The regional inequalities dimension of tourism analysis

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The previous chapter ended on the note that an understanding of the concrete actions of the stakeholders operating in the tourism businesses is crucial to the understanding of the nature of inequalities inherent in the tourism sector of the Eastern Cape. The chapter indicated that the current conditions in the tourism sector of the province represent the creations of historically located human actions which are susceptible to change. The findings indicate clearly that the six stakeholders have powers to transform the tourism activities in various ways and that they need not follow any repetitive routines but must actively bargain using the transformative capacities they have to produce outcomes which are not simply slavish repetitions. The emphasis will therefore be on the social relations among the stakeholders in the tourism sector as they engage in their day-to-day activities.As was demonstrated on Table 6.8 above, the stakeholders need to act as people who have powers to make a difference at any time to improve their lives. From the findings in the previous chapter, the actual level in which the stakeholders are located emerged as being potentially equated with transformative capacity. The findings proved the merit of the critical realist approach in unearthing the information needed to understand and change the current state of affairs in the Eastern Cape tourism sector.This chapter will make recommendations to relate to the findings. But any recommendations made in this study can only be meaningful when related to the key issues addressed in the previous chapters.

Tourism sector and the development of the Eastern Cape 

From the outline of the socio-economic survey in chapters one and two, the role of the tourism sector in the development of the Eastern Cape became evident. The reviews indicated the important roles that the tourism sector currently plays in job creation, entrepreneurial development, income generation and other areas of the provincial economy as acknowledged in the various documents in the Easter Cape (ECB, 2007; ECSECC, 2009; ECDC, 2007; ECG, 2009). The review indicated that the tourism sector has much more potential contributions to make given certain administrative reforms.

Tourism policies and the tourism stakeholders 

 In chapters three and four it became clear that government policies are critical in laying down the appropriate policy guidelines for the sustained growth of the tourism sector. The two chapters indicated that the tourism stakeholders are indeed making history in the tourism sector of the Eastern Cape but not in circumstances of their own making but in the context of the guidelines in the prevailing tourism policies. In chapter six however, it became clear that the policies are both constraining and enabling in view of both the constraints and opportunities given to the stakeholders to act.Efforts, therefore, need to be made to ensure that the public officials associated with the tourism understand the importance in using the policies to regulate the tourism activities in certain ways to maximize the benefits that the communities in the Eastern Cape can derive from them. Currently, as was discussed in chapter six, the majority of the stakeholders who were interviewed were found to be unaware of the importance of the policies under which they were operating. The tourism policies exist as official written documents which the stakeholders need to know about. Advocacy work, as recommended by Barrow (1993) and others, is certainly needed to enable the stakeholders to understand and apply the principles inherent in the tourism policies to enable them to generate the desired impacts in the development of the Eastern Cape.

The inequalities in the tourism sector in terms of two broad dimensions 

The application of the multivariate technique of factor analysis indicated that the inequalities associated with the tourism sector can be described in terms of two basic dimensions reflecting the co-existence of a relatively more developed sector and an underdeveloped one. One important lesson that could be learnt from the method used to abstract the two dimensions relate to the idea of starting to deal with complex issues from their atomistic components. This type of information needs to impress upon the government officials about what extra steps needed to be taken to restructure the tourism sector of the Eastern Cape.

Four-fold grouping of the 39 municipalities 

The factor analytic technique further indicated that the municipalities can be classified into four on the basis of the 27 tourism attributes used to describe them. These were the Nelson Mandela Metro, Buffalo City Municipality, the Baviaans Group and the Amahlati Group defined in terms of certain socio-economic indicators. This aspect of the study brought out clearly the spatial dimension of this study. This type of information needs to impress upon the authorities that the basic dualistic structure of the development of the Eastern Cape is very much inherent in the four groups.

Policy implications of the findings

The implications of the findings relate to the new roles that all the stakeholders now have to play. Above all, however, this study argues that the government officials need to demonstrate more commitment to their work by attending to the issues discussed below.The author‘s review of the current Eastern Cape tourism development policies and plan (ECTB, 2003: 91), indicates that the problem of implementation is one missing link in that sector. The government officials need to educate the stakeholders about the new roles that they would have to play to enable them to contribute to the sustained growth of the tourism sector of the Eastern Cape. The roles of the stakeholders need to be clearly defined at workshops that need to be organized for them periodically to enable them to see themselves as business partners who need to work as a team. In this sense, the stakeholders need to be educated about the merits of seeing their individual activities as parts of bigger wholes as Coccossis and Nijkamp, (1995); Inskeep, (2000); Kirsten and Rogerson, (2000d: 143-168); Johnson, (2002) and Guba-Khasnobis, Kanbur, and Ostrom, (2006) have alluded to. All the stake holders need to be informed and also convinced that the maximum benefits associated with the tourism activities can only emerge from their interactions.


In view of the above, the following recommendations are made regarding the roles expected from the stakeholders. The recommendations are based on the idea that the maximum benefits can only occur when the stakeholders concerned work as a team. They are thus based on the theory that the actual level- positioned stakeholders need to constitute the key actors in the social transformation processes. The position of this study is that only as a collective will the maximum benefits that could be realized in the tourism sector be realisable (Archer, Bhaskar, Collier and Norries, 1998).

The stakeholders

The government officials The fact that the Provincial government has decided to limit tourism operations into a directorate headed by a manager with few staff and limited budget in the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs does not augur well at all for tourism development. This situation has seriously affected the capacity of the unit to tackle growth and development of tourism. An official who spoke to the author on condition of anonymity conceded that the unit was not coping at all in dealing with the numerous development issues associated with the tourism industry because of limited capacity in terms of resources, both human and finance. The province has huge tourism potential for development that is hampered by serious challenges like infrastructural development, poverty, disease, hunger and the general appeal of the region. The only way to get out of this quagmire is for the provincial government to make a bold statement in tourism development to consider creating a stand-alone department incorporating tourism and environmental affairs, as at the national level and other provinces like Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, beef up its capacity and to tackle tourism development head-on. Eastern Cape must have a provincial government department, solely dedicated to tourism development that will work in tandem with environmental unit to aggressively tackle tourism development issues. This tourismdedicated department can then work hand-in-hand with its marketing arm – the newlycreated Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Authority (ECPTA) – to promote tourism development and market the Province in a regulated and coordinated manner. In beefing up the capacity of its human resources, qualified and competent staff with proven track record should be employed to chart the course of tourism development out of troubled waters. Such officials should be able to implement tourism policies that are gathering dust in government offices and to cascade such implementation to the local government level. The government must also be prepared to substantially increase the budget for the proposed department so that highly capital-intensive infrastructure requirements for tourism development that the Province lacks seriously could be tackled expeditiously. The government-employed tourism officials should also be visible and accessible to tourism practitioners to offer support and guidance through workshops, seminars and in-service training. The officials associated with the LEDs and the tourism departments need to be work- shopped about what their work entails and ―traverse the dialogue between change and tradition‖ as discussed by Pritchard and Morgan, (2007). The officials need to have detailed information and knowledge about developments going on within their municipalities and begin the challenging task of setting up data base of all the tourism activities, the problems facing them and their recommendations. This critical role of information systems in social transformation is one theme highlighted by Scheyvens, (1999); Swarbrooke, (1999); Bramwell and Sharman, (1999); The Cluster Consortium (1999a, 1999b); Pillay, (2000); Downward and Mearman (2004a). Downward (2005), and Pritchard and Morgan, (2007) have also indicated how the government officials need to provide leadership by identifying the relevant information needed to attract tourism businesses to their areas of designation. Unless this important task of information gathering is made to constitute a key job description element of the municipality officers, very little can change in the tourism sector of the Eastern Cape.The concepts of tourism policies and tourism business management, thus, need to be popularised in rather simple language and applied by Eastern Cape tourism development officials to open up a new revolutionary phase in the relations between tourism policies and tourism business growth in the province. Such a development could begin a gradual process of bringing into the tourism sector several issues which have currently been ignored. The education of the officers needs to include the new activities that they have to engage in – tracking businesses and competitive trends, developing forecasting models and scenario analysis, spotting opportunities and business threats and helping to empower the business owners. The yearly tasks that could be set for the tourism sector in the various development planning offices in the municipalities could include the following: the number of new jobs to be created; the size of foreign exchange earnings to emanate from the sector; its contribution to sectoral diversification of the provincial GDP; the new entrepreneurs to be created per year; the number of innovations to be created by the sector; the percentage increases in local resources utilization in the production processes by the sector; the number of partnerships to be established within the sector; and the number of local and foreign networks to be established, among others.The officials cannot do all the above without any incentives for them to work. Issues related to their salaries, accommodation conditions in the rural municipalities, giving them periodic management training to add value to their work, arranging conferences and tours to first class tourism businesses in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town could all be part of the incentive packages.

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Chapter One: Introduction and problem orientation
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Background and context
1.3 Importance of the research
1.4 Problem statement
1.5 Questions, objectives and propositions underlying the study
1.6 Definitions of key concepts
1.7 Limitations of the study
1.8 Organization of the study
1.9 Concluding remarks
Chapter Two: The study region
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Physical geography background
2.3 The evolution of the Eastern Cape as a province
2.4 Population
2.5 Economic activities
2.6 Social services
2.7 The tourism sector in the Eastern Cape economy
2.8 Eastern Cape tourism routes (regions)
2.9 Concluding remarks
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The descriptive models
3.3 The regional inequalities dimension of tourism analysis
3.4 The descriptive variables and their underlying explanatory factors
3.5 The explanatory models used in analyzing inequalities in the tourism sector
3.6 Critical theory, sustainable development and tourism research
3.7 Concluding remarks
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The three-tiered ontology
4.3 The empirical level as the location of the descriptions of inequalities
4.4 The operations of stakeholders in the context of underlying policies
4.5 Hidden interests as an essential element in the mechanisms
4.6 The activities of stakeholders in the context of substantial relations
4.7 The complementarities between the existing and future planning regions
4.8 Critique as a legitimate goal of social research
4.9 Concluding remarks
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Problem statement, objectives and research design
5.3 The sampling method used
5.4 Data collection
5.5. Information generated from the questionnaires and justification
5.6 Primary and secondary sources of data
5.7 Research instruments
5.8 Causality criteria
5.9 Triangulation and grounded theory
5.10 Data analysis
5.11 Geographical perspective of the tourism policies
5.12 Data collection on the periodization of the tourism development process
5.13 Data collection on the recommendations of the respondents
5.14 Limitations of the study
5.15 Concluding remarks
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The tourism policies and the impressive increases in tourism businesses
6.3 t-test as a measure of change in the number of tourism businesses over time
6.4 Analysis of inequalities in tourism activities between the municipalities
6.5 The statistical relations between the variables: the first step towards obtaining the factor scores
6.6 The maps of the factor scores
6.7 Intensive engagement with stakeholders: towards an understanding of inequalities in the development of the tourism businesses
6.8 The expected compared with the actual
6.9 Lack of tourism information
6.10 Concluding remarks
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Recommendations
7.3 Conclusion

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