Nature-based tourism and poverty alleviation: Impacts of private sector and parastatal enterprises in and around Kruger National Park, South Africa
Current Issues in Tourism
International Centre for Responsible Tourism, South Africa; Transboundary Protected Areas Research Initiative, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag X3, 2050 Wits, South Africa; International Centre for Responsible Tourism, University of Greenwich, Greenwich, United Kingdom
International programmes and national policies around the world have identified tourism as an appropriate mechanism for sustainable development, poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation. To evaluate the impact of nature-based tourism on the poor, socio-economic assessments were undertaken at enterprises based within South African protected areas. Comparisons were made between local economic interventions reported by enterprises and neighbouring community member's perceptions of their initiatives. Socioeconomic impacts evaluated included employment, gender equality, procurement, corporate social responsibility, dependency on tourism and access to markets. The studies demonstrate that isolated efforts from individual tourism companies have little tangible impact on the majority of people living in highly populated rural communities but impacts are substantial for the few people who directly benefit. Implications of these findings for future socio-economic initiatives through tourism, and options to increase net benefits to the poor are explored. © 2007 A. Spenceley and H. Goodwin.
accessibility; biodiversity; economic impact; ecotourism; poverty alleviation; private sector; protected area; socioeconomic conditions; socioeconomic impact; state owned enterprise; sustainable development; Africa; Kruger National Park; South Africa; Southern Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa