Township tourism

Township tourism

Township tourism is a term used to describe a form of tourism that emerged in post-apartheid South Africa. South African settements are still visibly divided into wealthy, historically white suburbs and poor, historically black townships, because of the effects of apartheid and racial segregation. Before 1994 it was rare for tourists to visit townships. Increasingly the established South African tourism industry sees the townships as a resource for attracting tourism revenue. Smaller operations, including many emerging black tourism operators, see township tourism as a means of empowerment and of bolstering the self-esteem of people in these historically marginalised communities. Although township tours vary in form, they often differ from other tourism experiences in being interactive, socially minded, and potentially empowering for the communities involved. However they have also courted controversy, because of disputes about their safety, their voyeurism, and fears that they misrepresent South African culture(s).

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