

III. Nostalgia Trade

A. Moving Beyond the Diaspora Niche Market

B. The Value-Chain Approach

IV. Policy Options and Conclusions