Effects of rural tourism development on poverty alleviation: a grounded theory
Keywords:Rural tourism development, poverty alleviation, pro-poor, Namibia, Grounded theory
Tourism has been accredited as a significant sector by the Namibian government because it is one of the highest income earners and ranks third after mining and agriculture. This research paper explores the key determinants of poverty in the Northern region of Namibia (Kunene and Zambezi) and the effects of rural tourism development on poverty alleviation. The research adopted grounded theory and phenomenological approaches and data were collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with various tourism stakeholders in the two regions. The research findings reveal the importance of all stakeholders in identifying the causes of poverty in each region/constituency before implementing poverty alleviation strategies. This study, therefore, concludes that providing the same tourism strategies to different geographical locations does not work, because some communities are extremely deprived. This research, therefore, recommends a flexible framework which takes a pragmatic approach to move away from the “one size fits all” approach.