Resort Development and Pathways in South Africa: Hermanus 1890–1994

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The evolution of resorts is a significant focus in tourism research and includes a number of important contributions made by geographers. International resort scholarship is dominated by research undertaken in Europe and especially of investigations about the rise and fall of seaside destinations in the United Kingdom. Currently, little scholarship exists on resort evolution in the global South including South Africa. The aim is to analyse the historical evolution of seaside resorts in South Africa using the example of Hermanus in the Western Cape. It is shown that Hermanus represents one of several South African resort destinations that emerged during the late nineteenth century and became established in the twentieth century. Applying a chronological approach, the development pathway of Hermanus as a resort is examined in relation to wider themes and issues relating to the history and development of tourism in South Africa. It is demonstrated that the tourism pathway of this resort shifted over time. Most importantly, during the 1980s Hermanus was re-invented from a resort economy simply based on sea, sand and attractive natural scenery to become an ecotourism destination centred around the return of whales to the resort’s coastline, making it one of the best land-based whale-watching sites in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeographies of Tourism and Global Change
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameGeographies of Tourism and Global Change
ISSN (Print)2366-5610
ISSN (Electronic)2366-5629


  • Ecotourism
  • Hermanus
  • Historical evolution
  • Resort development
  • Seaside

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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