Tourism In Africa

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The tourism sector of the economy has become one of the most significant components of globalization. With the expansion of the fordist middle class in the 1950s, tourism has become a globalized phenomenon that has and is sweeping across all countries and continents (Fletcher, 2011). For continents like Africa, tourism has become one of the top foreign income generators in most of the continent’s countries. At the same time commodification of African culture has become an eminent problem in most African societies. Every aspect of culture, may it be tangible goods like clothes or intangible factors like tradition, is now transformed into a commodity (Pröschel, 2012). For this media analysis, I have chosen to analyze an article from the STAR,…show more content…
For most developing countries, the goal of tourism development has generally been for the purpose of raising foreign capital in order to pay interest charges on debts held offshore but it has as well provided employment opportunities and some may say has contributed to the conservation of natural resources (Irandu, 2004). However, on the foreign investor side, the motivation for tourism development has been rising profit through exploitative measures resulting in a new form of colonialism, which sees up to eighty percent of profit repatriated to outside sources (Akama et al., 2002). As a result countries like Kenya have seen many local communities and groups become exploited and the participation of local communities in the tourism industry has been negligible. Most hotels and tour operation companies are owned and controlled by foreign investors thus, the distribution of profit and benefits from tourism in Kenya (and other developing countries) is skewed to the advantages of multi-national corporations (Akama et al.,…show more content…
In all world regions, governments at national and local level are increasingly utilizing the potential of cultural tourism to attract tourists and “support” cultural attractions. In recent years, tourism has been used as a possible tool for the amelioration of socio-economic problems confronting indigenous communities like the Maasai. Indigenous African communities in general have been perceived as having a comparative advantage in terms of tourism development as the communities possess unique cultural and nature based tourist attractions (Akama et al., 2002). These cultural attractions are the very touristic experiences international tourists, especially from developed countries in the North, are looking for in order to escape the perceived monotony of every day life. As the number of tourists looking for this experience expands, the more foreign investment into tourism will increase, and the more the cultural tourism industry will grow, eventually leading to more tourists. This therefore creates a positive feedback in which tourists attract investors and investment into tourism attracts tourists. The need to escape from routine living to an alternative environment perceived as “exotic” and “indigenous” in combination with foreign investment (or in broader terms capitalism) has thus transformed indigenous communities and culture into a commodity for the people of the

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