Pro-poor tourism and local economic development

Authored by: Harold Goodwin , Adama Bah

The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and the Environment

Print publication date:  July  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415582070
eBook ISBN: 9780203121108
Adobe ISBN: 9781136325564


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The election of the Labour government in 1997 and the creation of the Department for International Development (DFID), with a seat at the cabinet table occupied by Clare Short, coincided with the development within the United Nations of the Millennium Development Goals, which seek to reduce poverty. In 1998, DFID commissioned a working paper on Sustainable Tourism and Poverty Elimination for discussion through a multistakeholder process; note the radicalism of poverty elimination. In the late 1990s, UK citizens were collectively the fourth-largest purchaser of international tourism. The discussion paper addressed the question: ‘What contributions can [tourism] make to the development of sustainable tourism and poverty elimination?’. The focus of the discussion paper was on how ‘existing tourism to developing countries’ could be improved and ‘new tourism developments planned, so as to maximise their contribution to local sustainable economic development and poverty elimination’ (Goodwin 1998: 1). ‘Propoor tourism’ (PPT) was coined in the subsequent report commissioned from Deloitte and Touche (Oliver Bennett) with the International Institute for Environment and Development (Dilys Roe) and the Overseas Development Institute (Caroline Ashley) (Bennett 1999).

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