Unpacking tourism SMMEs in South Africa: Structure, support needs and policy response

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81 Citations (Scopus)


Small enterprise (SMME) support policy in post-apartheid South Africa has traditionally involved support initiatives in the form of 'generic' packages that overlook the specificities of particular sectors. In this article the specific issues concerning SMME development in tourism are investigated. Against a backcloth of a review of international scholarship on tourism small firms, the article presents findings from recent empirical investigations into the progress and problems of tourism SMME development in South Africa. Within the international scholarship and policy debates on tourism, it is argued that the South African experience is particularly distinctive in two respects: (1) the support of particular groups of tourism SMMEs linked to objectives of transformation and (2) the introduction of dedicated tourism-specific support programmes for SMME development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-642
Number of pages20
JournalDevelopment Southern Africa
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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