The role of tourism in poverty alleviation in Mauritius

Authored by: Boopen Seetanah

The Routledge Handbook of Tourism Impacts

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  April  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138494961
eBook ISBN: 9781351025102
Adobe ISBN:


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Although there exists a large strand of the empirical literature that focuses on the impact of tourism development on the economic growth of countries (assuming that growth will trickle down to assist in poverty alleviation), however, empirical work on the direct relationship between tourism development and poverty has been relatively rare. This research investigates the link between tourism and poverty levels for the case of a tourist-dependent economy, namely Mauritius. It employs dynamic time series analysis, namely a vector autoregressive framework, over the period 1987–2017 to account for dynamism and endogeneity issued in tourism–poverty modelling. The findings suggest that tourism development is negatively associated with the level of poverty in Mauritius (pro-poor), although it exhibits a relatively low impact compared with other classical factors in the aggregate poverty model. Interestingly, tourism development is observed to be growth-conducive, confirming the tourism-led growth hypothesis, and thus provides an indirect path to poverty reduction. Finally a bi-causal relationship between tourism and poverty is reported, suggesting that tourists are sensible to some extent to the poverty level of the country that is their choice of destination.

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