African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure (Jan 2016)

Gentrification and Cultural Tourism in the Bo-Kaap, Cape Town.

  • J.P. Spencer,
  • M. Bassadien

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 1


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Gentrification may be described as a factor dividing once-vibrant societies through a new ‘foreign’ influx of wealthy potential investors driving out the original, and sometimes poorer, inhabitants. Tourism gentrification has been described as persons visiting a destination returning as the new inhabitants, but buying the established stock of accommodation at inflated prices. The implication of this tendency is that these new inhabitants bring their own culture and drive out the established heritage. The objectives of the study were to describe the demographic, physical, economic, cultural and tourism position of the Bo-Kaap community, and to establish any links between these factors and gentrification of the area. The study was both qualitative and quantitative among 262 households in the Bo-Kaap. Quantitative questionnaires were distributed to all odd-numbered houses, while a convenient snowball method was used for the qualitative data-gathering with 15 participants forming focus groups. The data was coded and grouped: for the purpose of this report only eight groupings are discussed. The perceptions of the Bo-Kaap respondents are mainly confusing and sometimes contradictory regarding the area’s culture and tourism and whether gentrification plays any significant role.