Tourism Dependency and Neo-Colonialism: Exploring Tourism’s Role in Generating Sustainable Economies in Less Developed Countries

By:
Mr John Dobson,
Mr Mike Snelgrove
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Tourism Dependency and Neo-Colonialism: Exploring Tourism’s Role in Generating Sustainable Economies in Less Developed Countries

John Dobson & Mike Snelgrove
University of Wales
UK



The efficacy of tourism in making a positive economic contribution cannot be overestimated, particularly when viewed in the light of the relative speed and cost-effectiveness of tourism capacity building compared to that of many other industries. Neither can the attractiveness of tourism be overestimated for those countries whose geography, climate, culture and/or history seem to compose an endogenous product ready for exploitation. However, for all its inherent desirability as a tool for rapid economic gain, experience tells us that tourism development is also fraught with danger. Its apparent success in underpinning development strategies, particularly in less developed countries, is now considered as less than convincing. Economic, socio-cultural, and environmental concerns currently surround tourism development and consumption and cast doubt on its long-term sustainability. These concerns have led tourism planners to seek strategies that embrace the doctrine of sustainability; that tourism should balance environmental, social, and economic considerations such that it meets the needs of the current generation without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This paper uses The Gambia as a case study to propose that sustainable tourism is, an oxymoron, particularly in developing countries where the imperative for rapid national economic development would seem to be in direct contradiction with decentralised, community-led ‘sustainable’ tourism strategies. It will also argue that there are as many shades of sustainability as there are differences in socio-cultural, economic, and environmental context around the globe, and that whilst ‘sustainability’ may be the goal of any country hoping to reap the undoubted benefits of tourism in the longer term, we should not impose the aspirations of the developed world on those whose needs are more immediate.


Keywords: Tourism, neo-colonialsim, dependency paradigm, The Gambia, sustainable economic development
Stream: Economic Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Mr John Dobson

Senior Lecturer, Welsh School of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management, University of Wales Institue Cardiff
UK


Mr Mike Snelgrove

Senior Lecturer, Welsh School of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
UK

Mike Snelgrove has been interested in sustainable tourism development for a number of years. His particular interest lies in national policy development, planning approaches, and the relationship between national governments, NGOs, and overseas development agencies.

Ref: S06P0060