Linking agriculture to tourism in Sierra Leone - a preliminary research

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GRIN Verlag, May 29, 2008 - Business & Economics - 192 pages
Master's Thesis from the year 2007 in the subject Tourism, grade: 2,2, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, 200 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Tourism has been acknowledged by practitioners and governments to be a tool for economic development, not exclusively but mainly, of less developed countries with few other competitive sectors and, therefore, for boosting their domestic economy as well as reducing the endemic poverty in Africa. This paradigm is difficult to apply when the tourism industry is not viable in a country and the great majority of tourism establishments have insufficient numbers of clients to make profit. In this respect, some findings indicate that, tourism and local small-scale agriculture (World Bank, 2006b) have been widely neglected by the Government of Sierra Leone, all efforts having been directed onto the development of the mining sector. In fact, while production and marketing constraints can be solved as stated in the wider agriculture literature, due to the nature of Sierra Leone as a “fragile state”, findings suggest that the lack of commitment and attitude of the Government to more responsible tourism forms or approaches will hamper any attempt to foster strategic alliances between the poor agriculture sector and tourism industry or other lucrative market-segments. Although the recent tourism development in Sierra Leone addresses the important issue of preserving the few available tourist attractions, an overall (responsible) tourism destination management integrating all stakeholders and planning consequently the steps leading to competitiveness, as in the case of The Gambia, is still lacking. That tourism benefits will automatically “trickle down” and boost other sectors of the economy, mainly agriculture, is a widely spread belief; yet empirical evidence is still lacking. On the contrary, the literature review indicates that tourism might harm the already neglected and weak agriculture of less developed countries through increased food imports to satisfy the new foreign demand.

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