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Developing Tourism in Africa: Issues for Policy Consideration

Report introduction
In 1973, Robert Erbes put forward the view that “Everything seems to suggest that developing countries look upon tourism consumption as manna nom heaven that can provide a solution to all their foreign settlement difficulties” (1973:1). To some degree, this description of tourism as “manna from heaven” has gained some support, in part because tourism is a highly visible activity. Critics might conversely argue that the statement is rather absurd, if not over-simplistic, given the well-recognised weaknesses of tourism as a viable development strategy for less developed countries.

Whatever : the outcome of this particular debate, Erbes’ statement and research since then (see de Kadt, 1979; Jenkins, 1994; Sinclair, 1998) have focused attention on the far-reaching implications of tourism (for example, its strengths and limitations) as being a means of assisting in the process of development.

In the context of this paper, development is defined as an improvement of both the economic opportunity and social life in a country and society. Issues refer to the challenges and opportunities associated with the process of developing tourism. Policy
consideration relates to strategic development scenarios to overcome the “areas of concern” through a prioritisation to formulate a tourism policy. First, the paper briefly reviews the general principles of tourism development and considers Africa’s place in
the international tourism market and considers tourism’s significance in some African countries. Second, the paper presents the problem statement by identifying and analysing the main development issues. Finally, parameters for policy for the tourism
sector in the region are suggested.

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By Peter U.C. DIEKE

This article is quoted from Tourism ROI Newsletter published on 2010-04-09.
This article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Africa, Best practice, Performance and management, Policy, Sustainability.

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