Africa’s Capital Cities: Tourism Research in Search of Capitalness

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Although African cities are significant tourism destinations scholarship on African tourism is rural biased. This paper centres on one aspect of the neglected urban tourism research agenda of Africa, namely the state of tourism research in Africa’s national capital cities. A review of extant research is conducted on tourism in Africa’s capital cities. It pinpoints an upturn of research over the past decade with a concentration of scholarly contributions on a small group of cities and with many capitals lacking any research on aspects of the local tourism industry. Prominent thematic foci in research on capital cities are tourism and planning related issues and the development and impacts of various forms of niche tourism, most commonly of heritage and culture. Only minimally represented in Africa literature is investigations of the role of ‘capitalness’ in defining and impacting the character of capital city tourism. Arguably, therefore, Africa’s capital cities provide the setting for examining a variety of issues in tourism and hospitality research albeit that ‘capital city tourism’ is scarcely evident in contemporary scholarship about urban Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-669
Number of pages16
JournalAfrican Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Capital cities
  • capitalness
  • urban tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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