The Evolution of Township Tourism in South Africa

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This chapter takes a retrospective view of the emergence and development of township tourism. By focusing on the processes of change in this form of tourism and considering these against the background of social change in South Africa, four phases in the evolution of township tourism are delineated. The first is township tourism under apartheid during which propaganda visits emerged along with visits by intrepid activists and journalists. The second phase concerns the (re)emergence of leisure tourism in the mode of township tours post-democracy. The third phase involves the growth and commercialisation of township tourism and the fourth phase draws attention to its recent diversification. This paper contributes to the township tourism literature by (1) reflecting on the development of tourism paths over time and (2) demonstrating that township tourism is changing through co-evolution resulting in the maturation of township destinations
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTourism, Change and the Global South
EditorsJarkko Saarinen, Jayne M. Rogerson
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781003091325
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2021


  • sustainable tourism
  • tourism
  • South Africa
  • township tourism
  • political tourism
  • path dependency
  • tourism area development
  • evolution of tourism destinations


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