Slum Tourism and Urban Regeneration: Touring Inner Johannesburg
- 1.8k Downloads
Much attention has been paid to township tourism in South Africa, a practice of tourism that emerged in Apartheid South Africa with different organised tours catering for governmental officials, faith-based groups and anti-apartheid activists. In democratic South Africa, township tourism has developed into a mainstream tourism activity, and operators now offer township tours, township stays and other tourist activities in townships across rural and urban South Africa. Township tourism has also been one central empirical pillar of the relatively new research area of slum tourism, addressing tourism in slums and areas of relative urban poverty across the globe. Based on recent preliminary empirical research in Johannesburg, this paper shows that slum tourism can now also be observed in areas other than townships in South Africa, including perceived ‘no-go areas’ in inner-city Johannesburg. The expansion of slum tourism beyond townships in Johannesburg points to an increasingly complex picture of urban poverty in South Africa. It also allows reflections on the role of slum tourism in poverty alleviation and urban regeneration, responding to and addressing ‘territorial stigma’ and other related symbolic aspects of poverty. Analysing the motivations and perspectives of tour operators of some of these new tours, the paper finds that the new slum tourism in South Africa is pursued in order to serve as an urban development and regeneration tool from below. It responds to an absence of action or perceived failure to respond to poverty by urban policy, and its potential lies in particular in addressing invisibility, overcoming territorial stigma and empowerment of the urban poor.
KeywordsPoverty Alleviation Tourism Development City Authority Tourism Initiative Township Tourism
I would like to thank Peta Thomas for invaluable insights into tourism development in inner-city Johannesburg. The research was funded by the European Commission (Marie Sklodowska Curie Intra-European Fellowship).
- Arendt, H. (1990). On revolution. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Bahmann, D., & Frenkel, J. (2012). Renegotiating space—arts on Main, 44 Stanley and Johannesburg. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand.Google Scholar
- Butler, S. R. (2012). Curatorial interventions in township tours: two trajectories. In F. Frenzel, K. Koens, & M. Steinbrink (Eds.), Slum tourism poverty, power and ethics (pp. 215–231). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Dondolo, L. (2002). The construction of public history and tourism destinations in Cape Town’s townships: a study of routes, sites and heritage. Cape Town: University of the Western Cape.Google Scholar
- Dürr, E., & Jaffe, R. (2012). Theorizing slum tourism: performing, negotiating and transforming inequality. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe, 10(93), 113–123.Google Scholar
- ENCA, 2013. Rea Vaya under fire | eNCA. http://www.enca.com/south-africa/rea-vaya-under-fire [Accessed 12 Aug 2014].
- Freire-Medeiros, B. (2013). Touring poverty. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Frenzel, F. (2012). Beyond “othering”: the political roots of slum tourism. In F. Frenzel, K. Koens, & M. Steinbrink (Eds.), Slum tourism poverty, power and ethics (pp. 49–65). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Frenzel, F. (2013). Slum tourism in the context of the tourism and poverty (relief) debate. DIE ERDE – Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin, 144(2), 117–128. http://www.die-erde.org/index.php/die-erde/article/view/58 [Accessed 20 Feb 2014]
- Frenzel, F., Koens, K., & Steinbrink, M. (Eds.). (2012). Slum tourism poverty, power and ethics. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- George, R., & Booyens, I. (2014). Township tourism demand: tourists’ perceptions of safety and security. Urban Forum. doi: 10.1007/s12132-014-9228-2.
- Higgins-Desbiolles, F. (2009). Capitalist globalisation, corporated tourism and their alternatives. New York: Nova Science.Google Scholar
- Koens, K. (2012). Competition, co-operation and collaboration in township tourism: experiences studies from South Africa. In F. Frenzel, K. Koens, & M. Steinbrink (Eds.), Slum tourism poverty, power and ethics (pp. 83–100). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Koven, S. (2004). Slumming: sexual and social politics in Victorian London. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Pirie, G. (2007). Urban tourism in Cape Town. In C. M. Rogerson & G. Visser (Eds.), Urban tourism in the developing world: the South African experience (pp. 223–244). London: Transaction.Google Scholar
- Ramchander, P. (2007). Township tourism—blessing or blight? The case of Soweto in South Africa. In G. Richards (Ed.), Cultural tourism: global and local perspectives (pp. 39–67). New York: Haworth.Google Scholar
- Rogerson, C. M. (2010). Towards strategic planning for an emerging backpacker tourism destination: the South African experience. In K. Hannam & A. Diekmann (Eds.), Beyond backpacker tourism: mobilities and experiences (pp. 203–220). Bristol: Channel View Publications.Google Scholar
- Rolfes, M., Steinbrink, M., & Uhl, C. (2009). Townships as attraction: an empirical study of township tourism in Cape Town. Potsdam: Universitätsverl.Google Scholar
- Scheyvens, R. (2010). Tourism and poverty. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Smithers, M. (2013). Re-imaging post apartheid Yeoville Bellevue—the journey and reflection of a resident activist/activist resident. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand.Google Scholar
- Steinbrink, M., Frenzel, F., & Koens, K. (2012). Development and globalization of a new trend in tourism. In F. Frenzel, K. Koens, & M. Steinbrink (Eds.), Slum tourism poverty, power and ethics (pp. 1–18). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Traveller. 2014. Where no locals dare go.... - Dlala Nje - Private Tours, Johannesburg Traveller Reviews - TripAdvisor. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g312578-d6163716-r193640152-Dlala_Nje_Private_Tours-Johannesburg_Greater_Johannesburg_Gauteng.html12#REVIEWS [Accessed 12 Aug 2014].
- Wacquant, L. (2008). Urban outcasts: a comparative sociology of advanced marginality. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
- Wattanawanyoo, K. (2012). Poverty tourism as advocacy: a case in Bangkok. In F. Frenzel, K. Koens, & M. Steinbrink (Eds.), Slum tourism poverty, power and ethics (pp. 207–214). London: Routledge.Google Scholar