African Foreing Relations as a Factor in Ecotourism Development: The Case of South Africa

M. van Amerom

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This paper highlights that the development of ecotourism in Africa may considerably depend on the relations that African states maintain with the West. It illustrates this point by means of a case study of South Africa. Western tourism sanctions, imposed to punish the country for its racist policies, restrained the growth of ecotourism to South Africa for decades. In the post-apartheid era, South Africa's ecotourism sector has benefited from increased Western aid, favourable marketing opportunities and overly positive travel advisory arising from the currently highly cordial relations between South Africa and the West. The correlation between Western support to South Africa's tourism sector and the quality of South Africa's relations with the West also represents risks, however. If future South African policies were to produce conflict with Western states, renewed tourism-discouraging measures of Western states could affect South Africa's ecotourism sector. In addition, clashes with Western environmental NGOs over wildlife management could induce a tourism boycott. Altogether, South Africa's foreign relations are likely to continue to shape the development of ecotourism in the country.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)112-127
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of ecotourism
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • travel advisory
  • South Africa
  • ecotourism
  • Western assistance
  • Globalisation
  • METIS-233834
  • IR-99698

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