EuroEconomica, Vol 37, No 2 (2018)

Limits to Community Participation in Tourism: A Case Study of Amathole District Municipality, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Takalani Ramukumba


An approach to tourism development that emphasises the need for community participation in tourism planning is advocated as a pathway to sustainable tourism and poverty alleviation. However, it is argued that the community participation concept originated in the developed world and faces different and context-specific limitations when applied in developing countries. This paper examines the structural and operational limits to community involvement in tourism in the Amathole District Municipality, Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. The study adopted a quantitative research methodology using self-administered questionnaires as a data collection instrument. The study participants were members of the community working in the tourism industry and local community members who have an interest in tourism. Whilst the study main objective was to understand the barriers to community participation in tourism, it also thought to understand whether there were any differences in responses between those working in the tourism industry and those who do not work in the tourism industry. The results of the study indicated a significant difference in opinions regarding limits to community participation in tourism between those working and those not working in the tourism industry. This paper contributes further to the debate of barriers to community participation in tourism at a local level, which deprives community members of sharing in benefits of the tourism industry and highlights the barriers that needs to be eliminated if such benefits are to be accrued by community members.


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