The meaning and expression of tourism among urban blacks : a geographic perspective.
This study was designed to investigate the meaning of the concept of tourism among black South Africans in general and black urban dwellers in particular. The aims of the study were as follows: (a) To look at how black urban dwellers engage in tourist activities. (b) To look at what black urban dwellers understand by the concept of tourism. (c) To find out what places and tourist destinations black people prefer to patronise. (d) To establish the distances black people travel to reach tourist destinations. (e) To focus on the quality of the experiences black people gain at tourist destinations. (f) To gain knowledge about the modes of transport black people use to reach tourist destinations. The dimensions, which pertain to the expression of tourism, were connected. This connection was done in such a way as to reflect on those features of tourism experience which are common amongst urban blacks, and those, which differ for a variety of social and economic reasons. The data presented and analysed in this investigation was gathered from two sources. Quantitative data was collected from a sample of 580 urban black dwellers from several black townships. Qualitative data was collected from 30 families who reside at Esikhawini township. The principal hypothesis of the study is that tourism is not popular among black South Africans mainly because of economic constraints, and a legacy of discriminatory legislation, discriminatory attitudes, as well as the unattractiveness to black tourists of tourist destinations. The sub-hypotheses are as follows: (a) Blacks prefer to visit places where they can be accommodated by friends and relatives. (b) Blacks regard visits to friends and relatives who stay long distances from them as part of tourism. (c) Black people's experience of tourism is more regional than national. (d) Black people prefer to visit urban destinations than rural areas. (e) There are clearly identifiable dimensions of black people's participation in tourism and tourist experience which are common amongst urban blacks. The most important conclusions of the study are: (a) Black urban dwellers understand tourism to mean the practice of travelling for recreation. (b) Black urban dwellers prefer to visit destinations where they can be accommodated by friends and relatives. (c) Black urban dwellers' experience of tourism is more regional than national. (d) Black urban dwellers are mostly attracted to urban destinations than rural areas. (e) Black urban dwellers' tourist experiences have been grossly affected by the policy of apartheid which prohibited them from visiting certain destinations and deprived them of disposable income. The study sheds light on the perceptions and involvement of black urban dwellers in tourism. The investigation of the meaning and expression of tourism among urban blacks is a valuable exercise if tourism is to be made accessible to all South Africans regardless of race, colour and creed. Key words: Tourism, Tourist, Urban Black, Tourist Attraction, Tourism Experience, Tourism Destination.