Tourism Review International vol:12 issue:3-4 pages:259-273
Despite the many assets the continent possesses, tourism in Africa has mostly operated below its potential, and its often poorly planned development has had irreversible negative consequences for both people and the environment. In order to develop sustainable forms of tourism, respectful of the rich natural and cultural African heritage, industry leaders and policy makers must consider the broader historical and socio-economic contexts in which tourism is implanting itself. Inspired by an anthropological perspective, this paper takes Tanzania as a case study. Tourism in this East African country, as in other African countries, is firmly embedded in encompassing – and sometimes conflicting – processes of localization, nationalization, regionalization, and globalization. Only by having a solid understanding of how these different scales are connected, disconnected, and reconnected, and by taking into account the interests of all stakeholders involved, can we begin to build an integrated African hospitality industry that is sustainable as well as economically beneficial. Archival records and recent ethnographic data are combined to show the kinds of challenges and opportunities this poses in the case of Tanzania.