A Conceptualisation of Alternative Forms of Tourism in Relation to Community Development

Andrea Giampiccoli, Melville Saayman


Tourism development is promoted as a tool for poverty alleviation and community development. Global and local tourism remain within the current hegemonic neoliberal milieu. Different forms (terminologies) of alternative tourism development approaches have been proposed; however, their positioning in relation to neoliberal mainstream tourism has been questioned. The paper aims to compare different forms of alternative tourism development in relation to neoliberalism and community development, specifically by contrasting community-based tourism (CBT) with ecotourism (ET), responsible tourism (RT), pro-poor tourism (PPT) and fair trade tourism (FTT). The paper argues that while CBT’s origin, as well as its development, is to promote a break with neoliberalism and facilitate holistic community development, its actual meaning and operations have been re-shaped and co-opted by neoliberalism. On the other side, the origin and development of ET, RT, PPT and FTT have been in accordance with a neoliberal approach to tourism development; therefore, they are not meant to change the modus operandi of the tourism sector. It is argued that the original conceptualisation and practices of CBT should be the proper strategies to facilitate holistic community development and restructure the tourism industry in a more just and equitable manner. For ET, RT, PPT and FTT to practice what they have proposed to do, it is suggested that they should be integrated within CBT’s original approach.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n27p1667

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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