Tourism and local economic development: The case of the Highlands Meander

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68 Citations (Scopus)


Local economic development (LED) planning is of major policy importance in post-apartheid South Africa. Although issues surrounding LED have attracted considerable policy attention, one neglected theme has been the role of tourism as a lead sector for LED. The aim of this article is to examine the planning and workings of one tourism-led LED initiative in South Africa. The case study is that of the Highlands Meander in Mpumalanga province, where five towns are collaborating in their LED initiatives in order to promote the area's tourism products. A key finding is that this growing tourism initiative is currently not benefiting local black communities. Recommendations are offered for developing a pro-poor tourism initiative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-167
Number of pages25
JournalDevelopment Southern Africa
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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