Leakages and costs of eco-tourism: the case of AmaZizi in the Northern Drakensberg
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The rural people living in the Northern Drakensberg area benefit very little from eco-tourism due to their limited participation in this industry. In addition, the local communities have to carry the hidden costs involved in eco-tourism. This article discusses the nature of both leakages and costs that affect the local communities, and argues that the benefits accruing to local communities at present are inadequate to contribute towards poverty relief in the area. Key findings of this study are that participation in tourism by the local African communities is severely limited and that African populations are mainly providers of labour. It is argued that positions with prospects of promotion are held by people from outside the area and that opportunities of self-employment are very limited. It is also shown that the removal of alien species has meant deprivation of essential fuel wood and building material, and that the land tenure system disadvantages the local African population.