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Community-based tourism as a sustainable solution to maximise impacts locally? The Tsiseb Conservancy case, Namibia


  • Renaud Lapeyre


Based on an in-depth field study in a rural area of Namibia, this article assesses the potential contribution of community-based tourism enterprises (CBTEs) to poverty alleviation and empowerment. It shows that tourism income captured locally improves rural households' livelihoods and generates linkages in the local economy. On the job learning, training sessions and extensive support by non-governmental organisations and donors are further shown to empower rural actors and unlock socioeconomic opportunities for the future. In this context, CBTEs can be characterised as pro-poor initiatives. However, this article provides counter evidence that the sustainability of such community tourism ventures is to be questioned. First, mainstreaming these projects within the competitive tourism commodity chain proves highly challenging and costly; second, communities' institutional and managerial capacity is weak and thus CBTEs' viability is limited; finally, inadequate support by donors and non-governmental organisations fails to tackle challenges faced by community tourism ventures.

Suggested Citation

  • Renaud Lapeyre, 2010. "Community-based tourism as a sustainable solution to maximise impacts locally? The Tsiseb Conservancy case, Namibia," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(5), pages 757-772.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:27:y:2010:i:5:p:757-772
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2010.522837

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    Cited by:

    1. Coria, Jessica & Calfucura, Enrique, 2012. "Ecotourism and the development of indigenous communities: The good, the bad, and the ugly," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 47-55.
    2. Wood, Apanie L. & Butler, James R.A. & Sheaves, Marcus & Wani, Jacob, 2013. "Sport fisheries: Opportunities and challenges for diversifying coastal livelihoods in the Pacific," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 305-314.
    3. repec:eee:touman:v:54:y:2016:i:c:p:513-523 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:endesu:v:20:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9896-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:touman:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:102-116 is not listed on IDEAS


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