Slum tours are India’s most popular tourist destinations

Slum tourism is on the rise, and you better believe one of the largest slums in Asia is taking advantage of it.


June 26, 2019

Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards recognized the most popular tourist attraction in India for 2019, and it ain’t visiting the Taj Mahal.

Dharavi in Mumbai, one of the largest slums in Asia, was not only recognized as the top experience, it also ranked in the top 10 of “Travelers’ Choice Experiences” in all of Asia.

Why?

“Slum on in”

Slum tours are on the rise around the world, and the influx of visitors — and, more importantly, their cash — has helped prop up industries in the 533-acre shanty-clad craw of Dharavi.  

But, while it may be a tourist destination, it’s also important to remember the city is exactly that — a shanty town, scattered with open sewage piping and lined with dirty huts so warped they could be blown over by the faint breath of an angry pig. 

Thus, the debate continues…

Many support slum-tourism, leaning on the fact that it is good for business while also giving the visitor an authentic perspective of the area.

Of course, it’s understandable why some are uncomfortable with the whole “using poverty to sell a tourist attraction” thing.

According to Trip Savvy, Dharavi tour companies like “Mystical Mumbai” nicely thread the needle without being either depressing or exploitative.

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