For tourism to be used as an effective means for poverty reduction it is essential that it overcomes barriers of place, geography or political economy that may arrest the integration of the poor into the process of economic development. The key aim of this chapter is to subsequently review and evaluate the key policy initiatives that have been taken to date to integrate tourism into the poverty reduction and alleviation agenda. Refl ecting on how the tourism industry may or may not offer economic benefi ts to the poor, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and unfortunately now deceased, Wangari Maathai gives an interesting insight through her own observation of tourism and poverty in Yaoundé in Cameroon. As the Goodwill Ambassador for the Congo Basin Forest Ecosystem, she was visiting the Commission for the Forests of Central Africa (COMIFAC), staying in a luxury hotel on one of the hills overlooking the city. She describes looking across from the hotel to observe a group of farmers on a hillside, farming on a very steep slope using methods that would result in soil erosion when the rains arrived. Refl ecting on this situation, she comments: ‘I wondered how much of the revenue of the hotel – which was owned by a foreign corporation – was making its way into the government coffers, and then, in turn, how much of that money the government was investing in its agricultural sector, including in an extension service, that could educate the woman and assist her in farming more sustainably’ (Maathai, 2009: 15). This poignant observation of Maathai’s highlights key

issues and questions of how tourism can be best used as part of a strategy for poverty reduction and how it may play an active role in capacity building and creating livelihood opportunities, a similar situation to that of the disjuncture between tourism and poverty that exists in Cape Town as discussed in Box 5.1 .