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A Perennial State of Crisis Management at a Tourism Destination in the Global South: The Case of South Africa

aUniversity of Johannesburg, South Africa
bTshwane University of Technology, South Africa

Tourism Through Troubled Times

ISBN: 978-1-80382-312-6, eISBN: 978-1-80382-311-9

Publication date: 23 September 2022



The purpose of this chapter is to advance existing literature on crisis management by critically analysing the impact of crisis on tourism performance within a developing world context, with a specific focus on South Africa as a case study area. Crime, xenophobic attacks and the Day Zero water crisis form the basis for discussion as significant crisis affecting the country's tourism industry.


Utilising qualitative content analysis as a methodological approach, the study analysis strategic policy documents, newspaper reports, press conferences, and campaigns to discover policies, strategies and plans that have been applied to alleviate the impacts of catastrophic events on tourism performance.


The interpretation of literature reveals that factors affecting the South Africa tourism industry stem from mainly human-caused disasters, this being crime and violence, and inadequate water management strategies.

Research limitations

Results discussed in this study were framed through a systemic review of existing literature To gain an in-depth understanding of crisis-related matters in the Global South, future research can apply empirical data-gathering procedures.

Practical implications

The study proposes that proactive crisis management planning and inclusion of non-tourism stakeholders in crisis management planning is essential to combat crisis' impact on tourism performance.


In the Global South, studies that interrogate the effects of crises on tourism performance generally focus on a single case of a disaster or crisis, therefore lacks a study that comprehensively discusses events that deter tourism performance. Thus, this study bridges the existing literature gap by focussing on South Africa as a case study area.



Sibisi, M., Mashapa, M. and Henama, U.S. (2022), "A Perennial State of Crisis Management at a Tourism Destination in the Global South: The Case of South Africa", Korstanje, M.E., Seraphin, H. and Maingi, S.W. (Ed.) Tourism Through Troubled Times (Tourism Security-Safety and Post Conflict Destinations), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 39-56.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Mandla Sibisi, Matilda Mashapa and Unathi Sonwabile Henama. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited