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Strategies, Impacts and Costs of Pro-Poor Tourism Approaches in South Africa

Working papers

This paper describes strategies devised by five private sector tourism enterprises in South Africa to address poverty and development issues in neighbouring communities. The enterprises include land-based safari operations, a diving operation, and a large casino-golf resort. Each of the enterprises had been assessed against a number of the country’s national Responsible Tourism Guidelines – in relation to economic, social, and environmental impacts. This report details a selection of findings that directly correspond to pro-poor tourism (PPT) – those that relate to providing net benefits to the poor. Both economic and non-economic impacts are discussed.

This paper also reports on the perceptions of the private sector strategies from four of the neighbouring communities, based on a large number of interviews. The range of strategies employed by the private sector, their effectiveness, and the extent to which they address the key problems and constraints faced by the poor are discussed in detail. In this fashion, the paper empirically evaluates the impact that PPT strategies have on the livelihoods of the rural poor.

Anna Spenceley and Jennifer Seif