"This research project addresses the knowledge gap that exists in the assessment of qualitative indicators of poverty alleviation in tourism.
Currently measurement of poverty and its alleviation is based chiefly on quantitative measures, arguably because qualitative indicators are difficult to operationalise in evaluation efforts. If poverty is understood as a multi-dimensional phenomenon, measuring poverty needs to address the qualitative character of poverty as well to reach meaningful results.
The field of tourism research has for some time addressed the role of tourism in poverty alleviation of developing countries and least developed countries. Whether or not tourism helps to alleviate poverty remains uncertain. Like in other fields, research has focussed on measuring quantitative 'net-benefits'. While qualitative benefits and costs of tourism are frequently entioned, there is a lack of operationalise qualitative indicators that would allow evaluation efforts to be conducted systematically across the field.
To address this lacuna, the researcher will conduct an empirical case study of four global ‘slum-tourism’ destinations in order to develop qualitative indicators and use them in the assessment of the cases. Slum-Tourism is extremely well placed to study qualitative indicators of poverty alleviation because poverty is not only the context in which tourism takes place, but becomes part of the tourist product, the tourist experience and tourist’s travel purpose.
The research project will improve the ability to measure of poverty understood as a multi-dimensional phenomenon and its alleviation. It is relevant not simply in the field of tourism, but also in the study of urban and international development."
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