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WTO Working Papers

WTO working papers usually represent research in progress. Such research may be conducted in the preparation of WTO Secretariat reports, studies or other material for WTO members. The papers are circulated for comment because the WTO considers critical review of professional research to be extremely important.

English

LDC Export Diversification, Employment Generation and the "Green Economy"

What Roles for Tourism Linkages?

"Pro-poor" tourism is arguably one of the best green options for addressing LDC poverty, employment and economic diversification initiatives. Although often neglected as a serious policy option -- and consequently most of its potential still remains untapped -- tourism is the leading export for at least 11 LDCs, and the 2nd or 3rd largest export for another 11 or more. It is also a major source of new employment, especially for women, youth and the rural poor in general. While difficult to measure accurately, tourism's pro-poor impacts are directly related to the achieved level of inter- and intra-sectoral linkages. Taking export diversification, employment generation and the "green economy" in turn, the working paper analyzes feasible LDC alternatives, reaching the conclusion (within the limits of data availability) that -- in contrast with the current overemphasis on agriculture and manufacturing -- green tourism is demonstrably one of the areas of greatest current comparative advantage and development potential for the majority of LDCs, via its extensive upstream and downstream linkages/multiplier effects, employment-generating and poverty alleviation capacities, opportunities for export "test marketing" of new products, sustainability, and largely untapped export opportunities. An economy wide, primarily private-sector approach is an essential element for maximizing tourism benefits -- including its multiple linkages with agriculture and manufacturing -- together with a significant coordinating governmental role to minimize negative externalities. Unfortunately, there is no automatic guarantee that expanding tourism will significantly increase poverty alleviation or local employment generation: the necessary mechanisms must be explicitly included in tourism planning and implementation.

English

Keywords: Green Economy, Green Tourism, Cluster Analysis, FDI, LDC Graduation, Gender Issues, Rio+20, Development, Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), Pro-poor Tourism, Value Chain Analysis, Comparative Advantage, Tourism Linkages, MDGs, Africa, Export Diversification, LDCs, Poverty Alleviation, GATS, Employment Generation
JEL: J16: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination; L83: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Services / Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism; I38: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs; O14: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology; Q54: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming; O19: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations; F18: International Economics / Trade / Trade and Environment; H54: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock; J21: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure; L52: Industrial Organization / Regulation and Industrial Policy / Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods; J24: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity; H77: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations / Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism; Secession; K39: Law and Economics / Other Substantive Areas of Law / Other Substantive Areas of Law: Other; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; O24: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Development Planning and Policy / Development Planning and Policy: Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy; Q56: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth; P45: Economic Systems / Other Economic Systems / Other Economic Systems: International Trade, Finance, Investment and Aid; Q26: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Renewable Resources and Conservation / Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
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