African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure (Aug 2021)

Rural Community Perception of Tourism Development: A Strategic Tool in Rural Development

  • Alpheaus Litheko,
  • Marius Potgieter

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 4
pp. 1452 – 1465


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Local communities are the most valuable assets for a tourist destination; therefore, their perceptions of tourism constitute a crucial pillar for designing tourism development strategies that promote sustainable development. The success of tourism development in a rural setting depends on securing the support and active participation of stakeholders, in particular the community. It is important for planners to gather the perception of local communities about the impacts of tourism when planning the development of tourism. The aim of this study was to learn about the rural community’s perceived benefits associated with tourism development; and furthermore, to examine their attitude towards tourism development in their residential surroundings. Data was collected with the aim of gathering the community’s viewpoint, in particular their perception and attitude, on tourism development in a rural region, South Africa. The findings specify that the Local Destination Management Organisation (LDMO) and other role players should formulate development strategies that contribute towards creating employment opportunities and to develop an inclusive economy that will enable the local community to benefit through tourism development.