There Is A Web3 Remedy For The Toxic Tourism Culture
The notion is one of the most admirable Web3 apps. Participating communities, like Cave Punan, will be able to work together to make NFT collections that tell the stories of the tangible and intangible things that make up their culture. Web3 community members will then be able to buy these collections. The company thinks this will give these communities more stable ways to make money and allow for a more respectful and fair exchange of cultures than the current tourist sector.
From a cave deep in the tropical lowland forests of Indonesian Borneo comes the sound of a single voice. The vocalist, a young man, called Marut, speaks of his lost invulnerability and laments that he no longer has the power to travel but still desires to see other lands. “I hope that is my fate,” he implores. “I request that my trip be fruitful.” Marut is a member of the Cave Punan, a group of hunter-gatherers living on an island whose land is being taken over by palm oil plantations. Few people were aware of the group’s existence until lately. Professor Stephen Lansing, a well-known anthropologist, heard stories in 2018 about a nomadic tribe of people who still lived as hunters and gatherers in the area. Since they learned about the outside world, the Cave Punan asked Lansing and other people to write about their culture and ways of life to bring attention to their situation.
“It seems to be a catastrophe, and they’re requesting assistance,” Lansing remarked to NFT today. They sang their plea for assistance in their mother’s cave.
Utilizing NFTs to safeguard cultural heritage
Lansing is the anthropological adviser and curator for Quantum Temple. This new NFT marketplace aims to connect collectors with communities worldwide and to make cultural items, rituals, and traditions last forever on the blockchain. Using technology, communities like Cave Punan mint their cultural history as NFTs to make a steady income and create a direct link to the outside world. This brings attention to communities that need help and ensures they will continue to exist.
Linda Adami, founder, and chief executive officer of Quantum Temple, stated to NFT today that the cultural tourism industry has fundamental structural difficulties, such as value mismatch and value extraction from the communities tourists visit.
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The livelihoods of the communities that comprise these industries have been fundamentally jeopardized. LINDA ADAMI
This mismatch of values is well documented. The World Tourism Organization of the United Nations estimates that for every 100 dollars visitors spend in a wealthy country, only around five dollars remain in the economy of a developing nation. Large multinational companies, which run a lot of Bali’s tourist infrastructure, take out the money that comes in almost as fast as it comes in.
“During the COVID-19 epidemic, this fragility was clear, and there was almost no [sector] resilience,” said Adami, who spent most of the pandemic in Bali and saw how tourism-dependent communities struggled to make ends meet. “The lives of the residents inside these industries were fundamentally jeopardized. Many were forced to return to farming to survive.”
As a Web3 testing ground, Bali.
The platform’s genesis drop, expected for late 2022, would contain ethnographic footage of rites, chants, and music from the Balinese villages that comprise the UNESCO World Heritage property that Lansing assisted the Indonesian government in securing in 2012.
In future NFT drops, actual collectible NFTs will be like handcrafted items from communities in the interior of Indonesia, like traditional genta and holy bells made by the Balinese Pande clan. People don’t usually bring much cash to these places because they are generally in remote areas. However, this has compelled organizations to decrease the quality of their products to sell them. Combining NFTs with tangible items might aid in preserving these communities’ artisanal practices.
Lansing said that the ceremonies, performances, and relics of the people who live on this world heritage site could be seen by tourists at Quantum Temple. “Many of these settlements are located inside Jatiluwih’s interior, where they are difficult to visit.” Second, [the platform] allows these groups to get acknowledgment for their intellectual property. I was interested in the idea of giving many benefits to the people who make cultural items in these communities and the communities themselves.
Other planned drops include cultural experience NFTs, in which communities cooperating with Quantum Temple assist in arranging tour groups to come and experience rituals and surroundings selected by the tour group. This includes the Melukat water cleansing ceremony and Pura Tirta Empul water temple procedures.
Cultural fans may sign up for the two-tiered Cosmic Egg Membership NFT waitlist at Quantum Temple. This NFT allows the bearer access to the marketplace on the platform. Half of the value of a Cosmic Egg Membership will be donated to the company’s Impact Fund to benefit communities, and members will also get governance votes for fund-related decisions. Access to official Quantum Temple in-person events, token-gated content, the community, early access to future NFT drops, airdrops, and incentives are also perks.
“Quantum Temple provides them a voice of their own.” DR. STEPHEN LANSING
Quantum Temple gives the same amount of money to local communities from the first and second sales of its NFTs. This implies that the corporation and these communities will get 40% of direct sales for cultural heritage NFTs (intangible cultural artifacts) and 45% for cultural relics and experience NFTs. The remaining 20% and 10% will be given to those who record and document the NFTs and to curators like Lansing. The rest will go into the Impact Fund so that the Quantum Temple community can use it in the future. The company’s progressive royalty policy for secondary sales begins at 10 percent and drops to 2.5 percent as the value of the NFTs increases.
The team will examine prospective community members to verify that their intentions correspond with the company’s cultural purpose.
Adami said, “We are deliberate about community building.” “We want to ensure that the members are long-term and connected to the organization’s vision and mission: cultural heritage, cultural anthropology, sustainable regenerative travel and tourism, regenerative finance, social impact investment, etc.”
Integration of ancient civilizations with Web3
A mix of top-down and bottom-up involvement is used to get cultural groups to join the Quantum Temple platform. The team follows the UNESCO FPIC (free, prior, and informed consent) guidelines to include them.
“We begin with institutions, with a heavy emphasis on government ministries of culture and tourism, tourist boards, and local institutions engaged in the areas where we serve.” We are very clear on the available choices and how Quantum Temple follows local laws and rules. Then, we identify the local stakeholders and initiate community engagement. Then, we include them in co-creating the NFT collections.”
Then, communities have editorial control over what is added to the blockchain. Lansing, emphasizing the empowering character of this paradigm, stressed that this is the opposite of what media corporations, who seek photographic and video documentation of these communities’ actions, often resemble.
“Many film teams have visited me in Bali,” remembered Lansing. “However, they do not collaborate with the communities to arrange their filming.” Instead, they locate whatever they want, kill it, and flee. And the community has little influence over what is recorded. Furthermore, they have nothing to gain.”
Utilizing NFTs for cultural advocacy
Documenting culture with blockchain technology could help communities get the attention of international groups like UNESCO or local governments so they can be recognized for their social and cultural contributions. ICOMOS is a non-government organization that makes all decisions about World Heritage designation competitions, like the one in Bali. A significant portion of this decision-making process depends on consultant studies. The people living in villages whose historical status is in question have little say in the process.
“[These NFTs] provide individuals and groups the rights to their own intellectual property.” PROFESSOR STEPHEN LANSING
“Quantum Temple provides them a voice of their own,” said Lansing.
The Web3 philosophy of providing artists and communities with a direct path to their audience without requiring them to interact with intermediaries might significantly impact how these cultures present themselves to the world. Using an anthropological perspective, what has worked for artists in the Web3 environment on an individual level may function on a communal scale.
Lansing said, “[These NFTs] give people the right to their intellectual property, both as individual producers and as members of communities.” “I think that within a few years, if a government decides to petition for the acknowledgment of the intangible, exceptional universal worth of anything, it would likely do so using a system similar to Quantum Temple rather than relying only on studies written by experts who were paid to make reports.
As passengers and organizations examine their roles and responsibilities in the post-lockdown travel sector, groups such as Quantum Temple might bridge the gap between the desire to travel and the desire to do it ethically. They might make it easier for cultural groups and visitors to get to know each other better in ways that don’t hurt the host community.
“When we travel, we often have superficial encounters,” said Adami. “The growth of mindful travel carries with it the obligation of more profound knowledge and more significant links with host cultures, their places, and their histories.” Quantum Temple aspires to elevate ancestral communities’ voices, tales, and traditions and enable regenerative finance using blockchain applications. “And NFTs are the ideal mechanism to do this.”
People often confuse NFTs with art, but the technology can be used for much more than that. NFTs are a very flexible tool that can be used to pay for scientific research, buy a piece of NASA history, or change how professional skateboarders make a living. Despite scams and catastrophic cryptocurrency collapses, the technology may be used for good. Reversing the exploitative connection between the tourist industry and the cultural players it relies on is a cause we should enthusiastically support.