Lia Tavarez

Document Type



To what extent does tourism impact cultural identity? For many developing countries, tourism contributes to both economic growth and infrastructure development. This reliance on tourism has led to nation branding, or the act of applying “corporate branding techniques to countries'' (Council of Foreign Relations 2007). Through nation branding, countries can create a favorable national image and attract both foreign investors and international tourists. However, there is little scholarship about how the process of nation branding to increase tourism affects communities, especially their cultural identity. This research asks: what effect does tourism—especially when closely tied to a nation branding project—have on cultural identity? This paper argues that tourism as a form of development has negatively impacted the cultural identity of Yanque, a small town in Peru because their identity is manipulated and defined from “above” through the national branding strategies. I identify three negative impacts on cultural identity: 1) members of the community are marginalized; 2) culture is essentialized and commodified, and 3) traditions, customs, and values are negatively impacted.