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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Tourism: has been defined by WTO as persons who travelling to and staying in place that diferent from their own enviroment for other purposes, also describes tourist as a guest who stays at least one night in accommodation at the place they visited (WTO, 2002). However, tourism is also believed by many people to be “a service industry that takes care of visitors when they are away from home.” (Nisthar, Vijayakumar, & Nufile, 2017). Other scholars widen the definition of tourism and it is more than just a service industry. According to Jiang, DeLacy, tourism is one of the most important economic sectors (Jiang, DeLacy, Mkiramweni, & Harrison, 2011). It has been considered as an effective tool for economic development and has long been recognized as a growth industry (Hrubcova, Loster, & Obergruber, 2016). Many scholars also refer to tourism as a network, that is, an interconnected network of differing activities (e.g. travel, accommodation, attractions and so on), institutions (e.g. airlines, hotels, travel agents, car hire firms, shops, restaurants, museums, national parks, convention centres, government departments, local tourism bureaus, industry associations and the like) and supply chains (e.g. agriculture, fishing, communication, laundry, energy, sewage, and so on) (Kujawa, 2017; Meng, Xu, Hu, Zhou, & Wang, 2017; Tomohara, 2017; van der Zee & Vanneste, 2015).

Poverty: has defined poverty as the total absence of opportunities accompanied by high levels of underconourishment, hunger, illiteracy, lack of education, physical and mental ailments, emotional and social instability, unhappy, sorrow and hopelessness for the future (UNESCO, 2017). (Scheyvens, 2012) also agree with UN's definition by characterizing poverty as chronic shortage of economic, social and political participation, relegating individuals to exclusion as social beings, preventing access to the benefits of economic and social development and thereby limiting their cultural development.   

2.2 Tourism's Contribution to economic growth

The potential of tourism has considered that this sector can contribute to national economic growth by many organizations, scholars and Governments (Aslan, 2014). According to the researched in few countries have revealed positive connection between tourism and economic growth in some low-income countries (Samimi, Sadeghi, & Sadeghi, 2011). While other scholars evidencing tourism has flow to national economic growth in particular countries(Anderson, 2013; Choi & Turk, 2011).

Organizations, scholars and Governments, have promoted tourism as an important economic growth tool to assist countries eliminate poverty and as a mechanism to create foreign exchange receiving, offer jobs employment and tax revenues (Ellis & Sheridan, 2015). Honey and Gilpin, argue that tourism has multiplier effects in boosting economic growth because it attracted investors to invest in tourist destinations, in return provide jobs employments and business opportunities (Honey & Gilpin, 2009a). It has been claim that the inflow of revenue to tourist destinations could have an impact on economics, increasing the involvement of local residents in tourism value chain and alleviation poverty (Vanhove, 2017).

The tourism can play as a key role for strengthening national economic development, it provide jobs employment and a tool for sustainable economic development alternative because of its effects on related industries in local economic (Mowforth & Munt, 2015). Tourism has become the main driver to improve livelihood and reduce poverty (Croes, 2014). According to Hawkins, 50% of lease developing countries has include tourism in their top three foreign income source (Hawkins & Mann, 2007). This sector offer economic opportunities that effect other sectors such as infrastructure, transportation, accommodation, communication, education, immigration and customs (Mitchell & Ashley, 2011). Because its potential, some governments in least developing countries has use tourism as an effective tool for creating tax revenue, a variety jobs employment, eliminate poverty and strengthening local cultures (Ellis & Sheridan, 2015).

2.3 The Contribution of Tourism to Poverty Alleviation

The world has considered tourism as a main key factor for developing economic and alleviating poverty, there has been argument on the extent to which tourism has contributed to poverty alleviation in most of developing country (Croes, 2014). Mitchell and Ashley has proved that tourism growth has impact on reduce poverty (J. Mitchell & C. Ashley, 2010), others also stated that the potential of tourism to decrease poverty is limited.(Croes, 2014; Hummel & van der Duim, 2012). While supporters claim that tourism can improve other economic sectors because of its potential for cross-sectoral linkages, and to create pro-poor growth and employment, Sceptics stated that tourism might not able to alleviate poverty due to high economic leakage because of foreign ownership, other leakage and major costs incurred by poor people, in term of lost access to natural resources, interruption of socioculture and movement (Spenceley & Meyer, 2012). Thus it would show that tourism's impact to poverty reduction differs broadly for one place to other places.

Others pioneering who work to support poor family achievement benefits from tourism has been successful (Ashley & Mitchell, 2008; J Mitchell & C Ashley, 2010). However, the proved that showing that tourism has impact to poverty reduction is irregular and tokenistic (Scheyvens, 2012). It is difficult to prove that tourism can eliminate poverty without empirical evidence or dependable data (Goodwin, 2009; J. Mitchell & C. Ashley, 2010). Tourism, may not respond to the reduction of poverty but it can make an important contribute. Tourism always has both positive and negative effect (Scheyvens, 2009), for negative effect is allowing elites to get more profits from tourism than the poor (Chok, Macbeth, & Warren, 2007). For example, Croes (2014, p. 207) researched about the contribute of tourism on poverty reduction in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, conclude that tourism does importance for poor household but it doesn't seem to have methodical effects. Comparing tourism contributed on poverty in these two countries, Croes found that tourism spending in Nicaragua has impacted on poverty elimination, because it enable job employment in both tourism sector and related sectors for poor family. But in Costa Rica these opportunities were very limited for poor household due to this employment were occupied by Costa Ricans high education level and foreigners. This is similar to M. Honey, E. Vargas, and W. Durham (2010a), claimed these job employment were limited for poor local people because unskilled and low wages.

However, some scholars and organizations has considered that the favour of tourism as main key factor to alleviate poverty (Mitchell, 2012; J Mitchell & C Ashley, 2010; Nguyen & Nguyen, 2013). Among them, J. Mitchell and C. Ashley (2010), note that the jobs opportunities for poor household are considered as power tool to eliminate poverty and significant component of pro-poor tourism.  Mitchel and Ashley also identified three pathways which tourism benefits have impact on poor households or contributed to poverty elimination which are direct effects, indirect flows and dynamic effects:

1) Direct effects include wages and other income earned by people from poor backgrounds in the various tourism value chains, including accommodation, restaurant, transportation and other services. Some of these earnings are sent in the form of remittances to family members living in other locations. Improved infrastructure can also benefit the poor.

2) Indirect flows occur when tourist expenditures activate economic activities in destinations allowing local communities – especially the poor – to earn income from hotel construction and supplying goods and services, such as food and craft products. Where there are backward linkages to agriculture, farmers also benefit. Induced effects from tourism are mainly derived from staff re-spending their wages in the local economy, and

3) Dynamic effects include changes in the macro economy, such as tax to support services to local communities and capacity building for tourism employees.

J. Mitchell and C. Ashley (2010)

Moreover, tourism development is increasingly recognised as an important tool for promoting economic growth and alleviating poverty (Richardson, 2010). The rapid growth of tourism stimulates an increase in government revenue and household income through multiplier effects (Nguyen & Nguyen, 2013). However, UNCTAD has warned that although tourism has potential for economic development and poverty reduction, the link between tourism and poverty reduction and economic growth is not automatic (UNCTAD, 2013). This link depends on the extent to which tourism can create linkages with other economic sectors in destinations such as agriculture and service provider sectors, generate employment opportunities, develop basic infrastructure as well as the provision of financial services (UNCTAD, 2013)

2.4.1 Pro-poor Tourism for Alleviating Poverty

Pro Poor Tourism (PPT) was defined as tourism which brought net benefits to the poor and (Goodwin, 2011) argued that any form of tourism could be pro-poor. Some organizations, such as the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), have promoted the idea of PPT because of its potential as a poverty reduction tool (Mitchell, 2012).

UNWTO has involve poverty alleviation as a core goal of sustainable tourism and have encouraged governments and tourism businesses to integrate PPT into their tourism development strategies (UNWTO, 2006). Although poverty reduction is the key component of PPT, environment protection and natural resource conservation have to be incorporated into tourism planning and operations as well, to ensure sustainable development and long-term success of the sector (Chok et al., 2007).

According to (Mao, 2015), the PPT and the Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty (STEP) programs have been promoted to support poor people by DFID and UNWTO and pro-poor programs have been implemented in some countries. The STEP program, initiated by UNWTO in 2002, is consistent with the MDGs and promotes economically, socially and ecologically sustainable tourism. The program focuses on alleviating poverty and providing job opportunities to people in developing countries.

In this regard, the consistent with the view that PPT, as one element in solving the leakage problem, because it aims to unlock poor households, and especially unskilled people, including women, so they can access employment in the formal and informal sectors (Richardson, 2010). Tourism can play an important role, for example, in activating economic activities by expanding job opportunities for the poor, increasing demand for services and products supplied by the poor and diversifying livelihoods in destination and surrounding areas, thereby contributing to poverty alleviation (J. Mitchell & C. Ashley, 2010). While tourism is widely considered as a catalyst for economic growth (UNWTO, 2017a), some scholars such as Ashley & Mitchell, (2008); Harrison, (2008); Meyer, (2008) have gone further, claiming that sustainable tourism development in which natural resources and tourism assets are being used effectively can alleviate poverty (Jiang et al., 2011). However, this section will also focus on tourism's contribution to livelihoods of local communities including their livelihood and assets

2.4 Tourism's contributed to Local Community Livelihoods and Assets

Tourism helps to empower local communities and build capacity which, in turn, improves their livelihoods, the empowerment is a multi-dimensional concept including economic, social, political, and psychological empowerment (Nyaupane & Poudel, 2011). Regular economic gains from formal or informal sector employment and business opportunities help economically empower the community and Shared income among community members also helps improve local livelihoods by providing infrastructure, education, and health. Some disadvantaged groups, particularly those who do not earn cash, can be empowered through economic opportunities (Dwyer & Thomas, 2012; Nyaupane & Poudel, 2011).

According to Mathew, Local communities living in tourism destination often become involved in tourism and related businesses in an effort to improve their standard of living and livelihoods (Mathew & Sreejesh, 2017). They participate in tourism value chain services, such as transportation, accommodation, entertainment, catering, maintenance and products (e.g. handicrafts), and food through agriculture and fisheries (Mao, 2015). This enables them to diversify their income sources to improve their livelihoods (Mathew & Sreejesh, 2017).  Tourism can affect the livelihoods of local communities in multiple ways: socially, culturally, environmentally, and economically (Honey & Gilpin, 2009b).

Tourism can also provides non-economic benefits such as capacity building, basic infrastructure development and services, health care and security (Mao, 2015). These benefits contribute significantly to local communities' wellbeing and also play an important role in poverty alleviation (Mathew & Sreejesh, 2017). UNWTO, claimed that beneficial socioeconomic contributions of tourism consist of job opportunities for locals, which enable them to earn income from the tourism industry (UNWTO, 2017b). A prominent feature of tourism is its potential to  create jobs and generate income for host communities, in combination with its potential to form backward and forward linkages enables tourism to play a vital role in economic growth and business diversification (UNCTAD, 2013). Tourism's potential for building linkages to other economic sectors help to stimulate manufacturing, services and agricultural production in areas surrounding tourist destinations (M. Honey, E. Vargas, & W. H. Durham, 2010b).Thus tourist spending can created  jobs, wages, and profits for local communities. This in turn enables individuals, households and communities to diversify income sources (Honey et al., 2010b). As pointed out by Dwyer and Thomas, tourism growth is expected to increase household incomes and by generating unskilled jobs for the poor, tourism can have positive impacts on poverty reduction for a destination (Dwyer & Thomas, 2012). However, tourism development not only helps to create employment and diversify family income, but also helps to improve social services, encourage job training and accelerate production of new products and services linked to this sector (Honey et al., 2010b).

Furthermore, tourism has been regarded as global growth industry with  potential for contributing to local livelihood diversification and poverty reduction, most tourism research has concentrated on aspects of marketing, tourism products, impacts and planning (Mathew & Sreejesh, 2017).

 Livelihood assets in tourism destination play as important role for income and livelihood improvement of local communities. Livelihood refers to capacities, assets (both material and social), and activities needed for people to make a living (Hua, Yan, & Zhang, 2017), livelihood assets consist of human, social, physical, natural and financial capital, all of which are needed to produce quality products and set up small businesses (Suntikul, Bauer, & Song, 2009).  Department For International Development (DFID),  descibes livelihood assets as follows:

• Human capital “represents the skills, knowledge, ability to labour and good health that together enable people to pursue different livelihood strategies and achieve their livelihood objectives” (DFID, 1999).

• Social capital “is taken to mean the social resources upon which people draw in pursuit of their livelihood objectives” (DFID, 1999).

• Natural capital “is the term used for the natural resource stocks from which resource flows and services (e.g. nutrient cycling, erosion protection) useful for livelihoods are derived” (DFID, 1999).

• Physical capital “comprises the basic infrastructure and producer goods needed to support livelihoods” (DFID, 1999).

• Financial capital refers to “the financial resources that people use to achieve their livelihood objectives” (DFID, 1999).

The integrates financial and physical capital into “economic capital” has been argured by Shen, as “the basic infrastructure, producer goods and the financial resources that people use to achieve their livelihood objectives” (Shen, 2008). Producer goods are equipment and the tools that individuals use to operate more productively, whereas basic infrastructure can help local communities meet their basic needs and produce more (DFID, 1999). The components of infrastructure include: affordable transport; secure shelter; adequate water supply; safe drinking water; affordable energy; and access to information and these are considered fundamental to community livelihoods, as is social capital, developed through networks and connectedness (DFID, 1999).

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