Safari lodges and local economic linkages in South Africa
Keywords:Tourism-agriculture linkages, local impacts, supply chains, safari lodges, South Africa
The potential contribution of tourism to the well-being of rural communities is impacted by the development of local economic linkages. For development practitioners and policy makers the importance of evolving linkages between tourism and agriculture demands attention. This article provides an examination of the state of linkages in South Africa's luxury safari lodge tourism sector. The results reveal the existence of only limited linkages between safari lodge accommodation providers and local agriculture. Current supply chains are mainly organised by intermediary supplier enterprises which source required food mainly from urban markets with only minimal local impacts. Linkages represent a vital potential mechanism through which to achieve the objectives of pro-poor tourism and a first step to maximise pro-poor impacts and avert polarization is to understand why such linkages rarely materialize and to identify the necessary conditions necessary for them to do so. South African policy frameworks for strengthening linkages must be informed by local evidence and draw from international experience.