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Tourism to help eradicate global poverty says World Bank and ODI

Just imagine a small part of the $1,000 billion tourism trade harnessed to develop local industries and to help eradicate world poverty.

Just a dream? Maybe not. It is clear that the world biggest industry, global employer of 1 in 9 has the power to provide more than transient profits.

Global Economic ProspectsThe industry really has the potential to deliver a better and more authentic experience to tourists and a better standard of living to their hosts. That what the ro-Poor Tourismmovement is aiming to achieve.

athways to Prosperitybrought together tourism consultants, development bankers, donor agencies, tourism academics and tour operators at Britain foremost development think-tank, the Overseas Development Institute.

Hosted by the World Bank and the ODI, the discussions centred on the most effective ways of using tourism to assist in the eradication of world poverty.

Delegates saw presentations demonstrating tourism potential to eradicate poverty and highlighting new methods of maximising tourism beneficial effects. Case studies were presented from West Africa, Ethiopia, Vietnam and the Mekong Delta, examining the methodology in depth.

Discussions were focussed on chances to mainstream approaches to assessing and boosting tourism revenues for the poor and there is general agreement that a major opportunity is now becoming available to use tourism in poverty-alleviation.

Delegates heard that more and more major tourism organisations are now employing local linkages as a method of gaining competitive advantage and improving their product offers and a convergence is appearing linking economists, tourism planners, local economic developers and pro-poor tourism practitioners.

The event successfully brought together disparate groups within the tourism and development disciplines for the first time and it is likely to be repeated.

Briefing and opinion papers released at the meeting by the ODI included

BRIEFING: Can tourism offer pro-poor pathways to prosperity?
Concluding that tourism certainly represented a major opportunity for poverty-eradication. but that there were big gaps in our knowledge of different methods, so more research needs to be done.

BRIEFING: Assessing how tourism revenues reach the poor.
Using a new tool currently used in product rather than tourism development Value Chain Analysis Jon Mitchell and Caroline Ashley of the ODI, Shaun Mann of the World Bank and Kate Lloyd-Williams of IFC look at work in Vietnam, Ethiopia, Laos, The Gambia, Mozambique and Sri Lanka. They conclude that Value Chain Analysis can be used effectively in tourism

OPINION eakageclaims: muddled thinking and bad for policy?
Jon Mitchell and Caroline Ashley propose that exaggerated claims that local tourism income is lost to global tourism companies divert attention from the real challenge at hand!

OPINION ro poor tourismwhat gone right and what gone wrong?
Seven years on from the adoption of the concept by the UN, successes have been gained in Africa and Asia and with the WTO ustainable Tourism Eliminating Povertyprogramme. On the other hand too little attention is paid to market linkages says Professor Harold Goodwin and Caroline Ashley.

TV coverage of discussions and interviews with participants will be available at:

Briefing and opinion papers, audio of meeting and podcast will be available at

Valere Tjolle


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Categories: ProPoor Tourism


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