An assessment of the perceptions and effectiveness of the Mtubatuba Hlanganani Community Tourism Organisation (MHCTO)

  • Andile Biyela


The article sought to assess the perceptions and effectiveness of the Mtubatuba Hlanganani Community Tourism Organisation (MHCTO) as an economic development tool focusing particularly on its challenges, prospects and perspectives. The MHCTO was founded and guided by the KwaZulu-Natal Community Tourism Organisation Strategy (2009) and was intended to create an enabling environment for tourism growth and development. It is notable that of the many strategies that have been developed before, very few are ever successfully implemented and this strategy – the KwaZulu-Natal Community Tourism Organisation Strategy is no exception in this regard. Thus, this article sought firstly, to examine the role played by the MHCTO in tourism development and secondly to examine the relationship between the Mtubatuba Local Municipality and MHCTO and, thirdly to establish the extent to which MHCTO addresses issues of job creation, business development and registration. Primary and secondary data sources were used in the process of gathering pertinent information for the study. Qualitative methods, in the form of face-to-face interviews have been used in consideration of their relevance in this case study. In this regard, eight (8) interviews were administered with the relevant tourism and local government authorities. It was established in this article that there is a broken/dysfunctional relationship between the local municipality and the Community Tourism Organisation (CTO). This dysfunctionality is accounted for mainly by the lack of capacity within the local municipality as well as the lack of financial support towards the CTO. Despite this challenge, the study established that the CTO contributes positively to the development of tourism in Mtubatuba. As established by this study, CTOs plays a pivotal role in the development, registration and growth of small businesses in the local area. This contributes is not only to community development and economic growth but also to job creation in the local area. For this reason, it is contended in this article that future researchers will have to consider investigating the impact of ‘a lack of skilled capacity’ within local municipalities and the bearing that this has on the tourism sector. It is thus recommended in this article that the current legislative prescripts that govern the relationship between the CTOs and the Local Municipalities be reviewed with a view of addressing some of the challenges experienced by CTOs.

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eISSN: 1596-9231