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University of Zululand (2011)

Rural tourism as a mechanism for poverty alleviation in KwaZulu-Natal : the case of Bergville

Mthembu, Barney M.J.

Titre : Rural tourism as a mechanism for poverty alleviation in KwaZulu-Natal : the case of Bergville

Auteur : Mthembu, Barney M.J.

Université de soutenance : University of Zululand

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Recreation and Tourism, 2011

Résumé partiel
Large numbers of rural people in South Africa are stuck in a poverty trap that is characterised by extreme poverty to an extent that it is difficult to meet the evergreen challenges of the lack of infrastructure, the prevalence of diseases and the problem of hunger. These challenges, in turn, hamper economic growth and sometimes promote rural depopulation (Sachs, McAuthur, Schmidt-Traub, Kruk, Bahadur, Faye & McCord 2004:3). The irony of the whole situation is that the countryside still remains a tourism paradise which offers a variety of attractions including scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, a kaleidoscope of traditions, cultures, and an array of opportunities to explore the outdoors through sporting and adventure activities. As a result of this situation, concerned academics such as Bennet & George (2004:4) contend that there is inadequate information about the contribution of the rural tourism assets to the socio-economic conditions of the local people especially the alleviation of poverty. Similarly, scholars like Brown (2000) and Meyer (2006) insist that tourism development planners must change their focus from the enclave development of resorts which is characterised by exclusion of linkages to the local poor rural areas. The danger of such approaches to tourism development is that they undermine the role that the tourism industry can play in poverty alleviation. On basis of this background, this study was undertaken with an aim to analyse the direct and indirect livelihood impacts of tourism and their implications on poverty alleviation in Bergville. The analysis focused on tourism resources, contribution to job opportunities, entrepreneurial skills development, increased income generation and livelihood impacts. These focus areas were informed by a five-fold general research objectives which are :  To identify the resources that can be used for rural tourism development in Bergville. To establish the extent to which rural tourism development can contribute positively to job opportunities, entrepreneurial skills development and increased income generation in Bergville.  To find out the perceptions of Bergville residents relating to rural tourism development as a mechanism for economic development in their area.  To identify the existing management practices or strategies perceived as contributing to the improvement of the quality of livelihoods in the study area.  To propose an integrated development model that would contribute to job creation and thus result in poverty alleviation in Bergville. The survey approach was used to address the research question. A particular research methodology was used to capture the complexity of local perceptions towards tourism development. To cover a broader spectrum of the local community of the study area, three questionnaires were designed for the general public, the local business people as well as the local municipality employees

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