Undertaken by the University of Johannesburg with financial support from FOSAF it is titled “An assessment of the Social & Economic Impacts of Tourism Development in Dullstroom.”
This mainly qualitative research captures the views and experiences of 16 local business owners and managers and 46 black employees, the latter who live in the neighbouring township of Sakhelwe. Unlike many other similar studies in SA it gives a valuable insight into the life stories and perspectives from social groups (predominantly black, female) in order to provide a platform to discuss critical issues concerning tourism and the consequences of its development.
Although the findings of the study reveal that tourism development in the Dullstroom area has had a profoundly positive impact on both the black and non-black community and that these benefits exceeded economic gains, it does warn that disadvantaged local communities might not be able identify with tourism. This is because they often view it as an exogenous development with benefits accruing to outsiders. In the Dullstroom area, a setting which may be potentially exposed to industrial encroachment such as mining it is therefore deemed essential to identify the benefits of tourism afforded local communities and that they are made fully aware of these benefits and the necessity of protecting the environment.
A total of 133 tourism businesses provided employment figures. These ranged from large eco-tourism destinations to small single cottage B&B’s. These reported that 1097 fulltime positions were attached to these businesses. Of these 84,3 % were black of whom 506 were female and 419 were male. In addition there were another 208 part-time positions attached to these businesses of which 80,3% were black.
To read the complete report please go to http://www.fosaf.co.za/tourist.
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