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North-West University (2021)

Community-based tourism for sustainability : the entrepreneurial skills of the rural women in Southern Africa

Makandwa, Godfrey

Titre : Community-based tourism for sustainability : the entrepreneurial skills of the rural women in Southern Africa

Auteur : Makandwa, Godfrey

Université de soutenance : North-West University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Tourism Management 2021

Résumé
This study identified the entrepreneurship skills of the female entrepreneurs involved in community-based cultural tourism ventures in Southern Africa by examining their experiences in the development of the ventures. It argues that entrepreneurship skills influence the performance of community-based cultural tourism ventures and rural women‘s perspectives have been sidelined despite their experiences and active participation in rural tourism entrepreneurship. In Southern Africa, the focus has been on nature-based CBT with more emphasis on conservation and human-wildlife conflicts. The research was conducted in the Sengwe (Zimbabwe) and Makuleke (South Africa) communities between January and April 2019. These communities were chosen because of their proximity to national parks, involvement in the GLTP and availability of cultural tourism resources in their locality. A total of twenty-one research participants were chosen for the study using purposive and snowballing techniques. The data was gathered using semi-structured interviews, participant observations and informal conversations. The evidence from the study revealed that the dominant community-based cultural tourism ventures in the case communities were food operations, crafts and spiritual tourism. Most of these ventures were established between 1998 and 2002, are micro, owner-managed and employ not more than five people. The research into the female entrepreneurs‘ experiences has allowed for a better understanding of how the entrepreneurs develop their tourism products and services, interact with the tourists and other community members and balance the entrepreneurship tasks with household tasks and economic activities. Personal entrepreneurship skills and technical skills are the dominant entrepreneurship skills possessed by the female entrepreneurs involved in community-based cultural tourism entrepreneurship. These skills were largely shaped by local knowledge systems and participants‘ own experiences. The participants‘ narratives led the researcher to conclude that they lack management skills and these can be improved through conducting training and workshops. This thesis also contributes to the CBT literature by articulating possible ways in which community-based cultural tourism ventures influence household livelihoods and rural economies when aggregated. The recommendations cited in this study are meant to capacitate the female entrepreneurs involved in community-based cultural tourism entrepreneurship to improve venture performance and ensure that they derive meaningful benefits sustainably. Future research could focus on the tourists‘ perceptions and expectations of the quality of the tourism products and services offered in the case communities for the female entrepreneurs to tailor-make their offerings.

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