ICRT Research Centre on Tourism, Poverty Reduction and Local Economic Development

KITTS has established the International Centres for Responsible Tourism research centre on Tourism, Poverty Reduction and Local Economic Development with the support of Professor Harold Goodwin of the Centre for Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University. In order to scale up the positive local economic development and poverty reduction impacts of tourism the KITTS Research Centre’s purposes are to

  1. generate methodology and research designed to assist governments, communities and the private sector to measure and report on the efficacy of different approaches to local economic development and poverty reduction through tourism;
  2. share these methodologies and results with others, to maintain an online repository of studies and to run symposiums and conferences to drive the improvement and application of this area of research and apply it to assess the efficacy of different approaches;
  3. provide short, intensive Continuing Professional Development courses on methodology and provide field work opportunities in collaboration with the Centre for Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Aware of the benefits to be gained from sharing learning from countries of the South about how best to harness tourism for local economic development and poverty reduction, the Centre is committed to fostering South-South exchange of practitioners and researchers. Awarded the prestigious UNWTO Ulysses Award in 2013, Kerala is widely recognised as a leader in Responsible Tourism and particularly in the range and depth of its experiencein using tourism to benefit local communities. Some initiatives have been more successful than others and the research focus of the Centre is driven by the need to understand far more of the dynamics of what works for local communities, and what doesn’t, and why. This work needs to be undertaken, and the results shared, in Kerala, across India and the countries of the global South.

The KITTS Research Centre is committed to sharing in order both to learn and to encourage replication of research methodologies that support and make implementation more effective. We support the ambition of the 10YFP to increase the net benefits from tourism particularly for local communities through employment and the development of small and micro-enterprise opportunities to sell to tourism businesses and tourists. Market access for SMME’s, co-operatives, self-help producer groups and sole traders is a key challenge in securing benefits for local communities and maximising the local economic development impact of tourism and Kerala has a wide variety of approaches, some successful and some less so. Sharing research on the efficacy of different approaches is important to securing change, at scale, and to securing collective changes in the sector. The emphasis in Kerala on the local linkages and shortening the supply chain has significant carbon reduction benefits. The research undertaken is designed to identify where in the supply chain local economic gains are largest and can make the most significant contribution to poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods.

Alleviating poverty and improving sustainable livelihoods

The objective of the newly founded KITTS Research Centre is to provide a solid scientific and policy knowledge base building on the work of the Pro-Poor Tourism Partnership, providing data on success and failure to inform decision making by governments, communities, the private sector and donors to aid transparent and accountable decision making and practice. The KITTS Research Centre provides research support, training, sharing and dissemination through publications and academic and professional forums. The Centre has begun to identify, agree, and apply indicators, building on work by the Pro-Poor Tourism Partnership and others to measure the achievement of SCP objectives in poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods. The methodologies being developed are designed to achieve effective and practical means of ongoing monitoring of performance, at marginal cost, in order to provide performance indicators capable of facilitating and reporting the long-term sustainability impacts of initiatives. The Centre is building a repository for policies and research on tourism’s contribution to poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods, an evidence base to inform policy makers and practitioners; and to develop KPIs and training materials.

The KITTS Research Centre has research underway jointly with Professor Harold Goodwin and the Centre for Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University to measure and report the local economic and poverty impacts of tourism in three Panchayats in Kumarakom and with one of chain of boutique hotels: the Coconut Lagoon at Kumarakom, one of the CGH Earth experience hotels. This “laboratory” is a fertile place to research forward and backward linkages and to develop and test methodology. The research in Kumarakom builds on that undertaken by the Pro-Poor Tourism Partnership and other work in Tanzania, Nepal and India.


All rights reserved © KITTS 2012. Copyright Terms of Use Designed, Developed & Maintained by Invis Multimedia