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Mining and/or tourism development for job creation and sustainability in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga


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Although the tourism sector has greater potential for job creation than the mining sector, the debate on which sector may be more sustainable for employment and local social development, has not been extensively researched, especially in the global South. The popular tourist destination of Dullstroom, Mpumalanga has come under threat from an increase in the number of mining applications for coal (and diamonds). Despite opposition to mining from civil society due to the potential destruction of the natural environment and hence tourism job losses, mining applications are being approved by the ruling party in the country. Government and mining companies state that mining will contribute to much needed job creation and social development. Disparity thus exists between mining and tourism development frameworks for sustainable job creation. This research thus presents perspectives from key participants surrounding the sustainability of mining and/or tourism jobs in Dullstroom, including the benefits and challenges for job creation and sustainability offered by both sectors. Investigations reveal that mining should not be allowed in pristine areas such as Dullstroom’s wetlands, biodiversity and conservation and agricultural lands. Besides the short-term jobs offered by mining, the precautionary principle, as suggested in South African regulations, should apply against mining development since there are added threats of serious or irreversible environmental degradation which does not support sustainable tourism development and long-term jobs. However tourism in Dullstroom is also beset with challenges which need to be addressed if tourism is to contribute to sustainable employment for the majority of people.
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Mining and/or tourism
development for job
creation and sustainability in
Dullstroom, Mpumalanga
Llewellyn Leonard
Department of Tourism Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Although the tourism sector has greater potential for job creation than the mining sector, the
debate on which sector may be more sustainable for employment and local social development,
has not been extensively researched, especially in the global South. The popular tourist destin-
ation of Dullstroom, Mpumalanga has come under threat from an increase in the number of
mining applications for coal (and diamonds). Despite opposition to mining from civil society due
to the potential destruction of the natural environment and hence tourism job losses, mining
applications are being approved by the ruling party in the country. Government and mining
companies state that mining will contribute to much needed job creation and social development.
Disparity thus exists between mining and tourism development frameworks for sustainable job
creation. This research thus presents perspectives from key participants surrounding the sustain-
ability of mining and/or tourism jobs in Dullstroom, including the benefits and challenges for job
creation and sustainability offered by both sectors. Investigations reveal that mining should not be
allowed in pristine areas such as Dullstroom’s wetlands, biodiversity and conservation and agri-
cultural lands. Besides the short-term jobs offered by mining, the precautionary principle, as
suggested in South African regulations, should apply against mining development since there
are added threats of serious or irreversible environmental degradation which does not support
sustainable tourism development and long-term jobs. However tourism in Dullstroom is also
beset with challenges which need to be addressed if tourism is to contribute to sustainable
employment for the majority of people.
civil society, Dullstroom, jobs, mining, sustainability, tourism
Globally, the tourism and mining sectors
are noted to be important arenas for job
Corresponding author:
Llewellyn Leonard, Department of Tourism Management,
University of Johannesburg, Bunting Road campus,
South Africa.
Local Economy
2016, Vol. 31(1–2) 249–263
!The Author(s) 2015
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/0269094215621875
creation and poverty alleviation (Sharpely,
2009). Whilst employment contribution
figures from both the mining and tourism
sectors may be readily available, informa-
tion on which sector (or a combination of
sectors) may be more sustainable for
employment and local social development
within localities is limited (see
Klytchnikova and Dorosh, 2013; Pache,
2010; Pam et al., 2013). For employment
generation specifically, whilst some com-
mentators note mining as spearheading job
creation (see Myburg, 2012) others note
tourism as contributing to a flourishing
job market (van Schalkwyk, 2012).
Globally tourism accounts for 231 million
jobs (i.e. 8.3 percent of global jobs)
(Sharpely, 2009). According to Zeballos
and Garry (2010) in 2010 there were 1.5 mil-
lion persons employed in the mining sector
in developed countries, and 2.2 million in
developing countries, with a total of 3.7 mil-
lion people employed in mining globally.
According to Statistics South Africa’s
Labour Force Survey (2013) 365,000
people were employed by the South
African mining sector in early 2013.
However, tourism’s contribution to employ-
ment was projected at 1.2 million jobs in
South Africa in 2011 (van Schalkwyk,
2012). For South Africa, whilst Myburg
(2012) notes the mining sector as having
the potential to create hundreds of thou-
sands of new jobs, the former Tourism
Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk
acknowledged that the booming tourism
industry creates many more jobs than
mining (News24, 2013). The importance of
tourism as a significant contributor to
employment in South Africa was also
noted by Gauteng Provinces’s Premier
Nomvula Mokonyane who remarked that
tourism is the ‘new gold’ due to the
labour-intensive nature of the industry
(Chauke, 2013). It is clear that the tourism
sector accounts for more employment over
mining in South Africa and globally.
However despite tourism having the
potential to create more employment than
mining, many tourism jobs are also con-
sidered seasonal (Sharpely, 2009) with tour-
ism benefits also depending on how supply
chains are organised and how tourists spend
their money (Klytchnikova and Dorosh,
2013), and on how strategies for local
empowerment are organised (Dyer et al.,
2003). For mining on the other hand, job
creation may not be of a long-term nature
and it may also have potential impacts on
tourism sites and tourism jobs due to envir-
onmental degradation and loss of aesthetic
appeal (Conesa, 2010). This research exam-
ines mining and tourism job creation in
Dullstroom, Mpumalanga, including a con-
sideration of the benefits and challenges
provided by both sectors for the region.
Dullstroom is situated about 300 km east
of Johannesburg and falls mainly inside
the Emakhazeni Local Municipality.
According to Statistics South Africa (2011)
the total population of the area is about
47,216 with a population growth rate of
0.91% from 2001 to 2011. Of the popula-
tion 87.2% of the population are African,
followed by 10.2% who are whites. The
unemployment rate is 25.9% and the
youth unemployment rate is 34.2%. Of
those aged 20 years and older, 28.7% have
completed matric (the school leaving certifi-
cate), 7.4% have some form of higher edu-
cation, and 15% have no schooling. The
Emakhazeni municipality has a total of
13,722 households of which 35.9% are
female headed with females making up
49% of the total population.
Dullstroom is a popular fly-fishing tour-
ist destination, a focus for agri-tourism and
well known for its natural environmental
attractions (Butler, 2013; Rogerson, 2002;
Rogerson and Rogerson, 2014). The
Lakensvlei is a vital wetland, with the
northern portion, known as Middelpunt
Vlei, being one of the few locations globally
where the endangered white-winged
250 Local Economy 31(1–2)
Flufftail (i.e. Sarothrura ayresi) is often rec-
orded (Birdlife South Africa, 2014).
Dullstroom is home to more than 150 bird
species, including all three crane species,
including the endangered wattle crane
(De Jager, 2010). Within the neighbouring
Wakkerstroom area, the Ekangela
Grassland Biosphere reserve exists, and is
one of the most important wetland areas
for birds in Africa, especially wattle
cranes. According to the Mpumalanga
Provincial Government (2014) in which
province the town is situated, the Verloren
Valei wetland on the Steenkampsberg plat-
eau near the town of Dullstroom, is a
declared Ramsar site of international
importance. It is of high value for both bio-
diversity conservation and water supply,
feeding the upper catchments of the
Olifants and Crocodile Rivers, two of the
country’s most important river systems
which flow into Mozambique. It has a
high species richness of ground orchids, six
endemic butterfly species, and provides an
important breeding habitat for numerous
fish, amphibians and reptiles.
According to Hunter and Mearns (2013)
country towns near Dullstroom have capi-
talized on the increased economic activity in
the region by becoming ‘getaways’ due to
their rural village atmosphere and unspoilt
natural setting, which the region has,
whilst being in close proximity to the
Johannesburg metropolitan area on the
way to the Kruger National Park.
The area is thus a popular tourist destin-
ation, but this has, potentially, come
under threat from an increase in the
number of small scale mining applications
for coal and diamonds. Like many mining
applications in Dullstroom, the ruling
party, the African National Congress’s
(ANC) funded Chancellor House Mineral
Resources Investments bid for prospecting
rights on several farms outside Dullstroom
town and on the land of two fishing lodges.
Despite opposition from civil society due to
the potential destruction of the natural
environment and hence tourism job losses,
the application was approved by national
government (Legalbrief Africa, 2009).
Government (and mining companies)
states that mining will contribute to creating
much needed jobs and for social develop-
ment. Figure 1 shows mining encroachment
in the Dullstroom area.
In light of the above, this research, as a
form of sociological analysis, presents view-
points from key participants residing in
Dullstroom, including those participants
not necessarily residents of Dullstroom but
who work on environmental and mining
issues in the area, to investigate whether
the mining or tourism sector is more
sustainable for job creation, or whether a
combination of sectors will prove feasible
for job creation, including a consideration
the benefits and challenges for sustainability
offered by both sectors. This paper firstly
discusses issues surrounding the mining
and tourism sectors as potential job creators
for poverty alleviation and job cre-
ation, both generally and in the study
area, before outlining the methodology
employed. Results are then presented
before the discussion and conclusion.
Before proceeding, it is useful to note that
although it is understood that the concept
of sustainability is ambiguous and has been
extensively debated since the 1980s
(Sharpely, 2009) the idea is not to present
a complex review of sustainability defin-
itions in this paper, rather sustainability
for this paper draws upon the common
principles which emerge from sustainability
definitions generally and acknowledged by
the Drexhage and Murphy (2010) which
emphasise equity and fairness, and the pri-
ority of improving the circumstances of the
underprivileged people, accounting for the
rights of forthcoming generations and sus-
tainability which generally emphasises the
precautionary principle (i.e. where there
are threats of serious or irreversible
Leonard 251
environmental degradation development
should not be allowed). The precautionary
principle is also in line with the National
Environmental Management Act (1998) –
NEMA acknowledging the precautionary
principle in which a risk-averse and
thoughtful approach must be applied
which takes into account the restrictions
of contemporary knowledge about the
consequences of decisions and actions. Job
creation in this paper is linked to sustain-
ability (as above), since without the latter
the former is not possible as a long-term
The context: Mining,
employment and recent
trends in the study area
Mining jobs or/and tourism jobs
According to Atkinson (2008), the literature
on small town development highlights dis-
agreements between those who believe
that local efforts can generate sustainable
growth and development, and those who
feel that outside forces (e.g. mining) deter-
mine whether or not a small town will
grow. However, there is no guaranteed
Figure 1. Land-use applications in and surrounding Dullstroom showing mining encroachment.
Source: Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Authority (2015).
252 Local Economy 31(1–2)
transferable formula for economic success.
For South Africa, whilst tourism towns
seem to be doing well, due to the influx of
new capital and spending power, mining
towns are either booming or significantly
declining. There is thus no magic recipe
and small town development prospects will
depend on case by case differences to deter-
mine specific destinies. Nevertheless,
although the tourism and mining sectors
present opportunities for job creation,
there are also challenges. Firstly, mining
may impact negatively on tourism jobs
(Conesa, 2010). Although the mining
sector generally creates a more rapid expan-
sion in job opportunities and generates
higher profits with which to pay higher
wages, most research on mining develop-
ment has noted mostly negative impacts
for job creation within the tourism sector.
For example, in Australia, mining can dis-
place accommodation used for tourism and
other tourism sectors may lose out (e.g. tour
guiding jobs for ecotourism activities such
as hiking in natural surroundings due
to mining intervention). Other negative
mining impacts on tourism in Australia
include concerns surrounding tourism’s
powerlessness to entice and preserve skilful
staff due to the demand for mining workers,
mining infrastructure reducing the tourism
appeal of a region and hence impacting on
tourism jobs, and tourism businesses relo-
cating to other areas to source cheaper
labour or ceasing to exist due to mining
competition to name a few (Pam et al.,
Similarly Pache (2010) notes that in
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, proposed
mining in the area has generated significant
protests from local communities due to
mining threatening the tourism industry
which thrives on areas of natural beauty.
Tourism and in particular ecotourism con-
tributes $20 million to the Munising city.
Communities do not believe that the mines
will be environmentally safe and bring in a
larger number of jobs compared with tour-
ism jobs. Thus, to draw in increasing num-
bers of tourists, retain jobs and remain
viable, the tourism industry needs access
to well-maintained environments and ser-
vices such as clean water (United Nations,
2013). Unfortunately, the poor history of
mining development has shown its potential
to threaten and pollute tourism environ-
ments and hence impact negatively on
tourism jobs (Conesa, 2010). For example,
groundwater in the mining district of
Johannesburg is heavily contaminated and
acidified and discharging into streams.
Mining pollution has led to contamination
of sensitive environmental areas and
impacted groundwater aquifers. Impacts
have been witnessed in tourism areas such
as in the Randfontein, where acid mine
drainage is flowing northwards towards
the Krugersdorp game reserve and the
Cradle of Humankind world heritage tour-
ist site (Ochieng et al., 2010).
Whilst mining is a short-term job gener-
ator and it can decline rapidly (Conesa,
2010) the tourism industry is long-term
and labour-intensive but with lower paying
jobs (Pham et al., 2010). Although tourism
is more likely to contribute to economic
divergence, tourism’s contribution to job
creation and poverty relief is not spontan-
eous and depends on whether tourism cre-
ates employment prospects and integrates
the poor, creates connections and encour-
ages the growth of basic services.
Referring to Dullstroom, Hunter and
Mearns (2013) note that ‘second home’ pur-
chasers who invested in for leisure activities
have had a number of costs associated with
maintaining a second property, however
this is dependent on hiring local community
members (i.e. domestic workers, local gar-
deners and renovations for such homes)
who help maintain second homes and thus
this has a positive multiplier effect on local
job creation. Nevertheless, fears about
employment patterns in the tourism
Leonard 253
industry also relate to its seasonality and the
short-term nature of many jobs. This is
accompanied by the reality that the sector
has a relatively high share of unskilled and
semi-skilled employment opportunities and,
in some cases, deprived employment cir-
cumstances. Despite these challenges, a
noticeable feature of the tourism industry
is its potential to create strong and diverse
linkages such as in India, Brazil and
Indonesia where tourism has stimulated
broad based economic activity. Tourism
has the capacity to integrate a large
number of local entrepreneurs into the
value chain (e.g. such as craftsmen and
local guides) (United Nations, 2013), it
thus represents a practical attempt to
increase the benefits of tourism to poor
communities (Sharpely, 2009). As Fuller
et al. (2005) notes from studies of the indi-
genous Australian population which has an
unemployment rate four times higher than
the general population, there is potential for
indigenous owned and operated small enter-
prises focused on the growing ecotourism
market. This would yield substantial
economic and social benefits for owner-
operators, employees and the wider commu-
nity. According to Bertram (2010) in
New Zealand, the sector most threatened
by allowing mining to encroach into pro-
tected lands is tourism, which is enormously
more important to the New Zealand econ-
omy than mining. However, even if expan-
sion of mining activity in protected areas
did not impact monetarily on tourism, it
would not represent an economic net gain
unless it could compensate for non-
monetised losses of existence, bequest and
recreational values, including future tour-
ism earning potentials.
Evidence is limited on co-operative rela-
tions between the mining and tourism sec-
tors to achieve job creation. For example,
Buultjens et al. (2010) note for the mining
sector and indigenous tourism development
in Weipa, Australia, 60 percent of mining
operations are located close to Aboriginal
land and near pristine natural areas.
Historically indigenous people have had
poor relationships with mining companies.
There was strong opposition from Mirrar
Aboriginal people when Ranger Uranium
Mine began operating in 1981 in the
World Heritage listed Kakadu National
Park with reports of conflict and corporate
misconduct continuing to occur in the early
2000s. Although there have been attempts
by mining companies to create partnerships
with local communities (e.g. through mining
related tourism attractions), the involve-
ment of indigenous people in mine related
tourism outcomes have been minimal to
date and unsuccessful. Despite conflict
with tourism from operational mining
sites, according to Conesa (2010) the con-
version of closed mining sites as ‘cultural’
targets for tourism has been done more suc-
cessfully in some parts of the world in the
last decade as part of a consumptive viewing
of the past (i.e. mining heritage tourism).
However, one of the many problems with
such heritage tourism includes the destruc-
tion of natural environments by mining
operations. In the Spanish mining town of
La Union, mining heritage tourism has been
unsustainable since it has not been able to
secure cash flow and sustainable jobs since
the heritage site has no tourist infrastruc-
ture (e.g. hotels, restaurants, sports or
cultural facilities) and is considered a ‘one
journey’ attraction. Thus, disparities can
exist between mining and tourism develop-
ment frameworks.
Recent trends in the study area and in
mining approvals in South Africa
The impact of mining on tourism and jobs
in Dullstroom has on many occasions been
highlighted by civil society in their engage-
ment with national government. For exam-
ple, in a letter by the Mpumalanga Wetland
Forum to the Acting Regional Manager,
254 Local Economy 31(1–2)
Department of Mineral Resources (DMR)
dated 2 September 2011 surrounding objec-
tions to the application for mining rights to
mine coal on farm portions at Groenvlei
and Lakenvlei in Dullstroom, amongst
many concerns, the correspondence noted
that open cast coal mining was not in keep-
ing with provincial and municipal policy as
identified in the Emakhazeni Environmental
Management Framework (EMF) as the
area had been identified for conservation
and tourism purposes. Mining was there-
fore not an appropriate land use for the
area, and was not in keeping with the
long-term government land use objectives
in terms of the policy. The letter further-
more noted that mining would have a det-
rimental impact on the very natural
resources on which the entire hospitality
industry was based and would place the
entire tourism and hospitality industry in
jeopardy since there would be large scale
job losses as the majority of people were
employed by the tourism and hospitality
sector (Cowden, 2011). Following up from
these environmental and social impacts, a
specialist report dated 30 August 2011 was
conducted by a geologist at the University
of Witwatersrand. This report commented
on the Surface Water Assessment Report
and the Geohydrological Report (dated
June 2011) conducted by consultants
acting on behalf of William Patrick Bower
(WPB) Propriety Limited for a mining
application at the Groenvlei and Lakenvlei
farm portions. The report noted amongst
other concerns that: at least one old under-
ground mine was decanting into the Elands
River system close to the proposed opencast
mine, resulting in livestock not drinking
the water; affected water from the
proposed mining area would flow to the
Elandsfonteinspruit with a farmer already
reporting that his livestock was unable to
drink water from a stream flowing into the
Elandsfonteinspruit from a previous mining
site to the east of the proposed mining area.
Overall the report noted that both commis-
sioned reports were inadequate for a
Mining Right Application and had insuffi-
cient geological information and no mining
plan and post-mining phase plan to control
any pollution (Brett, 2011).
According to Mapila (2014) Africa is
blessed with many minerals and other nat-
ural resources, but has often fallen prey to
the ‘resource curse’. Despite Africa’s min-
eral wealth, corruption has created power-
ful elites that block diversification and
inclusive growth for personal enrichment
at the expense of development, whilst
mining companies are interested in maxi-
mising profits. Fig (2005) notes that indus-
try, such as the minerals and energy sectors
have been unwilling to conform to legisla-
tion, knowing that government enforcement
capacity is thin. The government has also
been reluctant to confront non-compliant
industry on the grounds that stricter
enforcement might lead to job losses or dis-
investment. Additionally, it is also ques-
tionable if government has weakened
environmental regulations to provide a
favourable climate for industrial develop-
ment in line with its macroeconomic
policies. As Fig (2005) notes regarding gov-
ernments attempts to weaken environmen-
tal regulation in post-apartheid South
Africa; proposed changes in the legislation
covering compulsory Environmental
Impact Assessments (EIAs) have been seen
by the state as a way to streamline develop-
ment, but by critics as an attempt to dilute
environmental standards. According to van
Wyk et al. (2009) the mining industry
in post-apartheid South Africa, as
during apartheid, has also continued to
exert influence over government with the
lines between the mining industry and
the state being blurred. Unfortunately,
according to Ballard et al. (2005) and
Bond (2005) the vision of post-apartheid
environmental and social sustainability has
not stood well set against a macroeconomic,
Leonard 255
top-down development model that has
concentrated on expanding industrial
modes of production. The result has been
a continuing unequal geographical and
social distribution of environmental (and
other) risks.
Fieldwork to explore mining versus tourism
jobs was undertaken in October 2013 as
part of a larger research study in the area.
Semi-structured interviews were used to col-
lect data from social actors (i.e. Dullstroom
land-owners, farmers, local youth organisa-
tions, community leaders/representatives,
external environmental NGOs, public legal
institutions, the mining industry and local/
provincial government departments).
A total of 16 interviews were conducted as
part of the larger study, of which 10 inter-
views are used for this paper. All informants
agreed to be attributed, except in one
instance where an informant, during certain
parts of the interview, chose to remain ano-
nymous. Unfortunately several attempts to
get interviews from key personnel within the
Departments of Mineral Resources and
Water Affairs proved fruitless. Secondary
data such as documents and reports were
collected and field research included obser-
vation techniques. For the data analysis,
grounded theory and open coding were
employed to identify emerging themes in
the collected data.
Tourism in Dullstroom and the potential
impacts of mining on tourism
Tourism development and associated job
creation in Dullstroom have great potential
due to the variety of tourism activities and
the pristine nature of the area. The region
hosts sport and recreation activities such as
golfing and fishing which contributed to a
large part of the economy (Finlay Sephton,
Interview, 4 October 2013, Dullstroom
Farmer). However other activities in
Dullstroom included mountain biking,
camping and the annual horse endurance
events, to name a few, have attracted
many tourists (Nico Uys, Interview, 4
October 2013, Dullstroom Farmer). The
importance of especially fly-fishing in the
area for tourism was noted by Frans Krige
(Interview, 5 October 2013) Environmental
Scientist at the Mpumalanga Tourism Parks
and Agency (MTPA) which is a public
entity established to provide for the sustain-
able management and promotion of tour-
ism and nature conservation and to ensure
the sustainable utilisation of natural
Most informants suggested that the
introduction of mining in Dullstroom
would impact on tourism activities such as
fly-fishing, including biodiversity. However,
the area is also an important water source
for the wider province due to the presence
of wetlands which also provided key eco-
logical functions such as water purification
(Peter Arderne – Interview, 3 October 2013,
Director at Dullstroom Trout Farm).
Mining would therefore potentially leave a
legacy of pollution which would hamper the
sustainability of the tourism industry and
hence job creation. Finlay Sephton
(Interview, 4 October 2013) further high-
lighted that mining would have much
more wide ranging impacts in Dullstroom
and cause more damage to other tourism
sectors vital to the area.
...if people start mining here ...your
drinking water quality is going to deterior-
ate as well as your quality of agricultural
water ...then you going to have food
supply that is also being hampered ...the
consequences are far reaching ...further
than we can probably think
The introduction of mining would also
increase the amount of trucks passing
256 Local Economy 31(1–2)
through the towns having the potential to
further damage roads and decrease the aes-
thetics of the area for tourism. According to
the Environmental Impact Management
Services – EIMS (2012) which conducted
an integrated environmental scoping
report for the proposed Paardeplaats coal
mine in the region, Dullstroom does not
have weighbridges, meaning trucks that
are overloaded can pass through without
The EIMS (2012) further noted that the
local eMakhazeni municipality did not get
any assistance to maintain the roads from
the trucking companies and they were also
receiving numerous civil claims from motor-
ists for damage caused by potholes. Minutes
of a DMR meeting dated 7 February 2012
also note as one of the objections that roads
would not be able to accommodate big
transport trucks. According to Peter
Arderne referring to the potential impacts
of mining trucks on tourism:
...One comes out here [Dullstroom] to
enjoy the environment and one just only
has to ...see what mining has done to
Mpumalanga ...It’s unsightly, it’s noi-
sy ...there are many more trucks on the
road. The damage to the roads is immense.
As it is, our roads [in Dullstroom] are in a
bad condition, even without mining
get too many of these [tourist] places you
need a 4x4 ...So it’s the impact visu-
ally ...the noise aspect ...Can you ima-
gine what that road is going to look like?
Mining versus tourism jobs
The unemployment rate in the Dullstroom
township (low income area) of Sakhelwe
was noted by most informants to be high.
According to Peter Claire (Interview, 7
October 2013, Chairman of the
Dullstroom RatePayers Association) the
unemployment in the township was
around 46 percent. Most informants noted
that tourism jobs play an important role in
helping to address unemployment.
According to Mervyn Lotter (Interview,
4 October 2013):
...most people make their living in this
area from either agricultural practices
like grazing primarily or tourism ...there
is fly fishing farms, there is walks, hiking
trails, the Walkersons [resorts] ...there is a
lot of money that is being invested in this
area to support tourism is definitely
the scenic beauty of this area [that] ...
makes it so popular for others
have also got this abundance of natural
Finlay Sephton (Interview, 4 October
2013) also noted the significant potential
of tourism as an employment generator.
That said, although several informants
noted the importance and sustainability of
tourism employment, a few suggested that
mining jobs would also be important to help
address the unemployment challenges par-
ticularly because of the higher pay and
benefits provided. According to Martiens
van der Merwe (Interview, 5 October
2013), Director of Richmond Mining
Exploration and owner of a farm in
Middelpunt where he is mining for dia-
monds on the property:
...tourism is vital for the Dullstroom
area ...because it supplies employment to
a lot of people ...but as [with] most of the
towns in South Africa, if you go to
Dullstroom ...the unemployment there is
rife we must try and get any type of
employment that we can [including from
mining] ...they [mining employees] have
got excellent housing and they have got
excellent salary structures, etc. Mines pay
a normal employee in the mines a low, it is
about R8 500. I am telling you an execu-
tive chef if their skin is black, I don’t think
he is earning R8 500 in this place
As Martiens van der Merwe (Interview,
5 October 2013) further noted with regard
to the importance of mining and the spinoff
effects on added job opportunities:
Leonard 257
...mines always create a second tier
industry that runs around it to feed it.
Even if it is just the doctors that must do
the medicals ...mining supplies all that
and people that come as outside contrac-
tors they sleep at guest houses and hotels
and ...that is what is carrying Lydenburg
at this stage.
However, a study conducted by Butler
(2013) noted that tourism development in
Dullstroom did not only create jobs in
hotels, lodges and restaurants (estimated
by the Butler to be over a 1,000 tourism
and hospitality sector jobs), but employ-
ment positions in a plethora of other sectors
including construction, food supplies and
repair services, also indicating the import-
ance of tourism related linkages and
employment generation – suggesting that
the total number of tourism jobs is
unknown since a full socioeconomic ana-
lysis of tourism job pathways has yet to be
conducted. Additionally, as indicated, tour-
ism is more sustainable for job creation
than mining development over the long-
term despite paying lower salaries, with
the short-term nature of mining also poten-
tially having negative environmental
impacts. Conversely, Joshua Mungi
(Interview, 4 October 2013) leader of the
Sakhelwe Youth Unemployment organisa-
tion noted that tourism and mining could
coexist in Dullstroom:
You can balance the tourism and mining.
That one’s [tourism] got a long-term
[benefit] and that one’s [mining] got a
short-term [benefit] ...In tourism
can earn R100 a day so it won’t last long-
...but in mining you know that
R100 000 is [lasting] a long time ...It
is more money.
The above response seems contradictory
since Mungi acknowledges that mining, as
opposed to tourism, is short-term although
it pays more money. There are also the
contradictory development frameworks of
mining and tourism as one sector (i.e. tour-
ism) aims to preserve natural heritage whilst
the other (i.e. mining) has great potential
to work against tourism and impact
negatively on the environment as noted
in the literature from Australia, Michigan,
Johannesburg, New Zealand and Spain.
According to Peter Arderne (Interview,
3 October 2013), ‘‘it [mining] detracts from
tourism whereas agriculture, conservation,
tourism go very well together. Mining is
total hostile to the tourism industry.’’
Contrary to Mungi’s view (above), two
informants – John Hunter (Interview,
6 October 2013) a Dullstroom farmer and
owner of a fishing tackle store in
Dullstroom, and Frans Krige (Interview,
5 October 2013) noted the unsustainability
of mining and tourism operating jointly
with mining having potentially negative
impacts for tourism.
Nico Uys (Interview, 4 October 2013)
suggested that the implications for tourism
jobs if mining was introduced broadly in
Dullstroom would be severe with
‘‘ ...1 200 jobs ...[would be] lost ...that
1 200 is only [for people] working in chalets
and ...not [for] the other farmers.’’ This
also suggests that the precautionary prin-
ciple emphasising decisions which consider
the rights of future generations needs to be
taken into account.
Challenges for tourism and mining jobs
Tourism jobs. Although tourism was gener-
ally noted to be more sustainable in terms
of job creation in the long-term, there were
still problems with tourism job creation as
noted by some informants which needed to
be addressed if sustainable tourism is to
emerge in Dullstroom. According to Koos
Pretorius (Interview, 4 October 2013) chair-
man of the Escarpment Environment
Protection Group:
258 Local Economy 31(1–2)
Mining pays more than what tourism
pays ...because of the nature of the
business ...The problem with tourism
and to a certain extent farming, more so
in farming is that you enter as a waiter and
your chances of becoming a manager is
very remote ...within a mine you can
earn entry level salaries in the coal
mining industries that are R4500 to
R5000 a month.
As one informant further noted, in add-
ition to tourism not paying well, there were
also no benefits that employees could
secure. According to Joshua Mungi
(Interview, 4 October 2013):
...even though tourism is uplifting ...the
people [employers] don’t pay ...well. It is
not enough for the house ...There is no
standard [for tourism wages] ...[also]
they just pay you cash ...and when you
die ...there is no benefits ...[we need]
housing and medical aid and the
skills ...The owner himself must uplift
his own workers.
Another challenge was that although
tourism had created roughly a thousand
permanent jobs in Dullstroom, most of
these jobs tended to be weighted in favour
of African females than African males
which ‘‘of course causes a bit of friction
[with] black males ...’’ (Peter Arderne,
Interview, 3 October 2013).
However other informants noted that
there were many more job opportunities
than just domestic work that African
males could take up. According to Frans
Krige (Interview, 5 October 2013) ‘‘...there
is more than [just] working inside the lodges
in the tourism industry, there is also the
maintenance of the buildings, also mainten-
ance of the farm[s], the estates. That needs
men to do the job.’’
However African males noted that tour-
ism jobs did not pay well and hence the lack
of uptake. Contrary to a study on tourism
employment conducted by Butler (2013)
which noted that tourism jobs paid well
when the author interviewed female
employees, evidence for this research when
interviewing the African male youth leader
of Sakhelwe Township noted the opposite.
This suggests disparity in perceptions
between African male and females on tour-
ism employment. According to Joshua
Mungi (Interview, 4 October 2013) tourism
salaries needed to be improved.
Despite the very real employment chal-
lenges in the town, it was interesting to
observe that, according to Koos Pretorius
(Interview, 4 October 2013) farmers experi-
enced labour shortages and struggled in
securing people from Dullstroom to work
on farms.
Mining jobs. There were also challenges with
respect to mining jobs. Most informants
noted that job creation figures emerging
from mining activity were misleading and
not a true reflection of the actual number
of jobs that would be created. Township
residents facing unemployment and poverty
were under the impression that mining was
going to provide thousands of jobs.
According to Peter Claire (Interview,
7 October 2013):
...what they [the township] don’t realise is
that even if mining is permitted ...that the
majority of people on that mine will be
brought in from outside because you can’t
have untrained, unskilled labour ...So
your local employees are maybe going to
be 10 maybe 15% for the total employment
and they can’t understand and say no, [they
think] mining is going to bring ...5000 jobs.
Krige (Interview, 5 October 2013)
summed up the major distinctions between
mining and tourism jobs:
...We [tourism industry] can’t offer them
[workers] what the mines can offer them
on a short-term. We can offer them
Leonard 259
sustainable living on the long-term
through health, good sustainable jobs
through the tourism industry and land
conservation and farming ...the activities
that we do allow in these critical biodiver-
sity areas is sustainable, and that is
the major difference ...
Mining was generally viewed as unsus-
tainable with short-term benefits by the
interviewees and tourism was perceived as
having the potential to secure more sustain-
able and long-term jobs. However, some
tourism challenges need to be urgently
addressed if Dullstroom was to move
towards more sustainable tourism.
Challenges included fragmentation within
the tourism sector and the need to improve
tourism wages in order to make the tourism
sector more attractive for job creation to
name just a few. According to Mervyn
Lotter (Interview, 4 October 2013): get the mining industry that is far
too short-term, we need be thinking long-
term ...I don’t know [that the] tourism
sector actually stand together where there
is a committee or an association ...maybe
they can learn to do things better.
John Hunter (Interview, 6 October 2013)
further noted the need for Dullstroom farm-
ers to increase wages for African workers as
a way to make the tourism sector more
Farmers in the area need to come together
and raise wages of workers and assist in
getting more African male workers
employed in tourism. If I have to choose
raising wages by R1000 extra a month or
mining I would choose the former, but
many of my fellow farmers may not be
happy with me.
Discussion and conclusion
The debate about whether the tourism or
mining sector is more sustainable for
employment and local social development,
including if a combination of both sectors
might enhance sustainable employment
opportunities within localities, has been
poorly researched in the global South.
This paper has shown that mining should
not be allowed in the pristine area of
Dullstroom hosting wetlands, important
biodiversity and conservation and agricul-
tural lands. As evidence has noted, mining
would have a detrimental impact on the nat-
ural resources used for tourism and would
place the entire tourism and hospitality
sector in jeopardy due to job losses. As
has already been highlighted, old mining
sites are already impacting on river systems
and livestock’s water supply. Although
mining may generate short-term jobs
opportunities for a handful of local
people, the precautionary principle in
accordance with NEMA, should apply
against mining developments since there
are added threats of unknown or irrevers-
ible environmental degradation, which does
not support tourism development and
threatens long-term sustainable jobs.
Additionally, mining in South Africa has
generally not assisted communities to
achieve sustainable livelihoods. As the
DMR has admitted there has largely been
a failure of the mining industry to meet its
own commitments made in the Mining
Charter and to meet targets for community
development (Rutledge, 2015). It was
revealed that if mining was allowed to pro-
ceed in Dullstroom this would impact on
water quality which is also required for
trout fishing and water supply and for con-
tinued eco-tourism in the area which is cur-
rently a strong sector contributing to job
creation. In addition, drinking water quality
would also potentially deteriorate due to
mining and also impact on the quality of
agricultural water which in turn would
impact on food supply. Tourism jobs were
found to be vital to meeting the needs of
Dullstroom’s tourism sector and the various
260 Local Economy 31(1–2)
tourist activities that the region was able to
offer due to its abundant natural heritage.
Besides fly-fishing these included mountain
biking, camping, the annual horse endur-
ance, walks and hikes to name a few.
Although mining was noted as being able
to create second tier industries to support
mining development, these were perceived
to generally be of a short-term and not sus-
tainable. Tourism on the other hand creates
tourism linkages beyond tourism sites offer-
ings (e.g. construction, food supplies and
repair services) which is often long-term
and hence more sustainable. Whilst limited
numbers of informants suggested that
mining and tourism could coexists, this was
not deemed feasible due to the contradictory
development frameworks of the mining and
tourism sectors since one sector (i.e. tourism)
aims to preserve natural heritage, whilst the
other (i.e. mining) has great potential to
work against tourism and impact negatively
on the environment. Since mining is a high
intensity and short-term employment sector
with great potential to destroy the environ-
ment and the very resources that tourism
depends on, hence impacting on sustainable
tourism jobs, it is not feasible for both sec-
tors to co-exist as is suggested in literature
from Australia, Michigan, Johannesburg,
New Zealand and Spain.
However despite the need to support
tourism development in Dullstroom for job
creation over mining, the sector is beset with
challenges such as low paying seasonal jobs,
which needs to be addressed urgently if tour-
ism is to contribute to sustainable employ-
ment for the majority of people. Dullstroom
does not have a forum or platform that
brings together different stakeholders from
the region (i.e. local farmers, township rep-
resentatives, tourism businesses, and the
municipality) to discuss tourism related
issues. Establishing a Dullstroom tourism
committee composed of local stakeholders
could enable consensus and support to be
reached to help resolve any tourism
challenges experienced. Such a committee
can assist in creating awareness and sensitise
employers to the importance of encouraging
better salaries and benefits to workers so that
the local tourism sector is viewed as more
lucrative over mining and to help ensure
the long-term sustainability of tourism in
the area. Awareness also needs to be created
amongst the Sakhelwe community about the
importance of conserving the natural heri-
tage of Dullstroom and of the benefits of
tourism for the local community. If all
local stakeholders work collectively to pro-
mote tourism development under the
common principles of sustainable develop-
ment, this can contribute to the long-term
sustainability of tourism in Dullstroom and
create employment for the majority of the
local population.
Declaration of conflicting interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of
interest with respect to the research, authorship,
and/or publication of this article.
The author(s) received no financial support for
the research, authorship, and/or publication of
this article.
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The Cerrado is a world hotspot for nature conservation and an important tourist destination in Brazil. This region has been subjected to intensive land conversion for the production of commodities, which has led to the eruption of socio-environmental conflicts between tourism and extractive industries. In this article, we explore the dynamics of tourism development discourses that underpin the conflicts generated by mining projects in the town of Cavalcante and seek to inform on more adequate policymaking and promote human development. We employed multi-methods data collection techniques and a discourse analysis approach to assess the tourism development discourses that compete in local policy arenas and reflect upon policy outcomes that result from this process. We develop a three-stage chronology to show the dynamics of tourism discourses and reveal that sustainable tourism discourse served to generate a neoliberal modernization discourse. However, growing dissatisfaction with both tourism modernization and mining has generated resistance against mining among the affected communities. We conclude that leisure tourism and tourism modernization should be separated in public planning processes in contexts where socio-environmental conflicts are present, and that governmental and institutional mediation require a certain level of trust to ensure more balanced human development in such situations.
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This book investigates urban tourism development in Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the challenges and risks involved, but also showcasing the potential benefits. Whilst much is written on Africa’s rural environments, little has been written about the tourism potential of the vast natural, cultural and historical resources in the continent’s urban areas. Yet these opportunities also come with considerable environmental, social and political challenges. This book interrogates the interactions between urban risks, tourism and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan African urban spaces. It addresses the underlying issues of governance, power, ownership, collaboration, justice, community empowerment and policies that influence tourism decision-making at local, national and regional levels. Interrogating the intricate relationships between tourism stakeholders, this book ultimately reflects on how urban risk can be mitigated, and how sustainable urban tourism can be harnessed for development. "Urban tourism in the developing world is an underappreciated yet vital topic. Increased urbanisation, often poor public infrastructure, and increased threats, not least of which are global environmental change and the climate crisis, highlight the need for greater research on the interrelationships between urban tourism, risk and resilience at various scales. This edited volume on Sub-Saharan Africa is extremely timely and welcome and provides a rich source of insights and experiences that will prove extremely valuable for those concerned with tourism and urbanisation both now and in the future. This volume is strongly recommended." - Professor Michael Hall, Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand "Sustainability debates concerning tourism in sub-Saharan Africa traditionally are framed in the context of the continent’s rural and protected areas. This volume breaks new ground in African tourism scholarship by re-focussing sustainability debates upon Africa’s growing cities, acknowledging them as leading tourism destinations, and interrogating the linkages between urban risks, tourism and urban sustainability. Leonard, Musavengane and Siakwah have assembled a rich original collection of theoretical and empirical material which provides a new benchmark for researchers on sustainability and tourism in the global urban South in general and sub-Saharan Africa more specifically." - Professor Christian M. Rogerson, Research Professor, School of Tourism & Hospitality, University of Johannesburg, South Africa "This book is a highly recommended source for researchers who are interested in urban tourism development in sub-Saharan Africa. The book highlights the challenges and risks involved, but also showcases the potential benefits of tourism on natural, cultural, political, and historical resources of the continent’s urban areas by exploring four main themes: (1) urban tourism and environmental pollution risks, (2) peace tourism, battlefields and war risks, (3) tourism, climate change and flood risks, and (4) inclusive urban tourism and enclaves. This is a must have reference book for academics and practitioners who are interested in urban tourism development in sub-Saharan Africa." - Professor Dogan Gursoy, Taco Bell Distinguished Professor, School of Hospitality Business Management, Carson College of Business, Washington State University "Africa will be the epicentre of tourism in the future as it will be one of the few places offering authentic experiences. This book is a welcome addition to the literature about tourism in Africa supporting the continent to develop travel and link urban tourism, risks, and sustainable development. This book is highly recommended as it interrogates these relations in the sub-Saharan African urban spaces. It does this by drawing on themes such as governance, environmental justice, power, ownership, xenophobia, collaboration, empowerment, climate change, human settlements and policies that influence tourism and tourism decision-making at various local, regional and national levels. Through its rich theoretical and empirical contributions by African scholars the book will be of value to academics, decision makers, city planners, tourism managers and students alike to reflect on how sustainable urban tourism can be achieved in African urban spaces." - Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Distinguished Professor, International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, Bournemouth University Business School, United Kingdom
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The role of tourism for local economic development (LED) is a topic of critical importance for geographers. In the case of South Africa tourism is a priority sector for national economic development. The significance of research issues around tourism and LED is underlined by the ‘developmental’ mandate of local governments. Although tourism has received attention in a growing body of LED writings on South Africa issues around agritourism so far have been overlooked. Agritourism represents an evolving form of rural tourism which is targeted at mainly urban consumers. Against the background of a review of international scholarship on agritourism this article explores its potential implications for LED planning in South Africa. A national audit of agritourism is presented which shows its uneven geographical distribution. Agritourism is of special significance for small town economic development in South Africa’s intermediate tourism spaces. Policy suggestions are offered for strengthening agritourism as a driver for LED in South Africa.
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The worldwide growth in international mobility and associated leisure migration resulting from an increasingly globalised world are arguable major reasons for the rapid development and emergence of second homes worldwide. This trend is particularly prevalent in South Africa. Although second home development (SHD) is not a recent phenomenon in South Africa there has been a general lack of South African research on this topic (Visser, 2006). With a vast amount of research having being done on international studies of SHD, there is a need for South African research on the nature of SHD and the impact this phenomenon has on affected local communities (Hoogendoorn and Visser, 2004). This statement is corroborated by Rogerson and Visser (2007) which state that SHD is raising a lot of attention in relation to the advantages and disadvantages for local communities. Recent investigations on SHD in South Africa have realised a number of concerns and benefits associated with the growth of SHD in various regions in South Africa. One such growth node for SHD is Dullstroom in the Mpumalanga Province. This study focuses on the nature of SHD and the associated economic contributions to the local economy in Dullstroom.
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The objective of this article is to provide a broad framework for situating social movements in post-apartheid South Africa. The discussion begins with a brief review of approaches to the study of social movements and then turns to the challenges presented by globalization. South African democratization coincided with its increasing economic, social and political engagement with the rest of the world. One of the key effects of this has been massive job losses and resultant increases in poverty and inequality. Finally, the article reviews key features of movements in postapartheid South Africa. Overwhelmingly, these movements are driven by worsening poverty, with struggles addressing both labour issues and consumption issues. In addition, some movements confront questions of social exclusion in terms of gender, sexuality and citizenship which sit at the intersection of recognition and redistribution. Given the failure of the post-apartheid party political system to generate opposition to the left of the African National Congress (ANC), social movements provide a vital counterbalance to promote the needs of the poor in political agendas. © The Author [2005]. Published by Oxford University Press on Behalf of Royal African Society. All rights reserved.
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A relatively high proportion of Indigenous Australians live in remote areas where a number of mines are located. Indigenous Australians are more likely than their non-Indigenous counterparts to be unemployed and to be living below the poverty line and in order to overcome this disadvantage it is important for Indigenous people to gain meaningful employment. In these remote areas, in addition to mining, tourism is seen as potentially providing substantial opportunities for Indigenous employment. However many of these Indigenous tourism enterprises will need on-going support to become sustainable. Mining companies have significant resources and infrastructure that could be used to help develop Indigenous tourism and a number of companies, as part of their corporate social responsibility agenda, have directly facilitated the development of Indigenous tourism ventures. This study examined Indigenous involvement in tourism in the Weipa region of north-west Queensland and the role of the then Comalco bauxite mining operation, now called Rio Tinto Aluminium, in assisting this development. The study revealed substantial enthusiasm about market opportunities for Indigenous tourism and potential support from the Comalco mine. However the mine did not see itself as being directly involved but saw itself as a facilitator working with some regional Indigenous organisations. However given the constraints these other organisations face, this approach by Comalco is likely to limit the effectiveness of the mine's efforts.
Tourism is one of Latin America's fastest growing industries but the impact of tourism on the poor and the effects on lagging regions are under debate. Many studies have evaluated the growth impacts of the tourism sector but few have analyzed the impact of tourism on the economy and poverty at the subnational level in developing countries. As a country marked by a"dual economy,"Panama shares with other Latin American countries a fast growing, modern urban sector side by side with impoverished rural and peri-urban populations. Tourism has been growing in Panama and contributes at least 6 percent of gross domestic product. This paper presents the results of a top-down assessment of the impact of tourism spending on growth and poverty at the regional (province) level in Panama using a Social Accounting Matrix model. As revealed by this study, the tourism sector has large multiplier effects on the Panamanian economy and has the potential for significant benefits to the poor. But tourism's poverty benefits are neither automatic nor ubiquitous. They depend on where and how supply chains are structured and on the way tourists spend their money.
In this case study of the tourism image of Dullstroom, various contributions to the formation of the destination image were investigated. The location of the destination as represented on tourism maps; icons on road signs; slogans and strap lines from marketing collateral and frequencies of key words in websites were analysed. Structured interviews were conducted with representatives of business in Dullstroom and visitors to establish why people visit Dullstroom. The tourism image of Dullstroom is based on trout fishing, the attraction offered by the natural environment and events. Various types of tourist making up niche markets were distinguished and comments posted on websites were examined. The type of information disseminated, as well as the way in which information about a place is communicated, play a vital role in the tourism image as well as tourists’ perceptions of a destination.
‘Manufacturing amnesia’ argues that the term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ has been abandoned by most South African firms in favour of the term ‘corporate social investment’. This has been done in order to divert attention from calls on business to redress the results of its historical contribution to the apartheid system. The discourse of reconciliation has further served to erase memories of past corporate behaviour. It also masks continuing inequalities and unsustainable practices. Business has responded weakly to the pressures for CSR, of which five broad areas are identified and analysed. Voluntary sustainability initiatives have not succeeded and compliance with black economic empowerment charters and environmental standards have to be legislated and regulated. Firms need to reassess their legacies more honestly until which time their CSR contributions will be regarded as cosmetic and self-serving.
Local economic development (LED) planning is of major policy importance in post-apartheid South Africa. Although issues surrounding LED have attracted considerable policy attention, one neglected theme has been the role of tourism as a lead sector for LED. The aim of this article is to examine the planning and workings of one tourism-led LED initiative in South Africa. The case study is that of the Highlands Meander in Mpumalanga province, where five towns are collaborating in their LED initiatives in order to promote the area's tourism products. A key finding is that this growing tourism initiative is currently not benefiting local black communities. Recommendations are offered for developing a pro-poor tourism initiative.
The Djabugay people live near Cairns, a tourist destination in North Queensland, Australia, on land to which they “belong” and which traditionally “belongs” to them. Their community is an equity partner in the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park that features Djabugay culture. Some community members work as employees in the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. The benefits of tourism identified by this study included revival of Djabugay culture; employment opportunities; working together with other Djabugay community members; increased cross-cultural understanding; and improved material welfare. However, disadvantages such as degradation of Djabugay culture; exploitation of the Djabugay community; minimal tourist/Djabugay interaction; and limited material improvement for the Djabugay were also revealed.Although the Djabugay people experienced various outcomes from participation in the tourist industry, the community did not appear to experience substantial economic or socio-cultural benefits. As such, the legacy of disadvantage from colonialism is not necessarily reversed by this engagement with tourism. Recommendations arising from this study include stricter adherence to terms and conditions of formal agreements by all parties; increased and more effective communication between managers and indigenous personnel and communities; development of detailed strategies for empowerment of indigenous; and consideration of cross-cultural interaction.
Although the economic impacts of climate change have been analysed in Australia at the national level, impacts of climate change via tourism activities have been overlooked. It is likely that the induced economic impact through tourism activities is much more than realised, particularly at the regional/destination level. This paper examines the economic flow-on effects of climate change on five selected Australian tourism destinations. While the flow-on effect of impacts on these five destinations is relatively insignificant at the national level, at the regional level the impacts can be very considerable, and those impacts vary widely between regions. In addition to general direct climate change impacts on the economies of these regions, the larger their tourism share, the severer the flow-on economic impacts involved. The paper raises concerns for policymakers that measuring economic impacts of climate change without considering its flow-on effect through tourism activities will significantly underestimate the total impact of climate change for destination regions. Further, when all tourism destinations are taken into account, the flow-on economic impact of climate change could be significant for the Australian economy as a whole. Analyses such as those reported here could form a basis for scenario examination for policy development. 2010 Taylor & Francis