Publications: Poverty reduction, value chain linkages and inclusive tourism

Operational guidelines for community-based tourism in South Africa (2017)
Anna Spenceley, Andrew Rylance, Sadia Nanabhay and Heidi van der Watt

CBT Guidelines SA coverThese guidelines describe a step-by-step approach to developing a community-based tourism venture. They cover all stages of the process, from venture design to operation. The guide helps create an understanding of community-based tourism and provides basic guidance to help establish and operate commercially viable community-based tourism ventures in South Africa, in both urban and rural areas. The guide also provides examples of good practice; highlights the challenges to community-based tourism and provides links to more detailed resources.

The guidelines are the product of collaboration between the South African National Department of Tourism and the International Labour Organisation.

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Improving competitiveness of SMMEs through the Private Sector Development Program, Botswana: Tourism value chain analysis and action plan (2015)
Anna Spenceley, Andrew Rylance, and Simon Lloyd

Botswana VCA cover

This strategic value chain analysis and development (VCAD) of Botswana’s tourism sector was undertaken as part of a partnership between the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) and the International Trade Centre (ITC).  The objective of the study was is to identify bottlenecks and constraints in the sectors’ value chains, especially related to exports and Small, Micro and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMME), and to propose a strategy and roadmap to alleviate such constraints. The collaboration between CDE and ITC took place within the framework of Botswana’s Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

The objective of this analysis was to undertake a diagnostic of the tourism value chain in Botswana, with particular focus on options to strengthen the role of SMMEs. Responding to a specific request from the Botswana Tourism organization, this report includes a case study, the analysis considers the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector in Kasane, a Government priority area for tourism development.

This report presents a review of the structure and key trends in the tourism sector globally and regionally, and Botswana’s position in it, and also the sectors support network and policy environment. This is complemented by the mapping and description of the key components of the tourism value chain, based mainly on national statistics for the country, and primary data from Kasane using the ITC Opportunity Study Guidelines approach. An analysis of the competitive constraints in the value chain are reviewed, using the ITC Four Gear Framework, which includes a review of the existing support network. Subsequently, the report suggests a strategic vision and strategic objectives for the sector, a roadmap for implementation, and a number of suggested prioritized actions to realize the objectives.

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Tourism and Poverty Reduction: Principles and impacts in Less Developed Countries (2015)
Anna Spenceley and Dorothea Meyer (editors)


Over the past decade, there have been an increasing number of
publications that have analysed and critiqued Cover tourism and poverty reductionthe potential of tourism to be a mechanism for poverty reduction in less economically developed countries (LEDCs). This book showcases work by established and emerging researchers that provides new thinking and tests previously made assumptions, providing an essential guide for students, practitioners and academics.

This book advances our understanding of the changes and ways forward in the field of sustainable tourism development. Five main themes are illustrated throughout the book:

(1) Measuring impacts of tourism on poverty.
(2) The need to evaluate whether interventions that aim to reduce poverty are effective.
(3) How unbalanced power relations and weak governance can undermine efforts.
(4) The importance of the private sector’s use of pro-poor business practices.
(5) The value of using multidisciplinary and multi-method research approaches.

Furthermore, the book shows that academic research findings can be used practically in destinations, and how practitioners can benefit from sharing their experiences with academic scholars. This book was based on a special issue and various articles from the Routledge Journal of Sustainable Tourism (see below).

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Inclusive business case studies, on Spier Leisure, Phinda Private Game Researce, and Damaraland Camp (2014)
Andrew Rylance and Anna Spenceley 

Spier case study: Local procurement strengthens a hotel’s business base

Spier coverSpier Leisure, part of the Spier Group, is one of the oldest vineyard and farm estates in South Africa, with agricultural activities on the estate dating back to 1692. It operates the mid-priced 155-bed Spier Hotel and conference centre in the winelands of South Africa’s Western Cape. The operation includes accommodations, restaurants, con- ference facilities, a picnic area and a delicatessen. Spier continuously assesses its supply chains with the aim of sourcing as many of its products locally as possible.This case study demonstrates how a medium-sized company can re-structure its procurement activities to be more inclusive and locally sourced, in the process helping to ensure long-term financial sustainability.

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Phinda Private Game Reserve case study: Strong community partnership through long-term land leasing

Phinda coverAs a luxury tour operator active in 19 countries worldwide, andBeyond provides extraordinary experiential tours and operates 33 lodges in six countries across Africa and South Asia. One such destination, the Phinda Private Game Reserve, encompasses six lodges on rehabilitated land in rural South Africa.

Phinda represents a transitional partnership model in which the private-sector partner continues to operate, manage and market the reserve and its lodges, although a portion of the land and asset ownership has been transferred to the community. This case study demonstrates how this kind of partnership, together with philanthropic activities carried out by Phinda’s Africa Foundation, can strengthen an inclusive business approach.

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Damaraland case study: Creating luxury ecotourism with the local community

Damaraland coverWilderness Safaris has a joint-venture partnership with the Torra Conservancy, a community in Namibia, to operate Damaraland Camp, a luxury ecotourism enterprise. Wilderness Safaris pays lease fees to the Torra Conservancy, provides jobs for community members, uses local skills and materials in construction, and purchases local products and services.

As implemented, the model demonstrates that a joint-venture partnership can be profitable for both the private-sector operator and the community. Moreover, it illustrates that encouraging communities in remote locations to diversify their income streams can be important in order to reduce dependence on a single tourism operator for employment and business opportunities.

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Case studies on the impact of the International Labour Organisation’s Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) training (2013)
Andrew Rylance and Anna Spenceley 

The International Labour Organisation commissioned a series of case studies to highlight the impact of their Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) training program, and in particular on women in the sector (links below).

Living outside the fence: Opportunities for neighbouring communities to supply products and services to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve (2013)
Andrew Rylance and Anna Spenceley 

SSGR coverAn evaluation was undertaken to understand opportunities for stimulating local enterprise development within the tourism supply chain, linked to a private game reserve in South Africa, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which neighbours the Kruger National Park. The study focussed on understanding the market demand for local products and services from commercial lodges, and the current local supply from enterprises and entrepreneurs in local communities. This article quantifies the value of current procurement spend by lodges on local products and services and estimates their potential future expenditure. The study matches these responses with the availability of products and services in the neighbouring communities. It also provides insights into relationships between private lodges, game reserves and local communities in South Africa. It concurs with previous research on tourism supply chains in rural South Africa, and also makes recommendations for the development of local businesses with higher technical capacity development.

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Key sustainable tourism mechanisms for poverty reduction and local socioeconomic development in Africa (2012)
Susan Snyman and Anna Spenceley 

Increasing populations, together with the impact of climate change, are resulting in greater competition for land and a necessity for sustainable land use. Tourism can provide a flow of benefits from conservation to rural communities to reduce poverty and promote biodiversity conservation. Three key mechanisms of sustainable tourism to reduce poverty are discussed: employment, value chains and equity. These are based on primary data and a literature review. Case study examples from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are included to demonstrate the impact of tourism employment on household welfare. Common problem areas associated with community engagement are identified and ways to upscale benefits are put forward. Tourism is not a panacea, but it can certainly play an important role in poverty alleviation.

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High-end ecotourism’s role in assisting rural communities in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (2012)
 Anna Spenceley and Susan Snyman 

MDGs coverThis book chapter describes how tourism can reduce poverty through three main mechanisms: employment, value chain linkages, and equity. The paper describes findings of over 600 interviews conducted alongside Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and Liwonde National Park in Malawi. The chapter is published in  “Sustainable tourism & the millennium development goals: Effecting positive change”, edited by Kelly Bricker, Rosemary Black and Stuart Cottrell.

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Tourism and Poverty Reduction: Theory and Practice in Less Developed Countries (2012)
– Special Edition of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism
Anna Spenceley and Dorothea Meyer (editors)

JOST cover page The papers in this special issue advance our understanding of the changes and potential ways forward in the area of Tourism and Poverty Reduction. The papers included in the edition are as follows:

  • Tourism and poverty reduction: theory and practice in less economically developed countries; Anna Spenceley & Dorothea Meyer
  • Tourism and development at work: 15 years of tourism and poverty reduction within the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation; John Hummel & Rene van der Duim
  • Influenced and influential: the role of tour operators and development organisations in tourism and poverty reduction in Ecuador; Louise Mary Erskine & Dorothea Meyer
  • Blessing or curse? The political economy of tourism development in Tanzania; Fred Nelson
  • Tourism revenue sharing policy at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda: a policy arrangements approach; Wilber Manyisa Ahebwa, Rene van der Duim & Chris Sandbrook
  • The role of tourism employment in poverty reduction and community perceptions of conservation and tourism in southern Africa; Susan Lynne Snyman
  • Tourism and poverty alleviation in Fiji: comparing the impacts of small- and large-scale tourism enterprises; Regina Scheyvens & Matt Russell
  • A critical analysis of tourism, gender and poverty reduction; Hazel Tucker & Brenda Boonabaana
  • Value chain approaches to assessing the impact of tourism on low-income households in developing countries; Jonathan Mitchell
  • Tourism–agriculture linkages in rural South Africa: evidence from the accommodation sector; Christian M. Rogerson
  • Social enterprises in tourism: an exploratory study of operational models and success factors; Janina von der Weppen & Janet Cochrane

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Power in enterprise: Manual to strengthen the internal governance of community-based enterprise organizations (2011)
 Guiseppe Daconto, Straton Habyalimana, Sharad Gurupad Mahajan, Helen Ninsiima, Anna Spenceley and Ritah Tusabe

Power in enterprise coverThis manual is the product of a collaborative effort by teams of CARE International in Uganda and Rwanda, the International Gorilla Conservation Programme and Oxfam in Rwanda, with the precious collaboration from SNV Rwanda Office during the initial phase. The teams explored ways to handle internal governance challenges frequently experienced by small rural enterprise organizations. We wanted to identify methods that could help these organizations grow their capacity to take decisions towards meeting often complex bottom-lines (financial, social, environmental).

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Blockages and mechanisms to overcome them: Findings from a series of Inclusive Business case studies (2011)
Anna Spenceley and Monty Hunter

Success factors for inclusive business (IB) in tourism include: Strong and secure land tenure; Clear vision and adaptable models; Determination, dedication and patience; Listening and using feedback; Willing and honest partnerships; The ‘right’ investors, who understand IB; Empathy for the local environment; Good infrastructure, particularly relating to road and land access; Social stability of the local area; Understanding and awareness of stakeholders of IB issues, benefits and processes – particularly for government, private sector and communities; Additional sustainable tourism aspects, that include local employment and CSR programs; and Supportive and responsive government departments, facilitating rather than blocking IB programs. To promote IB awareness of the concept, its commercial advantages, and the processes involved would need to be undertaken. Potential national-level campaigns combined with capacity building and training programs for private sector (and their associations), government representatives and networks of small businesses.

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The value of avitourism for conservation and job creation – an analysis from South Africa (2011)
Duan Biggs, Jane Turpie, Christo Fabricius and Anna Spenceley 

Tourism directed at bird watching (avitourism) has become increasingly popular. In many lower and middle-income countries, including South Africa, avitourism is being applied in an effort to simultaneously achieve community development and biodiversity conservation. This paper presents the results of an exploratory investigation of 11 community-based avitourism projects in South Africa.

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Economic case for tourism in Mozambique (2011)
Anna Spenceley and Ema Batey

A paper commissioned by USAID to outline the economic case for tourism as a driver of economic growth in Mozambique. The study was based on a review of literature and reports on the current state of the tourism industry in the country, coupled with some projections of what the industry could achieve with the right enabling environment.

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Benefits to the poor from gorilla tourism in Rwanda (2010)
Anna Spenceley, Straton Habyalimana, Ritah Tusabe, and Donnah Mariza

Tourism is currently the leading export sector in Rwanda and is growing. The country is famous for the rare mountain gorillas of the Parc National des Volcans. This paper uses information from value chain analysis studies, complementary research and stakeholder testimonies to reveal the benefits that accrue to people living around the Park. It quantifies pro-poor income and non-financial benefits from gorilla tourism, and describes the opportunities for the poor to become economically involved in the value chains relating to accommodation, food and beverages, excursions and shopping, and the barriers to their involvement. To increase local benefits from gorilla tourism and other tourism activities around the Park, the authors recommend stimulating the activities of the private sector, increasing the number of joint venture agreements, enhancing opportunities for local employment and career progression, and improving business linkages with entrepreneurs and entertainers.

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Opportunity Study Guidelines (2009)
Caroline Ashley, Jonathan Mitchell, and Anna Spenceley 

ITC guidelinesThe opportunity study has to be understood as an extended assessment of project feasibility and stakeholders’ needs and commitment. It uses a value chain analysis approach to identify innovative ways and means to integrate poor communities into the value chains of tourism and facilitates the selection of promising products and services and project partners based on technical criteria only. Above all, it facilitates project ownership and attainment of concrete results. These guidelines, commissioned by the International Trade Centre, provide tools to help conduct a value chain analysis.

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Tourism and poverty alleviation: lessons from southern Africa (2008)
Anna Spenceley 

images McCool coverThis book chapter describes the growth of the sustainable tourism and pro-poor agenda, and provides and overview of literature in southern Africa, and describes  challenges and opportunities.  This book chapter is published in the 2nd edition of “Tourism, Recreation and Sustainability: Linking Culture and the Environment,” edited by Steve McCool and Neil Moisey.

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Nature-based tourism and poverty alleviation: Impacts of private sector and parastatal enterprises in and around Kruger National park (2007)
Anna Spenceley and Harold Goodwin

International programmes and national policies around the world have identified tourism as an appropriate mechanism for sustainable development, poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation. To evaluate the impact of nature-based tourism on the poor, socio-economic assessments were undertaken at enterprises based within South African protected areas. Comparisons were made between local economic interventions reported by enterprises and neighbouring community member’s perceptions of their initiatives. Socioeconomic impacts evaluated included employment, gender equality, procurement, corporate social responsibility, dependency on tourism and access to markets. The studies demonstrate that isolated efforts from individual tourism companies have little tangible impact on the majority of people living in highly populated rural communities but impacts are substantial for the few people who directly benefit. Implications of these findings for future socio-economic initiatives through tourism, and options to increase net benefits to the poor are explored.

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Strategies, Impacts and costs of Pro-poor Tourism Approaches in South Africa (2003)
Anna Spenceley and Jennifer Seif

PPTStrategies used by five private sector tourism enterprises to address poverty alleviation and local economic development are compared. Economic impacts of activities by Phinda, Sabi Sabi, Jackalberry Lodge, Coral Divers, and Sun City are presented in simple tables. Perceptions of local community members of the tourism interventions are also described. The paper considers the effectiveness of different strategies in alleviating poverty and explores key problems and constraints.

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Practical strategies for pro-poor tourism: Wilderness Safaris South Africa: Rocktail Bay and Ndumu Lodge (2001)
Clive Poultney and Anna Spenceley

PPTRocktail Bay and Ndumu are joint-ventures where the local communities have partial ownership with the private sector and conservation organisations. Socio-economic impacts of these Wilderness Safaris tourism operations in KwaZulu-Natal are presented.  This case study was written as a contribution to a project on ‘pro-poor tourism strategies’ involving the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Centre for Responsible Tourism at the University of Greenwich (CRT).

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UCOTA – The Uganda Community Tourism Association: a comparison with NACOBTA (2001)
Elissa Williams, Allison White and Anna Spenceley

PPTThis case study focuses on a Ugandan trade association that supports community-based tourism enterprises (CBTEs).  The study found that at the micro level UCOTA promotes pro-poor tourism development through technical advice to CBTEs. On the macro level they lobby government to promote policies conducive to CBTE development. The study highlights the demand for such organisations from CBTEs, but the need for political and institutional support. This case study was written as a contribution to a project on ‘pro-poor tourism strategies’ involving the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Centre for Responsible Tourism at the University of Greenwich (CRT).

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