‘In-Between’ Rural Tourism: Rethinking Rural Tourism Spaces for Policy Development in South Africa

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Rural tourism is the focus of major international scholarship. This paper contributes to policy debates about rural tourism in the Global South using the example of South Africa. Specifically, it points to a need for rethinking of rural tourism spaces for policy development in South Africa. Arguably, ‘rural spaces’ cannot be viewed homogeneously simply as places outside of cities; instead rural tourism spaces must be unpacked and differentiated. The South African case is of special interest in Global South scholarship because national government launched initiatives to prepare an appropriate rural tourism policy. It is argued that a spatially differentiated approach to rural tourism policy is useful and recommends as a starting point drawing upon best practice international research which identifies (at least) three different categories of rural space, namely fringe, exotic/remote and in-between rural spaces. Insight is provided of two examples of ‘in-between’ rural spaces in South Africa, namely Greater Giyani Local Municipality in Limpopo and Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality in Eastern Cape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394-1413
Number of pages20
JournalAfrican Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Rural tourism policy
  • Rural tourism spaces
  • South Africa
  • ‘In-between’ rural spaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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