HOW INTERNATIONAL TOURISM IMPACTS POLITICAL AND ETHNO-RELIGIOUS ISSUES IN AFRICA? A CASE STUDY OF INTER-GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY ON DEVELOPMENT (IGAD)
The negative impact of political instability, religious and ethnic conflicts on tourism is well known. The article uses the example of a number of IGAD member countries to consider the reverse impact of tourism on inclusive development, weakening of ethno-religious problems, security and elimination of violence. Analysis of the tourism sector in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda shows that international tourism, being a driving force of economic development in these countries, is not a neutral factor in gender, religious and ethnic dynamics. Its positive impact is not automatically achieved. The article shows that the rapid growth of tourism-related industries, which is accompanied by an unequal distribution of its benefits between the state, business, local communities and religious organizations, can slow down the resolution of gender equality problems, escalate intercommunal and interreligious conflicts. However, the analysis of travel companies’ business practices shows that the transition to a sustainable tourism model can contribute to the elimination of interethnic and interreligious conflicts. Formation of professional tourism communities aware of their social responsibility will help the hospitality industry together with the state to solve the problems of youth employment and education, gender inequality and security in general.
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