Advocating Community Participation and Integrated Tourism Development Planning in Local Destinations: The Case of South Africa

Mathilda van Niekerk, University of Central Florida


The processes of community participation and integrated tourism development planning can often be uncoordinated, fragmented and hindered by operational, structural and cultural limitations. Although these processes are usually more sophisticated in developed countries, some important lessons can be learned from their use in less-developed countries like South Africa. As part of their commitment towards a more democratic South Africa and their voluntary obligations towards Local Agenda 21, the national government has embarked on a process through which they aspire to improve decision-making and thereby achieve more integrated tourism development at a local level. This regional spotlight takes a closer look at the processes being legislated and implemented by South Africa to ensure community participation and integrated tourism planning takes place in a coordinated and inclusive way. The case provides valuable insights to practitioners and academics that are engaging in community participation and integrated tourism development planning.