Globalisation, development and community-based tourism in developing countries : a case study of Pondonland, Eastern Cape.
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Contemporary globalisation in developing countries is circumscribed by neo-liberal development approaches, while community-based development seeks to create alternative development strategies. This thesis brings together research in tourism with theoretical perspectives from Gramscian social analysis in order to explore contemporary conflict between these two strategies in the tourism sector. The purpose is to investigate the influence the hegemonic global milieu has exerted on an alternative community-based tourism (CBT) strategy that was initially formally/institutionally supported. Concepts of hegemony, globalisation and divergence/convergence, together with development theories, are explored and applied to the international tourism sector and CBT in particular. A theoretical structure is proposed in which the relationships between hegemony, globalisation, and processes of divergence/convergence are explicated in relation to the tourism sector, and CBT in particular. Global-local linkages, conceptualised in terms of the theoretical framework, are explored in a particular geographical context, namely the Pondoland coast of South Africa. South Africa has recently rejoined the global socio-economic milieu after the isolation of the apartheid period and a European Union-supported tourism project in the Pondoland region is studied in detail. The case study serves to empirically substantiate the proposed theoretical framework. The investigation contributes to ‘initiate’ a global – local oriented paradigm in tourism study that focuses on the relationship between globalisation processes and a CBT development approach by exploiting and conjoining the correlation of the concepts of the proposed theoretical framework. Globalisation processes are set against a specific and local form of tourism, i.e. community-based tourism. The proposition is a ‘new’ double level of interlinkage. General and global policies are interlinked and cross each other with specific and local policies to evaluate a CBT project outcome. The study intends to go beyond existing literature of CBT management and project development. This is achieved by providing an investigation on the ‘unseen’ working mechanisms and influence of globalisation processes in relation to a specific CBT local project supported by a global actor in international cooperation, thus verifying interpretations and commitment on CBT development approaches. The case study findings elucidate and highlight the final effects of the theoretical proposition at a practical level by clarifying and showing the level of influence on, and re-adjustment of, the case study end result in comparison with its initial plan. A shift in the case study project development is individuated and commented on in relation to the proposed theoretical framework. The investigation results allow validating the proposed conceptual basis of the study. Based on the findings, this thesis a proposal is made to construct the interrelationship between development and CBT understanding. A typology and specific nomenclature of CBT approaches is advanced together with their correlation to development concepts. The conclusion also gives further general and specific recommendations by providing possible strategies to permit proper development and better exploitation of CBT possibilities.