Pro-poor local economic development in South Africa: The role of pro-poor tourism

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145 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes features of the emerging nexus in South Africa between tourism, poverty alleviation and local economic development (LED) interventions. The South African experience of evolving a strong pro-poor focus in LED planning is distinctive in the international context of writings on LED. Pro-poor LED is increasingly the outcome of the application of measures and programmes that are linked to the approach of pro-poor tourism in both rural and urban areas of South Africa. Two studies are presented of Alexandra township, Johannesburg and the Madikwe Game Reserve in North West Province as examples of pro-poor tourism as a form of pro-poor LED. It is argued that the growth of pro-poor tourism initiatives in South Africa suggests that the country is currently a laboratory for the testing and evolution of new approaches towards the planning of LED that potentially will have relevance for other countries in the developing world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-60
Number of pages24
JournalLocal Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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