Volume: 32, No: 1, Year: 2007  

Harnessing Tourism as a Means of Poverty Alleviation: Using the Right Language or Achieving Outcomes?


Scarcely considered before the turn of the century, the concept of pro-poor tourism, or harnessing tourism as a means of poverty alleviation, is now familiar and widespread on the global development agenda. The hypothesis that one of the world's largest sectors tourism can share in the responsibility of resolving one of the world's greatest challenges - poverty is extolled under varying banners. Yet, what do we understand of the notion that is pro-poor tourism? How is it explicated and executed, by whom, and to what effect? This paper explores the evolution of pro-poor tourism and its contemporaries, and examines its recent yet ostensibly warm reception by national and international development agencies. It then provides details of two case studies in an effort to determine whether pro-poor tourism is about adopting the right language or achieving outcomes.

Keywords: poverty alleviation; pro-poor tourism; sustainable tourism.

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