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Entry points for local tourism in developing countries: evidence from Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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International tourism is an increasingly important source of income and employment for many developing countries with over 690 million annual international arrivals (World Tourism Organisation data). This paper considers the impact of tourism in the city of Yogyakarta, in Java, Indonesia, and asks whether one subsector of international tourism, namely backpacker tourism, provides a way for local people to enter this globalised industry. The paper examines the emergence of small-scale, bottom- up tourism and its transformatory effect upon a previously poor kampung (urban village). It is suggested that the nature of small-scale, locally owned tourism businesses, particularly their minimal capital requirements, may be seen as a form of ‘pro-poor tourism’ and may provide a useful component of local economic development strategies for poor communities. Further, smallscale tourism development may also be seen as an effective local response to some of the effects of globalisation, specifically increasing flows of international tourists to developing countries.
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Keywords: backpacker tourism; community development; economic development; globalisation; pro-poor tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Surrey, UK

Publication date: 01 September 2003

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