Touring mines and mining tourists

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Potosí, a colonial city in the highlands of Bolivia, was once the glory of the Spanish empire, with the richest mines in South America. The city's working silver mines, established in 1545, are a distinctive tourism attraction. Unlike in many other mining communities, tourists in Potosí visit actual operations rather than museums or restored mines. Tourism provides an oppurtunity for Quechua miners to present their own narratives, emphasizing the tragedy of Spanish conquest. This article examines tourist-local interactions in Potosí, and especially the use of tourism as a vehicle for narrating an indigenous discourse, while also comparing these mine tours with similar operations in other parts of the world. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Annals of Tourism Research

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