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A pro-poor tourism approach

Tourism research has attributed the absence or slow spread of economic prosperity from the more affluent cities, like Pretoria, to their less fortunate peripheral neighbours, like Soshanguve Township, to the absence of economic linkages between the two communities (Sandbrook, 2010). Such a nexus can only be enacted if local businesses in the township form part of the tourism supply chain. This connection will provide the enabling environment for the transfer of economic opportunities and cause pro-poor tourism to thrive. In this regard, pro-poor tourism has been described as the use of tourism as an instrument of poverty alleviation through job creation and income generation among poor communities (Ashley et al., 2000); the concept of pro-poor tourism has gained prominence around the world (Lacher and Nepal, 2010; Rogerson and Rogerson, 2010). Nonetheless, propoor tourism is not without its detractors, some of whom disagree on the use of the term itself, preferring the term ‘anti-poverty tourism’ (Zhao and Ritchie cited in Hall, 2007), while others see pro-poor tourism as just another form of neo-liberalization that fails to address the fundamental challenges of local people (Christian et al., 2011). In spite of these differences, this study takes the stance that maintaining the pro-poor tourism objective will be a strong motivation for the urban-rural tourism mix between the city of Pretoria and the Soshanguve community. Hence, this study undertook to find out the perceptions of visitors to the city of Pretoria regarding the attractiveness of the Soshanguve tourism product.

 
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