Tourism and Poverty Reduction in Latin America: Where Does the Region Stand?

Robertico R. Croes, University of Central Florida


Purpose– This paper aims to critically review the contributions made by the articles in this theme issue with reference to the literature and by examining the link between tourism and poverty and the conditions that shape this link in Latin America.

Design/methodology/approach– The paper reviews the most important contributions through critical content analysis of the papers contained in the theme issue.

Findings– Tourism matters to the poor, but its relevance is defined by a number of factors including economic development, inequality, and destination life cycle. Alternative tourism, while promising, may be too limited in scope and scale to affect poverty alleviation that is broad and fast enough to benefit Latin America.

Research limitations/implications– More research is needed to understand the link between tourism and poverty reduction, and the conditions that determine the strength of the link in Latin America.

Originality/value– The theme issue explores the tourism poverty link from different perspectives with inputs from multiple stakeholders with experience and expertise in poverty alleviation in Latin America. This approach offers the reader a unique opportunity to explore different facets of the tourism development conundrum in the region.