Tourism provides not only material benefits for the poor but also cultural pride, greater awareness of the natural environment and its economic value, a sense of ownership and reduced vulnerability through diversification of income sources.

They reported that the tourism industry had a positive impact on local livelihoods and poverty alleviation, although their assessment of the extent of the contribution varied. Tourism is seen as a new economic driver of the community providing opportunities for the creation of small businesses.

Our findings show that in the short term the poor benefit very little, if at all, from additional tourism inflows to South Africa, and, most disturbingly, that a 10% increase in tourism would bring no significant benefit to the very poor, i.e. the lowest income households.


Sustainable tourism leads to employment diversification on a local level, which reduces the vulnerability of the poor. The UNWTO claims, “Wages can often reach $1,000 to $4,000 per worker per year.” This is enough to bring workers and their families above the poverty line