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Tourism development in the SADC region: The opportunities and challenges


  • Robert Cleverdon


This article presents an assessment of recent tourism performance in the countries of the Southern African Development Community region, as well as an evaluation of future prospects. It examines growth rates and source markets in developing a profile of current tourism to the region. It identifies and assesses the current and probable future impact of a range of issues and problems, which are serving either to help or hinder tourism development. It suggests necessary actions for facilitating the accelerated development of tourism. The article also analyses the countries' tourism development policies and their competitive standing with other parts of Africa and other world regions from the market's viewpoint. It evaluates future growth prospects for the region by relating these various strands of analysis to the assessments made in the World Tourism Organization's Tourism 2020 vision study. The conclusion is one of qualified optimism: the natural and sociocultural resources of the region match the growing tastes of the international tourism market but, without concerted action to improve international access and tackle the major (real and imagined) threats to tourist safety prevailing in the region, growth rates will continue to be below their potential. The region's physical remoteness from the military theatre of action consequent to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States could well bring the countries of the SADC, and especially South Africa, some benefit from being perceived in tourist-generating markets as safe from these activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Cleverdon, 2002. "Tourism development in the SADC region: The opportunities and challenges," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 7-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:19:y:2002:i:1:p:7-28
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350220123873

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    Cited by:

    1. Willem A. Naudé & Andrea Saayman, 2005. "Determinants of Tourist Arrivals in Africa: A Panel Data Regression Analysis," Tourism Economics, , vol. 11(3), pages 365-391, September.
    2. Wamboye, Evelyn F. & Nyaronga, Peter John & Sergi, Bruno S., 2020. "What are the determinant of international tourism in Tanzania?," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 17(C).
    3. Johan Fourie & María Santana-Gallego, 2013. "The determinants of African tourism," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 347-366, September.

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