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The Tourism Global Commodity Chain in Namibia: Industry Concentration and its Impacts on Transformation

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Applying Global Commodity Chain (GCC) theory, this article uncovers governance patterns in the Namibian tourism industry. The sector, it is argued, is best characterized as a buyer-driven GCC, in which large tour operators and accommodation groups control most economic transactions, and in which local actors remain generic suppliers with limited power to capture a significant share of the value. In a context of rapid globalization and fierce competition, horizontal and vertical integration have further concentrated economic powers in the hands of larger groups (national or international). With such an ownership structure, previously disadvantaged Namibians lack economic leverage to be fully involved in the largely white-dominated tourism sector.
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Keywords: CONCENTRATION; GLOBAL COMMODITY CHAINS; GOVERNANCE; NAMIBIA; TOURISM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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