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propoor tourism, pro-poor tourism, fair tourism trade, fair trade, eco-safaris, ecosafris, african eco-safaris, eco-holidays, eco-news, eco-tours African Pro-poor Tourism Foundation (APTF)

Travel in style and contribute to Local Economic Development (LED) in AfricaWhat is pro-poor tourism (PPT)?
PPT is not another form of tourism as most people tend to think but it is an approach that seeks to utilize tourism as strategic tool to alleviate poverty among the marginalized communities. Any form of tourism can contribute to poverty reduction. For this to happen, specific ways need to be identified in which tourism businesses as well as tourists can directly and indirectly generate benefits for the poor. This is what Pro-Poor Tourism (PPT) is all about. PPT can be defined as tourism which provides net benefits for poor people. PPT is not a specific tourism product or sector. It is not the same as eco-tourism or community-based tourism, although these forms of tourism can be pro-poor; i.e. they can bring net benefits to the poor.

In essence, PPT is an overall approach to tourism development and management aiming at unlocking opportunities for the poor to obtain benefits from tourism. There is overlap between PPT and sustainable tourism. The latter refers to tourism that leads to the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. The main thrust is on environmental sustainability. Social benefits are just one aspect of sustainability, whereas for PPT poverty is the core focus and environmental sustainability is a means to that end.

Tourism and poverty reduction
Tourism is a massive and growing industry already affecting millions of the poor, so a marginal improvement could generate substantial benefits. Also, tourism has advantages over other sectors in relation to poverty reduction. Tourism is a very diverse industry which increases the scope for wide participation (e.g. informal sector). In tourism, the customer comes to the product, offering opportunities to make additional sales (linkages). Tourism is more labour-intensive than many other sectors, such as manufacturing, and employs a higher proportion of women. Tourism products can be built on natural and cultural resources which are often some of the few assets that the poor have. Tourism may have potential in countries and areas which have few other competitive exports.

Strategies for making tourism more pro-poor
a) Increasing economic benefits; through expanding business opportunities for the poor, expanding employment opportunities for the poor, and enhancing collective/community income and access to infrastructure and/or basic services intended to support tourism but also benefiting the poor.
b) Enhancing non-economic benefits; capacity building, training, empowerment, mitigating the environmental impact of tourism on the poor, and addressing social and cultural impacts of tourism.
c)Policy/process reform; building a more supportive policy and planning framework, promoting participation, and bringing the private sector into pro-poor partnerships.

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