The Tourism-Development Nexus in Namibia: A Study on National Tourism Policy and Local Tourism Enterprises' Policy Knowledge

Julia Jänis

Tutkimustuotos: OpinnäyteVäitöskirjaMonografia


The tourism–development nexus in southern Africa involves highly topical issues related to tourism planning, power relations, community participation, and natural resources. Namibia offers a particularly interesting context for the study of these issues due to its colonial legacy, vast tourism potential, recently adopted tourism policy and community-based approaches to tourism and natural resource management. This study is an interdisciplinary endeavour to analyse the role of tourism in Namibia’s post-apartheid transformation process by focusing on Namibian tourism policy and local tourism enterprises' policy knowledge. Major attention is paid to how the tourism policy's national development objectives are understood and conceptualised by the representatives of different tourism enterprises and the ways in which they relate to the practical needs of the enterprises. Through such local policy knowledge the study explores various opportunities, challenges and constraints related to the promotion of tourism as a development strategy.
The study utilises a political economy approach to tourism and development through three current and interrelated discourses which are relevant in the Namibian context. These are tourism, power and inequality, tourism and sustainable development, and tourism and poverty reduction. The qualitative research material was gathered in Namibia in 2006-2007 and 2008. This material consists of 34 semi-structured interviews in 16 tourism enterprises, including private trophy hunting farms and private lodges, small tour operators and community-based tourism enterprises. In addition, the research material consists of observations in the enterprises, and 37 informal and 23 expert interviews.
The findings indicate that in the light of local tourism enterprises the tourism policy objectives appear more complex and ambiguous. Furthermore, they involve multiple meanings and interpretations which reflect the socio-economic stratification of the informants and Namibian society, together with the professional stratification of the tourism enterprises and restrictions on the capacity of tourism to address the development objectives. In the light of such findings it is obvious that aspects of power and inequality affect the tourism–development nexus in Namibia.
The study concludes that, as in the case of other southern African countries, in order to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty, Namibia should not only target tourism growth but pay attention to who benefits from that growth and how. From a political economy point of view, it is important that prevailing structural challenges are addressed equally in the planning of tourism, development and natural resource management. Such approach would help the Namibian majority to enjoy the benefits of increasing tourism in the country.

Painoksen ISBN978-952-10-7135-5
Sähköinen ISBN978-952-10-7136-2
TilaJulkaistu - 2011
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG4 Tohtorinväitöskirja (monografia)


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