The Evolution of Rural Tourism in South Africa: An Historical Lens

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper utilises archival research to provide a glimpse into the historical development of rural tourism in South Africa. It points to the minimal focus on historical studies in international scholarship on rural tourism. The analysis demonstrates rural tourism in South Africa is not a new phenomenon with a recorded history going back as far as the late 19th century. Different rural spaces are shown to be associated with different niche products of rural South Africa. The earliest forms of rural tourism were promoted to both groups of domestic and international visitors. Arguably, the evolutionary pathway of rural tourism in South Africa is different to that which has been documented in the Global North. Overall, the paper represents a contribution to the limited international literature on rural tourism in its historical aspects as well as to evolving rural tourism scholarship in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1728-1740
Number of pages13
JournalAfrican Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Archival approach
  • Historical tourism
  • Rural south africa
  • Rural tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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