If you're a wealthy person who has ever wanted to live in a poverty-ridden shanty town for just a little while, your dream can now come true.
The Emoya Luxury Hotel and Spa is located in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State Province of South Africa.
As part of the hotel and spa, guests can live in a fake shanty town (Makhukhu Village) and pretend to be poor “within the safe environment of a private game reserve.”
But the faux shanty town will still provide guests with water, electricity, heating and Wi-Fi, notes CrooksandLiars.com.
According to the Emoya Luxury Hotel and Spa's website:
A Shanty usually consists of old corrugated iron sheets or any other waterproof material which is constructed in such a way to form a small 'house' or shelter where they make a normal living.
A paraffin lamp, candles, a battery operated radio, an outside toilet (also referred to as a long drop) and a drum where they make fire for cooking is normally part of this lifestyle.
This practice of poverty tourism is also called "poorism."
According to SmithsonianMag.com, there have been poverty tours in Mumbai, India and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as far back as 2007:
The Dharavi squatter settlement in Mumbai is often described as the biggest slum in Asia... There is no discernible garbage pickup, and only one toilet for every 1,440 people. It is a vision of urban hell... It is also one of India's newest tourist attractions.
...For years, tour operators have been escorting foreign visitors through Rio de Janeiro's infamous favelas, with their drug gangs and ocean views, and the vast townships outside Cape Town and Johannesburg, where tourists are invited to mix with South Africans at one of the illicit beer halls known as shebeens.
Faktum Hotels offers guests a chance to book beds where homeless people live in Gothenburg, Sweden. According to the hotel's website, "...the money goes to our work for homeless and socially vulnerable people."
Vayable.com offers people a chance to be homeless for the night in the Tenderloin District, the homeless part of San Francisco. The cost is $100, which goes to Milton Aparicio, who lives in a homeless shelter, but gives homeless tours to guests.
Sources: Vayable.com, CrooksandLiars.com, Emoya.co.za, FatkumHotels.com, SmithsonianMag.com