Ecotourism in Sustainability of a Developing Country
Bulletin UASVM, Vol. 65, No. 2, 2008
Posted: 10 Jan 2009
Date Written: January 8, 2009
This paper underlines the linkages between women's roles, responsibilities and the use of and access to technologies in marginalised rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The ways in which poor rural women conceptualise technologies and the ways in which they use their knowledge and skills to develop, modify and adapt the techniques and technical processes are examined in relation to developing rural tourism in the areas. Research was undertaken in four marginalised communities in KwaZulu-Natal: Adams Mission, Platt Estate, KwaXimba and Makomoreng. The study examined the relationships between rural women, and their technological knowledge with a view to developing rural tourism. Emphasis on the data collection was on gender sensitivity and the ability to capture the complexities of the rural women's real life activities. The aim of this contribution is to contribute to a greater understanding in terms of the recognition of the linkages between women's roles, responsibilities, knowledge and their participation in rural economic and tourism development with more emphasis and focus on their use of modern technologies and indigenous knowledge. From a rural perspective, success needs to be measured in terms of both creating tourism-led growth in rural areas, and in terms of the distribution of opportunities among the rural and others. As many as 75% of the world's poor live in rural areas. Top tourism destinations, particularly in developing countries, include national parks, wilderness areas, mountains, lakes, and cultural sites, most of which are generally rural. Thus tourism is already an important feature of the rural economy in these specific sites. It is self-evident that tourism will never come to dominate all rural areas, particularly in the developing world - there are vast swathes of rural areas for which tourism is not relevant for the foreseeable future. Between these two extremes are poor rural areas with some tourism potential, and an urgent need to develop whatever economic potential they have.
Keywords: rural tourism, South Africa, economic potential
JEL Classification: L83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation