Resort Gives Guests a Slum Experience

December 14, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. firsthand [FURST-HAND] (adv.) – based on direct experience
Example: He knew firsthand how being poor feels like because he has already experienced it.

2. slum [sluhm] (n.) – a place where most poor people live
Example: Many poor people live in the slums.

3. impoverished [im-POV-er-isht, -POV-risht] (adj.) – characterized by poverty
Example: People in impoverished areas often experience severe hunger.

4. corrugated [KAWR-uh-git-d, -geyt-d, KOR-] (adj.) – wrinkled or wavy on the surface
Example: The corrugated roof folds when the wind is very strong.

5. taste [teyst] (n.) – the state of liking something that is appealing
Example: Customers with good taste buy high quality items.


Read the text below.
A resort in South Africa offers guests a unique and new experience—to be able to know firsthand what it feels like living in a slum.

Emoya Luxury Hotel and Spa has opened a new attraction called the “Shanty Town,” which mirrors impoverished areas. This part of the resort can accommodate 52 visitors and includes rooms that cost $90 for every four persons.

According to the resort’s website, “Shanty Town” is best for team building and barbecue and theme parties as it gives guests a one of a kind experience.

 “Shanty Town” is composed of buildings constructed with corrugated iron sheets. It also has long-drop toilets and drum fires, giving guests an authentic slum experience. At 1am, guests can also witness and be thrilled by gang fights happening outside the buildings.

But while it looks like a slum area on the outside, this part of Emoya resort still provides safe and comfortable accommodation.  The buildings have underfloor heating system, shower rooms, and computer access.

However, the resort has received criticisms about its “Shanty Town.” Some people in the social media think this fake slum area shows poor taste. The cost of accommodation also seems questionable, according to online reviews.

Nonetheless, this type of tourism seems to be flourishing even in other parts of the world. In San Francisco, for example, a tourist can pay to become homeless for one day. A hotel in Sweden also allows its guests to sleep in areas where most of the homeless people usually stay.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Given the chance, would you stay at the “Shanty Town”? Why or why not?
·         Do you think building a fake slum area in a resort is good? Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         Slum tourism involves people visiting poor and impoverished places. Do you approve of this kind of tourism? Why or why not?
·         What do you think is the reason why slum tourism flourishes?


December 14, 2013