Yes it sounds sounds a little off right. I heard it on the radio this past week (last week of July 2017). My husband and I did a double take and we immediately turned to youtube and google to investigate. We watched one documentary where the people were in Brazil touring one of the “slums/favelas.” I have mixed feelings on this. People smiling and gawking might be weird. On the other side, people are venturing into the unseen/unpopular/untouched which means , as the program we watched put it, there is the recognition that these places and problems exist. There is so much to say about this. There is one concern and real at that, that with these tours, people do not give any money to the community. So essentially they visit, take some selfies, peer into some doorways (not even sure if they shop) and then they bounce.
My husband, who always presents the other view said that it is the same as driving/touring in beverly hills, etc and taking pictures. I pointed out that, we are gawking but no one is dealing with starvation, malnutrition, disease or being disadvantaged with no/lack of education or opportunity. Also they do not need our patronage.
So this is happening all over the globe. For me, I think this is the backpackers way. I mean they mesh into the area and stay where they can, slum, or not and usually see the real deal. I jumped around here a bit while writing but you get the gist.
If you have any thoughts or comments, please feel free to share.
Till then, safe travels!