Indigenous Therapeutic Tourism: Challenges, Emerging Trends, and Sustainability

Fernanda A. FerreiraSchool of Hospitality and Tourism of P.PORTO; CiTUR; UNIAG

Márcio AbellaInstituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Sergipe

Flaviano FônsecaInstituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Sergipe

Jorgenaldo SantosInstituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Sergipe


A healthy, harmonious, proactive, and happy life is not just desirable; it is a fundamental human aspiration in our increasingly threatened contemporary world. This social research, applied to tourism, focuses on the indigenous peoples of Aldeia Fulkaxó in the state of Sergipe, Brazil, conducted between 2022 and 2023. The primary objective of this study is to explore the healing ceremonies and rituals practiced by this indigenous community, which constitute a complex, systemic, and transdisciplinary phenomenon. The research aims to identify and assess the integrative and complementary aspects of the health practices of these indigenous peoples and their impact on governance. The methodology employed is exploratory and involves a review of the state of the art in this field from 2003 to 2023. Qualitative research methods are also utilized, including audiovisual ethnography and field diaries. This approach reveals the challenges and possibilities of indigenous phytotherapeutic processes as ethnocultural tourist attractions. We observe their annual retreats offered to both national and international groups. Preliminary findings indicate a growing demand for tourist experiences that immerse individuals in nature and the indigenous way of life, with a particular emphasis on therapeutic benefits. Furthermore, this study highlights the sociocultural emergence of therapeutic tourism as an innovative product within the realm of health and well-being, with a specific focus on addressing issues such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

Keywords: Therapeutic Tourism, Indigenous Communities, Health Tourism, Well-being

Cite: Ferreira, F. A., Abella, M., Fônseca, F., & Santos, J. (2024, March). Indigenous Therapeutic Tourism: Challenges, Emerging Trends, and Sustainability. In International Conference on Tourism Research (Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 11-18).

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