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Cultural heritage routes in South Africa: Effective tools for heritage conservation and local economic development?


  • Jeanette Snowball
  • Sinead Courtney


Protecting cultural heritage is a challenge for developing countries, particularly where heritage sites are widely spread in rural areas and may not include impressive buildings and monuments. A potential solution adopted by a growing number of these countries is to link small sites of mainly local significance into a cultural heritage route and market them as a package while also improving the management and conservation of heritage assets. The tourism potential of such routes is often emphasised in local economic development (LED) strategies, envisaged as providing revenue-generating opportunities for conserving heritage assets. This paper explores the potential for economic development and heritage conservation of the Liberation Heritage Route in South Africa. This project may have non-market value in protecting cultural capital, but financial and other LED benefits are unlikely to be forthcoming in the short run, which could jeopardise the sustainability of the heritage protection.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeanette Snowball & Sinead Courtney, 2010. "Cultural heritage routes in South Africa: Effective tools for heritage conservation and local economic development?," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(4), pages 563-576.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:27:y:2010:i:4:p:563-576
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2010.508589

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    Cited by:

    1. Rogerson Christian M., 2014. "Rethinking slum tourism: tourism in South Africa’s rural slumlands," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, De Gruyter Open, vol. 26(26), pages 1-16, December.
    2. Merwe Clinton David van der, 2016. "Tourist guides’ perceptions of cultural heritage tourism in South Africa," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, De Gruyter Open, vol. 34(34), pages 117-130, December.
    3. Jen D. Snowball, 2013. "The economic, social and cultural impact of cultural heritage: methods and examples," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage, chapter 22, pages i-i Edward Elgar Publishing.


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