The challenges of developing small tourism enterprises in townships: case of Umlazi, South Africa

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Township tourism in South Africa has grown in popularity since 1994 and is considered by some researchers to be an appropriate mechanism for stimulating local economic development. Opportunities for the development of black-owned enterprises in South Africa began for the first time when the country integrated into the global tourism economy after many years of international sanctions. The growth of township tourism thus can provide the context for potential economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs to enter the business, an activity that traditionally has been the domain of established white South African entrepreneurs. The main objective of the study is to present findings on the challenges that face a certain group of small tourism enterprises in townships with more attention being specifically paid to Umlazi as the second biggest township in the Southern hemisphere. The main reason for the choice of the study is due to the fact that there is only a limited literature that explores the conditions of small-scale and informal tourism entrepreneurs operating in South Africa’s black townships. The focus falls upon the challenges of developing small tourism entrepreneurs for black owners in the township, especially because South African tourism industry is highly concentrated and dominated by small elite group of large, mostly locally owned, tourism organizations which drive the tourism economy that unfortunately excludes and sidelines that of the townships

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