Assessing the contribution of rural tourism to local economic development as a strategy for poverty alleviation: a case study on the Ukhahlamba district –Senqu municipality in South Africa
Qongo, Siyabonga Christopher
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Tourism is one of the many external forces influencing the direction and options for local economic development. A truly legitimate and practical discussion on tourism development must take place in and with the communities that are being influenced by tourist industry development. The tourism sector is the fourth largest generator of foreign exchange in South Africa and lies third, after manufacturing (24.4%) and mining and quarrying (8.6%), in its contribution to the economy, at 8.2%, but poverty and unemployment still persist, especially in rural areas. In line with the conceptual and theoretical framework derived from both demand and supply factors, this research was conducted to explore and develop a conceptual framework to examine how prices are established in local markets for tourism andassess the level of community participation in the tourism business ventures at Senqu Local Municipality in South Africa. Both quantitative and qualitative methods of research have been applied throughout the study. The views of the community on their socio- economic conditions and their willingness to participate in tourism business ventures were also sought. The findings of the study lead to the conclusion that the socio-economic living conditions of the community of SLM are very poor and that empowerment and participation of the community could be an answer to alleviation thereof and provide a contribution to local economic development.