Community Benefit from Tourism: Myth or Reality A Case Study of the Soshanguve TownshipAcha-Anyi Paul Nkemngu*
Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
- *Corresponding Author:
- Acha-Anyi Paul Nkemngu
Department of Tourism Management
Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
E-mail: [email protected]; or [email protected]
Received Date: July 20, 2012; Accepted Date: October 27, 2012; Published Date: October 31, 2012
Citation: Paul Nkemngu AA (2012) Community Benefit from Tourism: Myth or Reality A Case Study of the Soshanguve Township. J Tourism Hospit 1:105. doi: 10.4172/2167-0269.1000105
Copyright: © 2012 Paul Nkemngu AA. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Community participation and benefit from tourism ventures is generally regarded as the cornerstone of sustainable tourism. Hence, the gains from tourism have been heralded as instrumental in the fight against poverty and helping to uplift disadvantaged communities through the provision of access to economic and social benefits. Paradoxically, tourism literature equally alludes to instances in which tourism has stripped local communities of their natural resources, desecrated their cultural heritage and degraded their social structures.
This study assesses the perceptions of the residents of the Soshanguve community, a township in the outskirts of Pretoria, with regards to the contribution of tourism to the development of their community. The impact variables considered are economic, socio-cultural and environmental, while investigating the effect, if any, that community attachment has on the perceptions of the community members.
The quantitative research method was employed through the use of a questionnaire to collect data from community members with some interest in tourism. Results reveal that most community members do not perceive tourism to have contributed significantly to the development of their community. Also noticeable from the results is the negative co-relation between community attachment of the respondents and the perception that tourism has failed to contribute to a better quality of life for community members.
This research has far-reaching implications for tourism sustainability as the local communities are major stakeholders in tourism development. It also points to the necessity to prepare communities well in advance of tourism development. Tourism planners and developers should adopt a bottom-top approach rather than the reverse. With many tourists seeking the local experience and desiring to have close contact with the local people, it has become an imperative for local people to be involved in tourism development from the planning stage. Tourism education among community members should begin as soon the idea to include tourism in the strategic development plan is conceived. This calls for effective stakeholder participation in the tourism planning and development process.