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In the global profile of scholarship on tourism geographies, Africa is the least represented continent. With Africa's incorporation into the global tourism economy, considerable optimism has been raised by many national governments as well as external international development agencies as to the potential contribution of tourism for social and economic development across the continent. The number of geographical voices interrogating the nexus of tourism and development is small but expanding. This paper provides a review of the existing paths and new directions of tourism geographies of the region of Southern Africa as the context for this special dossier. It is argued that tourism research and debates in Southern Africa are growing in importance, including an expansion of geographical research.

Keywords: Southern Africa; Tourism geographies; economic development

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg, Bunting Road Campus, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa., Email: 2: Department of Geography, University of the Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa., Email:

Publication date: 2011-07-01

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