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

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dc.contributor.advisor Nzama, A.T.
dc.contributor.advisor Magi, L.M.
dc.contributor.author Mthembu, Barney M.J.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-15T07:49:57Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-15T07:49:57Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/1095
dc.description A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Recreation and Tourism, at the University of Zululand, South Africa, 2011. en_US
dc.description.abstract 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. Triangulation of sources of data and methods blending the qualitative and quantitative methods enabled the study to have the broad understanding of the role that tourism development can play to alleviate poverty. Because of time limitations, the study used the convenience sampling method where the respondents who happen to be available at prominent points such as farm stalls, shopping areas, and public places were targeted for the survey. The sample size which was based on the estimated number of the population of the study area was deemed to be adequate for the purpose of collecting information required to answer the research questions and to achieve the objectives of the study. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the respondents. The administration of the questionnaires took into consideration the objectives of the study, the sequence of questions, question structure as well as ethical considerations. The analysis of the data provided insight into various issues that relate to the objectives of the study. The researcher converted the raw data into a form that is suitable for analysis before it was subjected to statistical analysis. A series of univariate data presented in percentages, frequencies, tables and graphs gave an understanding of the data that is purely descriptive. The interpretation of the data concentrated on tourism resources, contribution to job opportunities, entrepreneurial skills development and generation of income, economic growth, perceptions on tourism development and management practices that contribute to the improvement of the livelihoods of the people of Bergville. The study concludes that the people are convinced that the resourcefulness and accessibility of Bergville can support tourism development. Similarly, the findings imply that rural tourism is seen as a very important and probably the most important factor for economic development. The largest percentages of people agree that tourism development can contribute positively to the creation of job opportunities, development of entrepreneurial skills and the generation of increased income. The study found that the people have both advocacy and cautionary views about tourism development in Bergville. Furthermore, the findings imply that people have mixed feelings about the contribution of existing management practices in improving the livelihoods of local people. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Zululand en_US
dc.subject Poverty alleviation en_US
dc.subject Tourism development en_US
dc.title Rural tourism as a mechanism for poverty alleviation in KwaZulu-Natal: the case of Bergville en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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