Corporate social responsibility in the tourism industry. Lessons from communities surrounding Great Zimbabwe monuments.
The study aims at unpacking the political economy associated with vibrant tourism industries in communities surrounding Great Zimbabwe monuments. This study examines two phenomena that have been popular in development discourse: tourism and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Discussion of these phenomena is common, tackled from different disciplines, including but not limited to economics, anthropology, sociology and geography. Tourism can be understood as an activity which entails "temporary visitors staying at least twenty-four hours in the country visited and the purpose of whose journey can be classified under one of the following headings: (a) leisure (b) business" (IUOTO, 1963, p.14). Tourism in this paper is conceptualized as a service industry that provides marketing, transport, accommodation and other related services to satisfy the needs of tourists. As an industry, it creates a tourism-based economy for the local communities whose livelihood activities are shaped, based, entirely linked and dependent on the activities of the tourism industries.
This ethnographic study sought to examine the contribution of CSR on the livelihoods of people domiciled in communities surrounding the Great Zimbabwe monuments. It also explores the level of participation of the local people in the CSR activities initiated by tourism players in the area. In addressing the aforementioned objectives, the study answers the following questions:
a) To what extent are the local communities benefitting from CRS activities done by tourism stakeholders?
b) How and at what levels are the local people participating in the CRS activities?
Review of literature
As early as 1992, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development it was recognized that tourism is an important driver in community development (Frey and George, 2010). Kalikawe (2001) noted that tourism is pivotal to the development processes in Botswana. In 1997, tourism contributed 5 percent to the 1996/1997 GDP in Botswana. Further, Kalikawe estimates that close to P1.1 billion was spent by the tourists who visited Botswana. Ross and Wall (1999) note that Ecotourism brings forth a number of economic opportunities to the receiving area, thus arguing in line with the general belief that tourism boosts the local economy and its trickling down effects can be witnessed in surrounding communities and at grassroots levels. Furthermore, tourism is a major foreign currency earner for most developing countries. In Costa Rica, tourism was the third highest source of foreign currency, bringing in more than US$ 331 million (CIDA, 1995). Important as it seems, such analysis adopts a broader national approach that neglects contributions of the tourism industry to the local communities they operate in.
In South Africa, Spenceley (2007) captures the activities of tourist enterprises engaging in RTM. Theses operators developed infrastructure, opened avenues for locals to engage in economic activities, education and employment creation; environmentally these firms initiated conservation projects. Argandona (2010) notes that several actors in tourism give back to their respective communities in a number of ways. Hoteles Husa offers scholarships to employees' children, while Hoteles Hesperia offers lower price accommodation for local NGOs and foundations. Cruise Line involved in transportation donates money to charity organizations. Some companies give back to local communities through education and advocacy against sex tourism involving children, environmental awareness and construction of residential areas to promote residential or real estate tourism (Mazon, 2002, see also www.yci.org). The Banyan Tree resorts have encouraged local artisans in most Asian rural communities to curve crafts that are marketed and sold at the hotel curio shop. Local craftsmen are given preferences to make furniture used in these hotels, thus the local communities draws benefits from the initiative of the Banyan Tree Resort (www.banyantree.com/greenimperative/businesses.htm)
In Gambia, hoteliers at Kombo Beach and Bungalow Beach incorporated local fruit vendors in their activities. Fruits vendor and juicy pressers and craft sellers were helped by hoteliers to establish an association and a code of conduct that regulates their activities. Through their association, they have been granted permission to sell crafts, fruits and juices to tourists on the beach. This type of CSR has direct contribution to livelihoods in communities surrounding the two beaches. Incomes at the craft market increased three-fold as tourists spend more without being pestered in the market and some new products and better merchandising were introduced (Greenhotelier, 2003).
Tourism industries do not always benefit local communities or enhance uplifting the standards of living among the locals. In Mozambique, as cited by a report by International Trade Centre (2009), most international hotels import over 90% of foods from overseas, neglecting similar produces by local farmers within their vicinity. Livelihoods of the local people and the economic setup of the communities are not in sync with the viable tourist industry. A contrary setup exist in Senegal where hoteliers where aiming for local sourcing of most products, however, local communities could not provide these produce. Tourism has been blamed for perpetuating regional disparities and uneven developments within a country. Argandona (2010) shows that in Spain, tourism has led to overdevelopment in coastal and mountain areas where tourist frequent. These developments are economical, in terms of infrastructure and services provided in these areas.
Positioning Corporate Social Responsibility within the context of Tourism
Corporate social responsibility in the tourism industry is by no means a new phenomenon but has a long and protracted history. Ralston (2012) argued that a decade ago many tourism and hospitality had very little awareness of CSR, though many of them had it within their mainstream business operations and strategies, but were rather skeptical about it. Ralston (2012) further noted that although CSR has its ancestry in business philanthropy, it has with time evolved to become increasingly recognized as good business sense and often described as the "triple bottom line" (economic, environmental and social) (Elkinton, 1994, p.92). As such contemporary forms of CSR are inherently rooted within the quest for sustainable development. Nevertheless, it is paramount to note that classical forms of CSR activities within the tourism and hospitality sector tended to have an innate environmental bias with emphasis on efficient use of energy and technology (Ralston, 2012). This was largely because of the international guidelines on sustainable tourism set by the various stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry that includes but not limited to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the World Tourism Organization and the Earth Council following the adoption of the Agenda 21 (Kalish, 2002; Miller, 2001). Given such a scenario, it has been observed that various scholars have wrote detailed accounts on CSR in tourism, for instance Bohdanowicz has written prolifically on CSR, specifically in hotels (Bohdanowicz, 2007; Bohdanowicz et al., 2004, Bohdanowicz and Zientara, 2008).
Needless to stress is the fact that most of her writings focus on the environmental side of CSR. There has also been extensive research on tourism, which has made significant impact on awareness of environmental and waste issues in hotels over the last 15 years (Holcombe, Upchurch and Okamus, 2007; Green Hotels Association, 2008; HOTREC, 2004; Chirenje et al., forthcoming). More so, Holcomb et al. also carried out a study in which they wanted to have an in--depth understanding of CSR reporting. From that study they made conclusions that contrasted with those of Bohdanowicz and Zientara (2009). Nevertheless, in spite of such contrasting conclusions, they all seemed to agree that CSR is assuming greater importance in the tourism industry. Ralston (2012) further carried out a study to critically interrogate the future and sustainability of CSR in the tourism and hospitality sector amid a myriad of challenges confronting tourism and hospitality organizations.
Interestingly, scholars like Holcomb et al. (2007) reiterated that there is a paucity of research pertaining to CSR in the tourism industry especially in less economically developed economies and that more in-depth studies on CSR in these areas is required. This study was consequently inspired by such position; hence this article addresses this issue by looking at CSR activities at the Great Zimbabwe monuments.
Recent literature on development rarely neglects the issue of CSR. Many scholars trace the origin of CSR to the 1950s (Boon and Abibio, 2007; Maphosa, 1997). Development projects informed by neo-liberal ideologies lack human face as these projects aim at increasing profits, raising GDPs and economies, neglecting the social and human factor to development. To bring morality and ethics to neo-liberal development, most scholars have identified CSR as one of the ways to make development focus on local communities and humans. It should not be underscored that the phenomenon of CSR is extremely complex and fluid and thus tend to have a plethora of definitions. In spite of this definitional conundrum, the operational definition used in this paper is 'a company's commitment to operating in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner, while recognizing the interests of its stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, business partners, local communities, the environment and society at large' (CBSR, 2006).
The term Responsible Tourism Management (RTM) is usually used synonymously to mean CSR in tourism sector. As Frey and George (2010) notes RTM entails a three pronged approach that seeks to ensure that 1) tourism industries improves the quality of life for surrounding communities; 2) business opportunities are created for locals, and 3) improve tourists experiences. These definitions indicate that CSR may lead to a win-win situation between communities and business enterprises. The aim of CSR is sustainability of the industry and activities that benefit both the communities and the companies. Like any company in any sector of the economy, companies involved in tourism business have an obligation and social responsibility to the communities they operate in. Tourism is an industry whose activities impact greatly on environment, economic, cultural and social lives of people living near a resort area. This makes it pertinent for tourist companies to engage in CSR as it aids sustainability of the industry, taking cognizance that the environment is a crucial component in tourism.
The relationship between tourism, corporate social responsibility and development is not an easy or straight forward as many studies have portrayed. Milne and Ateljevic (2001) argue that only through understanding the complexity of tourism political economy, focusing on how key stakeholders such as tourism enterprises, government, communities and tourist interact, can watertight conclusions and deeper understanding of this nexus be reached.
It should be underscored that 'responsibility' in business is embedded on the argument that corporations are sanctioned and promoted by the society in which they operate in. Of note is that it is the society which provide a conducive environment for business to earn colossal profits (Dubrin et al., 1989). Logically, society therefore in turn expects business organizations to be good corporate citizens, through obeying societal laws and refraining from activities that have negative socio--economic and environmental impacts such as pollution, discrimination as well as exposing workers and clients to hazardous conditions alike. Thus, business and the society have a psycho-social contract and under such a contract the organization inevitably has an obligation to act for the social good of the society as a whole. It is emphasized under this contract that business should not only exist just to make colossal profits but should also have and inherent obligation to have a pro-active role in finding solutions to societal welfare even if in so doing it reduces its economic profits (Drucker, 1955; Fredrick, 1983). As such, business is obliged to adopt a 'corporate philanthropic' position where business makes contributions of a charitable nature to the community. This corporate philanthropy may include support for cultural, sporting or educational especially for the most vulnerable members of the society such as orphans, widows, people with disabilities, the poor and the aged. All of which require a level of ethical behavior and codes of conduct (Moir, 2001). The argument here is that business should take an active role in addressing a myriad of societal problems, most of which results directly and/ or indirectly from the operations of the business.
In contrast, it has been observed that there is voluminous literature on CSR disclosure indices from various scholars based of European tourism experience (see Morhardt, 2010; Unerman, 2000; and Wiseman, 1982). Likewise, Font et al. (2012) explored issues pertaining to international hotel groups' corporate social responsibility policies and discovered that corporate policies showed widespread endorsement of international conventions, though that did not simultaneously translated into evidence at the individual hotel level. This argument is also lucidly captured by (Bohdanowicz et al., 2011).
Corporate social responsibility in Zimbabwe
The history of CRS in Zimbabwe can be traced backed to the era of Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) in the early 1990s. The state 'rolled back' in economic and social activities and the honors fell on private businesses to fill that gap created (Maphosa, 1997). This setup and expectations of people, compelled corporate enterprises to be more social and environmental responsible in the areas they operated. Furthermore, with a general economic meltdown experienced from late 1990s the government was incapacitated to initiate or drive developmental projects. The failure, inability or negligence of the Zimbabwean government to drive development projects and alleviate the poverty among its people cannot be emphasized. The honors to develop and reduce poverty in local communities now fell upon the private sector in general, tourist enterprises included.
Norman Long's interface analysis is utilized to make sense of the data gathered. In every development initiative an interface is created between institutions spearheading the development process and the people who benefit from the development process (Long, 1999). The interface is characterized by actors, both individual and institutions, who differently judge, interpret and evaluate the CSR by NMMZ as well as the development process that ensues. The interface is also characterized by moments of conflicts and diverging opinions among actors who interact in it, however, incidents of cooperation and negotiations are common at the very interface (Long, 1999).
Methodology and methods
The nature of the study at hand required a qualitative methodology. Qualitative methodology places primary value on complete understandings, namely how people understand, experience and operate within dynamic milieus (Tewksbury, 2009). In studying CSR qualitative methodology was used as it penetrates the frames of meanings, experiences and situates respondents' narratives with regard to the role and responsibilities shouldered by players in the tourism industry. Emerging narrative captured different responsibilities recognized and identified by the locals, they also draw attention to the linkages that exist between local communities and tourism corporates in the surroundings. In order to capture the multiple facets and linkages between tourism industries and local communities, exploratory and descriptive methods were required.
Unstructured-interviews that yielded detailed narratives about the role played by corporates operating at Great Zimbabwe monuments were adopted. These unstructured-interviews were administered to forty (40) respondents who resided in Sikato, Nemamwa and Manyama communities, which are within the vicinity of the monuments. To buttress data obtained from unstructured-interviews, key informant interviews were conducted with some personnel who were employed in corporates that operated at the monuments, and also with local traditional leaders such as chiefs, village heads and headman. Key informant interviews were mainly used to augment and corroborate narratives provided by the locals in unstructured-interviews. Transect walks and field observations formed part of the data collecting tools. Through transect walks, some of the activities corporates engaged in were observed. Lastly, focus group discussions (FGD) were utilized to corroborate data that had been gathered earlier using other methods. FGD were important because they are multi-vocal. The researchers conducted four FGDs with the first one consisting of female participants, the second one was made up of male participants, while the third one combined both sexes and the last one was composed of different key informants. This separation was mainly done to capture the gendered experiences of participants with regards to CSR. This was also done to reduce gender and class power dynamics distorting the reliability of the data.
This study aimed at elucidating information pertaining to CSR at Great Zimbabwe monuments. Due to this, the research adopted a case study approach whose results could not be inferred to represent situation obtaining across the country. Purposive sampling, a non-probability sampling technique, was utilized to recruit respondents who participated in the study. Purposive sampling was opted for because it aims not on establishing a representative sample but rather to identify respondents whose context-specific knowledge and expertise regarding the CSR at Great Zimbabwe monuments (Gummesson, 1991). This technique generated fifty (50) respondents who yielded voluminous data that was significant and information-rich. With purposive sampling information rich cases were chosen which enhanced the validity and reliability of the data collected. Thematic analysis was used to make sense of the data obtained in the field, themes used were derived from the key findings given by the respondents.
Limitations of the study
The study was micro in approach, examining CSR activities in communities surrounding Great Zimbabwe Monuments only, thus the study findings cannot be generalized to the country as whole. A number of respondents were not forthcoming with the information required for the study. To circumvent this hurdle, triangulation of methods as well as respondents was resorted to. The research was time consuming as more time was expended creating rapport with the participants to enable them to open up. This was also expensive in terms of resources. Accessing important key informants who were tied up with other business, acted as a challenge. Bureaucratic delays were outstanding in this particular study.
Presentation and discussion of data
The social investment of corporates located at Great Zimbabwe monuments is highlighted and analyzed in this section. These corporates have invested heavily in the local communities in terms of employment creation, creation of vibrant and sustainable livelihoods based for locals, education and preservation local cultural practice.
Empowering traditional leaders
A number of studies have noted that CSR by most corporates is a mere marketing gimmick where the corporate impose its philanthropy upon a community without actively involving the beneficiary in decision making (Chiwane, 2009). The model of CSR adopted by NMMZ proves otherwise. Great Zimbabwe national museum and monuments has heavily invested in local leaders such as chiefs and headmen in area surrounding the monuments. What emerged in the study is that these traditional leaders are viewed as the custodians of the whole Great Zimbabwe monuments. In fact, NMMZ has adopted a people-centric approach in its provision of community activities and emphasizes on grassroots participation of local leaders and villagers. This conforms to Long's actor--oriented approach to development in that the local people are viewed as rational and knowledgeable beings who can actively contribute to development in their own communities through participatory development. Local chiefs and headman constitute the board of NMMZ. They act as part of the museum administrators.
The board has made these traditional leaders aware about the prudence of preserving the areas surrounding the monuments. Within their areas of jurisdictions chief and headman educate their subjects on how to preserve their environment. Chiefs are actively involved in the campaigns against deforestation and the use of veld fires in the area. Individuals found engaging in these activities are first sent before the chiefs and other responsible authorities are notified. Key informants highlighted that such punitive measures by the local leaders have reduced incidences of poaching, veld fires and deforestation around the Great Zimbabwe area. For their role in the management of the heritage the local leaders are offered incentives by the NMMZ. The local chiefs and headmen noted that NMMZ was working to develop their areas, and NMMZ always actively involve them in planning and decision making on issues that concern them.
Active participation by local leaders guarantees benefits to their communities as these leaders make contribution that address the needs of their people. In the area of conservation, local communities take note of the heed of NMMZ because they feel involved. It emerged in focus group discussions that the local leaders participate in various workshops organized by NMMZ that concerns community development and harmonious co-existence of the local community and the monuments. These workshops educate the local leaders and the community on various issues pertaining to sustainable utilization of surrounding resources. What should be underscored is that the sustainable preservation of the monuments and surrounding resources is vital for the livelihoods of the local community and sustainable development. This relates to arguments made by Henderson (2007) who opined that arguments in favor of CSR have become intricately linked to those advocating sustainable development, a concept that is epitomized by economic growth being matched with socio-cultural and environmental concerns.
Assisting the less privileged in communities
Information obtained from interviews and focus group discussions revealed that NMMZ has assisted the local Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) to further their secondary education in local schools. Through the headman, NMMZ identifies and select OVCs who are sponsored the organization. NMMZ pays school fees, examination registration, provides uniforms and books to these OVCs under its program. Great Zimbabwe Hotel also sponsors OVCs in the area. It plays a fundamental role in the up keeping of students by paying for their accommodation at Nemanwa Growth point. Students under these corporates sponsorship program are enrolled at Morgenster and Chirichoga secondary schools. Up to date more than five hundred students have been assisted by NMMZ and the Great Zimbabwe hotel. Both actors expressed the importance of this philanthropy by NMMZ, the move was viewed vital. In educating the OVCs, NMMZ was helping the communities through capacity building and giving the OVCs the first step towards escaping the vicious circle of poverty. However, some residents were dissatisfied by the way some traditional leaders selected beneficiaries. The majority of our respondents in interviews complained that nepotism was rampant as some leaders would select their relatives and at times neglecting and marginalizing OVCs who are in dire need for assistance. This exposes the volatile nature and high conflict incidence at the interface; actors are bound to have conflicting and at times contradicting views on this philanthropy. Inspite of this, NMMZ has played a pivotal role in the educational attainment of many OVCs in and around the Nemamwa community through this initiative. This scholarship program has significantly improved literacy rates amongst the local youth. From the in-depth interviews conducted with the beneficiaries of this program, it emerged that OVCs were grateful to the assistance they are receiving from NMMZ. To avoid nepotism and corruption in the scholarship program the researcher contends that there is need for an interface between NMMZ and the local leaders. Moreso, there is need for transparency as well as checks and balances on the selection criteria used to select beneficiaries.
Employment creation and livelihoods diversification
NMMZ and Great Zimbabwe Hotels have strengthened and diversified livelihoods in areas surrounding the monuments. Great Zimbabwe hotel procures its fruits and vegetables from local producers and sellers. This creates economic opportunities for local businesses and aid the development of a vibrant local economic system with little or no leakages. Local person talented in sculpting, carving, theatre and performing arts are given the opportunity to showcase and market their talents and enhance their livelihoods. This was illustrated by a local sculptor who operates under the auspices of NMMZ and Great Zimbabwe Hotel. It emerged in the interviews that this sculptor came from the nearby Serimani village. The sculptor was given accommodation, food and a place to display and sell his wood carving at the hotel's curio shop. Key informants highlighted that the conservation department of NMMZ helps the sculptor to identify tree that he can use, thus sustainability is at the heart of this organization. The sculptors are not obliged to pay anything to the operators; however, the artists often carve pieces that are displayed strategically to market them to foreigners. Moreso, local entertainers are normally hired to entertain the tourists and most of the proceeds accrue to these local people. This inevitably boosts their livelihoods as they earn handsomely from the performances rendered to the tourists.
The craft center was created as a market for local curious people. Artists are free to display and market their products. Apart from artists only benefiting, local people have also derived livelihoods from tourist industry. This claim was confirmed by researchers' observation during various transact walks conducted in the surrounding communities. Residents from Nemamwa community engage in roadside curio sales. They sell pottery, beads, stone carvings, fabrics and traditional weapons. These traders attested that the tourists, both foreign and local buy their merchandise, enabling them to eke out a living out of the industry. A number of traders interviewed highlighted that their standard of living is improving through trading goods to tourists. Some of the traders opined that they have bought stands at Nemamwa growth point, while others noted that they can now afford to send their children to boarding schools as well as constructing nice houses. Others have also acquired assets such as livestock, cars and shops through the money accruing from the tourism industry.
Participants and exhibitors at the Traditional Village noted that the NMMZ has greatly contributed to their livelihoods by initiating the village that parades and promotes the traditional Karanga culture of inhabitants of the area. The traditional village has also helped in sustaining and preserving the traditional culture. This is critical for the sustainable growth of the monuments in as far as attracting more tourists who are concerned with consuming the authentic cultures of the locals. The local people exhibit various traditional activities, dances, costumes, foods, pottery and weapons. Tourist pay a fee to enter the village, all the proceeds goes to the exhibitors. The Traditional village is one of the areas that tour guides markets to tourists. Local traditional healers also practice in the Traditional Village; they allow tourists to consult for a fee, thus earning a livelihood. This also promotes an understanding of local culture by exhibiting it to tourists from across the globe. Despite arguments for staged authenticity it is noble to note that the locals' livelihoods are enhanced and supported by the nearby tourist industry.
These activities are noble and strengthen livelihood strategies of the local communities, albeit concerns of commodification and staged authenticity of the Karanga culture are rampant. The Karanga culture is packaged for tourists gaze, it has lost its authentic nature, and its value has been reduced to aesthetic whose relevance is derived from money paid by tourists. Furthermore, the culture is portrayed as unchanging and as backward as the performers can imagine. CSR strengthens livelihoods on one hand while commodifying the culture and way of live for the locals. This is the most critical backlash of commoditization of the local culture, which renders the local culture meaningless to the locals themselves. Most traditionalists interviewed lamented the negative effects of tourism of culture and morals of the local. It was noted that culture has become meaningless and valueless because its essence has been in monetary value. However, most tour operators argued to the contrary, arguing that by staging their culture, local communities revive and recreate their cultures. Through these parading and staging, traditional culture is transmitted to young generations and foreigners. More so, it has been even argued that some fading traditional practices and rituals that could have been threatened with extinction are being rejuvenated by being staged to tourists thereby maintaining their existence to next generations. It is against such a background that the authors assert that commercialization of culture in the tourism industry is a double edged sword that preserves and destroys the local cultures simultaneously.
Most participants noted that the NMMZ and the hotel have boosted the local economic activities of ordinary people. Job recruitments and employment preference is given to local people who are employed in various sectors within the organization. A number of local people are employed as tour guides, waiters, security personnel and exhibitors. NMMZ promotes capacity building among its workers. Workers are allowed to further their education to any level. NMMZ at times pays for tuition of its employees, after completion these workers are promoted accordingly. By encouraging workers to further their education, NMMZ is building a skilled and qualified work force that is competent in not only attaining organisational goals but also societal development. This helps both the organization and the individuals because they become independent and highly trained for the job.
Giving back to the communities
Findings in this study revealed that NMMZ organizes workshops with traditional leaders and their communities to raise awareness of the dangers of cutting down trees and starting bush fires. Through their campaigns local communities are equipped with knowledge of how to conserve their environment. Local chiefs and headman attested that they are given airtime to call responsible authorities in the event that there is bush or veld fire. The local people highlighted that they are also given incentives and tokens of appreciation for putting off a fire or for reporting its outbreak. Such incentives help protect local communities as well as the heritage that the industry depends on. As such, this community--monument interface helps in the sustainable conservation of the resources critical for the viability of the tourist industry in the area.
Key informants highlighted that The Heritage Education department has initiated the Heritage Education Quiz Competition for primary schools. At the end of each tournament winning schools are given prizes. Furthermore, the department has an outreach program to local schools educating them about the monuments in general, ways to preserve it and its importance to the local and nation as a whole. Through this department, students from local primary schools, especially Nemamwa Primary school due to the school's proximity, can have educational visits to the museum for free. Tour guides take them through the site educating them about the heritage. During interviews it emerged that during the National Museum day--18th of May--people are allowed to visit the museums for free. Though the local benefit most, this offer is open to everyone. Evidence of CSR from operators at Great Zimbabwe Monuments dismiss and expose the conclusion reached by Friedman (1983) that:
... there is one and only one social responsibility of business- to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.
The study has reviewed that tourist operators at Great Zimbabwe monuments (NMMZ and hoteliers) have socially invested into the communities they operate in. The operators have diversified local livelihoods activities; plough back to the community by educating the vulnerable and marginalized, created employment for the local people as well as disseminated information on conserving the environment and national heritage that is autochthonous. Despite all these, there are also drawbacks cited by respondents, such as devaluing cultural practices through staging them for money and nepotism on the selection and recruitment of beneficiaries. Inspite of these apparent loopholes, CRS was observed to be critical in supporting the livelihoods of the people in and around the monuments. It also emerged that CRS was ideal for the sustainable conservation and utilization of resources that are important for the continuity of the tourism industry.
* CSR is key to sustainable tourism, giving back to communities, boosting livelihood activities reduces the incidences of local people degrading and over-exploiting the environment.
* Community education and local involvement as well as participation in tourism is vital as it creates symbiotic relationship between local communities and tourism operators. A sense of ownership is well cultivated among the locals, reducing incidences of degrading the environment.
* CSR leads to eco-tourism- locals have managed to earn a living and support their livelihoods while simultaneously conserving the environment. This reduces the occurrence of eco-facade at centers of tourist attraction.
* CSR creates a win-win situation between local communities and tour operators. While operators' business relies on monuments in these communities, the operators aid in improving the lives of the locals.
* While CSR can assist local communities, there is need for close monitoring of the activities because they are easily diverted by local leaders, creating conflicts among the local people.
* There is need for tourist operators to guard against excessive commodification of cultural heritages, this can reduce the authenticity and reduce number of tourists visiting the sites.
* More research is required to examine the magnitude of profits realized by players in the tourism industry and amount that they give back to the local communities that these players operate in. The amount given back as CSR may be insignificant as compared to the profits realized. CSR must be meaningful and assessed in light of proceeds realized.
Received January 21, 2013
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Josiah TARU, Great Zimbabwe University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department Sociology, Social Anthropology and RDR, Box 1235 Masvingo, Zimbabwe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Simbarashe GUKURUME, Great Zimbabwe University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department Sociology, Social Anthropology and RDR, Box 1235 Masvingo, Zimbabwe, email@example.com
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|Author:||Taru, Josiah; Gukurume, Simbarashe|
|Publication:||Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2013|
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