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Many tourists are interested in locally beneficial experiences, which should afford opportunities for vulnerable individuals to earn their way out of poverty. However, host communities remain largely relegated to the role of passive tourees receiving only scraps from the tourism industry. This chapter introduces “People-First Tourism,” a project that attempts to leverage information technology innovations and ubiquitous cell phones to provide micro-entrepreneurs with access to markets and to support peer networks, with two factors accounting for much of tourism's unfulfilled potential to enable dignified and sustainable rural livelihoods. The chapter reports the findings from fieldwork conducted in South Africa in January–February 2010, testing project validity with individuals from rural communities and with high-level tourism and telecom stakeholders.



Morais, D.B., Heath, E., Tlhagale, M., Cobb Payton, F., Martin, K., Mehta, K. and Bass, J. (2012), "People-First Tourism", Fayos-solà, E. (Ed.) Knowledge Management in Tourism: Policy and Governance Applications (Bridging Tourism Theory and Practice, Vol. 4), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 115-128.



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