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Working with the Private Sector on Pro- Poor Tourism: Opinions and experience from two development practitioners


Tourism has not to date been a focus for development agencies but there is nevertheless a considerable amount of activity in the tourism sector that links private sector and development sector interests. This short note briefly explains this engagement and seeks to draw a few lessons that have been learnt about engaging with business from a pro-poor perspective. It draws, in particular, on two recent initiatives in the UK and Southern Africa that engage business and development interests: the first is the Sustainable Tourism Initiative, involving government, business and NGOs concerned with outbound tourism from the UK. The second is a new Southern African programme: ‘Pro-Poor Tourism: Pilots in Southern Africa’. While there has been activity around ‘community tourism’ and various eco/sustainable issues for some decades, this note also highlights experience of the propoor tourism team in seeking to put poverty issues more centrally on the agenda, and to engage with a wider range of livelihood issues than hitherto before.