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Re-Imagining Heritage Tourism in Post-COVID Sub-Saharan Africa: Local Stakeholders’ Perspectives and Future Directions

Giliberto, Francesca, Labadi, Sophia (2023) Re-Imagining Heritage Tourism in Post-COVID Sub-Saharan Africa: Local Stakeholders’ Perspectives and Future Directions. Sustainability, 15 (5). Article Number 4339. E-ISSN 2071-1050. (doi:10.3390/su15054339) (KAR id:100398)


Tourism strategies implemented all over the world have often been demonstrably far from sustainable. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its dramatic effects on the tourism sector worldwide present a unique transformative opportunity to reframe tourism in more sustainable ways. This article uses qualitative research methods and ethnography to advance knowledge on the impacts, both positive and negative, of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism and heritage sites, as perceived by local stakeholders living and/or working at six popular heritage destinations in Sub-Saharan Africa, located in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. The article discusses ways to rethink heritage-based tourism strategies more sustainably, according to the viewpoint of the research participants, and identifies new emerging tourism opportunities triggered by the pandemic, cutting across different local contexts to highlight more widely generalisable research findings. Identified strategies include diversifying tourism products at heritage sites; improving tourism marketing, visitors’ experience, and infrastructures; fostering more inclusive, co-operative, and integrated tourism and heritage management systems; increasing awareness of local resources while promoting ecotourism and responsible travel; and supporting economic diversification and local entrepreneurship.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/su15054339
Additional information: For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence (where permitted by UKRI, an Open Government Licence or CC BY ND public copyright licence may be used instead) to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.
Uncontrolled keywords: Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment, Geography, Planning and Development, Building and Construction
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies
Funders: UK Research and Innovation (
University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2023 14:30 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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