Livelihood diversification through tourism: identity, well-being, and potential in rural coastal communities

Albert Nsom Kimbu, Irma Booyens, Anke Winchenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Traditional rural livelihoods are disappearing due to natural resource decline, climate pressure and, also modernization. This study explores livelihood diversification from primary economic activities into tourism employment in rural communities. We examine the developmental role of tourism in areas where traditional activities, in this case fishing, have declined and tourism is growing. This article presents the findings of two case studies: the coastal communities of Padstow (UK) and Paternoster (South Africa). The approach is qualitative and draws on sustainable livelihoods and social well-being notions to examine how affected people "cope with change" with respect to tourism diversification, and individual and community well-being. While the socioeconomic and sociopolitical contexts in the two research sites differ, the findings show that narratives about belonging and identity feature prominently with respect to fishing livelihoods in both cases. Small-scale fishing, perceived as a way of life for fishers, is under threat in both areas, yet there is limited evidence of concerted efforts to plan and manage the potential diversification processes into tourism. Nonetheless, we observe that tourism does provide some opportunities for fishing-dependent communities and outline some avenues for stronger collaboration, particularly by focusing on culinary tourism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages16
JournalTourism Review International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2022


  • culinary tourism
  • fishing communities
  • identity
  • well-being
  • livelihood
  • diversification


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