18 February 2010

Tourism and Poverty

"Spending by tourists in developing countries is almost three times the level of official development assistance."
(ODI launch for "Tourism and Poverty" by Jonathan Mitchell and Caroline Ashley)

I am mildly amazed. I knew that private remittances exceeded official development assistance but tourist spending as well?! Where is TourismWatch Bill Easterly? Why does this issue get so little attention?

6 comments:

Matt said...

Hmmm - one has to wonder about the distribution - I think we're likely mixing two very different scenarios: There are a lot of developing countries out there that receive very little aid relative compared to sub-Saharan Africa (think south-east Asia), but have good tourism. The same goes for poor, but popular island nations. I don't think you could should accept this as an average result.

Ranil Dissanayake said...

and also, who does tourism money help? In Znz, there is a huge tourism sector, but much of the money goes back to European package tour operators. Many of the resorts (while officially owned by a Tanzanian) are actually owned by Europeans who will repatriate much of the profits. and many of the staff are from mainland TZ and not Zanzibar, since they're more willing to handle alcohol etc. than the largely muslim resident population.

not straightforward at all.

Ranil Dissanayake said...

and also, who does tourism money help? In Znz, there is a huge tourism sector, but much of the money goes back to European package tour operators. Many of the resorts (while officially owned by a Tanzanian) are actually owned by Europeans who will repatriate much of the profits. and many of the staff are from mainland TZ and not Zanzibar, since they're more willing to handle alcohol etc. than the largely muslim resident population.

not straightforward at all.

jina said...

@Matt -- the distrib point is a good one. I wish I could thumb through the book.

@Ranil -- Sure, not straightforward, but there are folks teasing this out and taking those things into account. Harold Goodwin is one of them; I interviewed him for this piece, now a year old, on "poverty tourism." And that such a big (and expensive) book has come out on it suggests to me that there's attention being paid to the nuances of this.

But the takeaway soundbite--more than aid?!--still blows my mind.

mr.sonia19888 said...

If you want to make poverty history you have to kill all the stinkin rich assholes that make the majority of the people poor. Yes, that simple. And no, no way around it.
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