Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais

Micro realities transformedbytourism in São Miguel do Gostoso, Rio Grande do Norte/Brasil

Author: Esdras Matheus Silva Matias
Advisor: Aline Vieira de Carvalho
Coorientator: Benjamin OretizEspejel
Date of defense: 01/02/2017


Aline Vieira de Carvalho (presidente)

AleixAltimiras Martin

Flávia Luciane Consoni de Mello

Iara Lúcia Gomes Brasileiro

Bernadete Aparecida Caprioglio de Castro


Tourismisessentiallyaninterdisciplinaryareathat looks for support in othersciences for consolidationof its studies. In this study, we align Micro-History and the Theory of Complex Systems to understand the transformations of micro realities in the municipality of São Miguel do Gostoso, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Micro realities are stories of common people that translate and bring to light microscopic aspects of reality. The study¿s objective was to analyse how the sociocultural, environmental and economic context of a locality can be transformed by the phenomenon of tourism. As a methodological pillar, we opted to use qualitative research. Fifty-two semi-structured interviews were carried out with four groups of actors (owners of schools and water sports¿ clubs; constituents of the municipal public body; participants from associations, non-government organizations and/or committees; religious representation and local residents that are representative of local history). The fieldwork occurred between 2014 and 2016. In addition to this, direct observation of the participants, documental analysis and audio-visual material was also used. The study¿s results highlighted that relevant transformations occurred in the micro realities of those interviewed. The following two facts were important for the understanding of these changes; the emancipation of the municipality in 1993 and the arrival of the first kite surf school in 2000, which motivated nautical tourism. The most prominent impacts were the following: the stripping away of cultural traditions, an increase in real estate speculation and the cost of living, noise pollution, and problems with rubbish collection and the management of water resources. On the other hand, positive contributions were reported in relation to the plurality of cultures, environmental sensitization and education, the visibility of the city, political awareness, and socio-environmental engagement. It can be concluded that the macro-level related questions, like the public policies for tourism in the Northeast, were determinants in the reconfiguration of residents¿ micro realities. The socio-cultural, economic and environmental micro realities were transformed by the flow of tourism, thus defining tourism as the region¿s main economic activity; relocating the forces of work and promoting the municipality to the world