South Africa’s Tourism Development Journey

Ernie Heath (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

Tourism as an Instrument for Development: A Theoretical and Practical Study

ISBN: 978-0-85724-679-0, eISBN: 978-0-85724-680-6

ISSN: 2042-1443

Publication date: 26 July 2014


Nearly two decades into South Africa’s democracy, this chapter describes the most recent policy and strategy initiatives to ensure sustainable development and to enhance the country’s tourism competitiveness. It discusses the key national tourism policies, plans, and strategies, which together provide the framework for tourism development and management in the country. The importance of balancing a “top-down” framework with “bottom-up” local engagement is emphasized as a cornerstone of South Africa’s future tourism journey. In line with the philosophy that “structure should follow strategy”, the institutional framework to manage tourism during the next planning period is outlined. The discussion concludes with the critical success factors to enhance South Africa’s future sustainable tourism competitiveness.



Heath, E. (2014), "South Africa’s Tourism Development Journey", Tourism as an Instrument for Development: A Theoretical and Practical Study (Bridging Tourism Theory and Practice, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 281-299.

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