Climate change, tourism and local economic development in South Africa

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change is a major factor impacting upon local economic development futures. South Africa is one of the most vulnerable parts of the world in terms of projected climate change. This article examines issues around climate change impacts for South Africa’s tourism sector and in particular implications for local economic development. It is argued that, whilst tourism represents one of the main drivers of local economic development in small towns and peripheral areas, as a result of capacity and financial constraints municipalities often struggle to undertake effective tourism planning. Accordingly, capacity building for tourism practitioners and policy makers around climate change must become an essential component of the roll out of government tourism support programming to enable South African local governments to manage and sustain partnerships with the private sector, to ensure a deeper understanding of how municipalities can manage the tourism assets within their areas, and to maximise the opportunities of tourism for local economic development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-331
Number of pages10
JournalLocal Economy
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • South Africa
  • capacity building
  • climate change
  • local economic development
  • tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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