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TitleHeritage Tourism as a strategy for the local economic development in the vicinity of the KwaBulawayo and the Ondini Cultural Centres
AuthorGumede, Thembinkosi Keith
Subjectheritage --tourism --heritage tourism --local economic development
AbstractThe aim of the study was to find out how heritage tourism can be used as a strategy for local economic development. The study was conducted at KwaBulawayo (Eshowe) and at Ondini (Ulundi) Cultural Centres and their surroundings. The study asserts that heritage tourism is embedded and can be explained within a shift from industrial to post-industrial mode of production and consumption, where aspects of society, such as heritage and culture are packaged for tourism consumption. The shift from industrial to post-industrial society and the associated packaging and consumption of heritage in the form of tourism forms the main theory of the study. This shift took place in the late 1970s when global economic system which was predicated on industrialisation and manufacturing experienced problems which were recessionary. Out of the recessionary problems, a new system of production called post-industrialisation or post-Fordism or post-modernity emerged. Post- industrialisation came with new processes of production and consumption. With regards to consumption, consumerism became a feature of the new economy. Consumerism meant that aspects of the society, such as heritage and culture had to be packaged for the tourist consumption and revenue generation. The study employed the exploratory mixed methodology, which suggests that the study used both qualitative and quantitative methods. With analysis and interpretation of data, content analysis was used to analyse the interviews while, SPSS and Microsoft Excel were used to analyse quantitative data. The population of the study was comprised of the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Official(s), Zululand and King Cetshwayo District Municipalities’ Tourism Officers, KwaBulawayo and Ondini Cultural Centres’ Site Managers, Tribal Authorities and community members of the KwaBulawayo and the Ondini Cultural Centres. The study conducted face-to-face interviews and a sample of thirty seven respondents was drawn from the tourism officials and communities. The study found that the role players, i.e. officials and community members, understand the study sites in terms of culture, history and tradition, which suggests that they have not moved beyond the use value of the heritage sites. The findings revealed that the community is well aware of the heritage sites, that is, the cases of this study. However, the study established that the majority of communities did not know how long the heritage sites have been in operation. With regards to the running of the study sites, based on the Provincial and District Officials’ responses, the results showed that the power to manage them is decentralised to the District and Local Levels. The findings showed that the marketing of the heritage sites is not satisfactory. However, the on-line marketing (e.g. Internet, Facebook) was found to be predominant. The general observation of the study showed that the branding of the heritage sites revolves around King Shaka and King Cetshwayo. The communities of the study areas embrace heritage tourism sites and are regarded as the most important role players in heritage tourism of the study areas. The study found that heritage tourism has been used as a strategy for the local economic development of the study areas. The findings presented that attributes, such as artefacts and infrastructure, e.g. roads, stimulate heritage tourism of the study areas. The study observed that the tourists’ turnout to the heritage sites is inadequate. The study, therefore, recommends that the heritage tourism sites, in collaboration with all stakeholders, need to find alternative strategies to improve heritage tourism in the study areas e.g. involving tourism operators in their tourism processes. This could assist the heritage sites to generate sufficient revenue to employ more locals and assist the emerging local entrepreneurs with funding to strengthen their business ventures. The study recommends that the heritage sites need to engage ordinary community members and the local business people, especially those in the hospitality business in the tourism development processes. This could strengthen positive relationship between community members and the heritage tourism sites. The study further recommends that the key role players in heritage tourism of the study areas need to focus more on the exchange value than on the use value of the heritage sites. In the end, the study recommends further research, which will focus on the basic policy and/or a principle that could address community engagement to ensure a collective and/or beneficial participation in the entire tourism industry.
AbstractA thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Masters of Development Studies in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Zululand, 2016
PublisherUniversity of Zululand