1887

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 Poverty Alleviation and the Doha Development Agenda

Is Tourism Being Neglected?

Despite being a leading export sector and source of foreign exchange for most (non-oil exporting) LDCs, tourism never makes the headlines of the WTO's Doha Development Agenda negotiations. When tourism's impressive potential for poverty alleviation is considered, the lack of attention is even more striking. Reasons for the apparent neglect are complex, and include a lack of awareness of tourism as an export sector, the fragmented nature of the industry and low political influence, exaggerated concerns over "leakages", misunderstandings about poverty alleviation and tourism, and the "poker playing" characteristic of trade negotiations. The evident results are missed opportunities to address services infrastructure constraints (one of the greatest impediments to increasing LDC tourism revenues and value-added), as well as a failure to address sufficiently tourism's agricultural, industrial, and Aid for Trade linkages. Existing national-level investment promotion objectives, as well as DTIS and TPR reports can be helpful for identifying priorities for both GATS negotiations and Aid for Trade. The focus should not necessarily be on making GATS commitments, but rather on ensuring that the importance of tourism for LDCs is acknowledged and acted upon. Indeed, governments can always further liberalize on a unilateral basis; in the context of the DDA, however, they can request greater access to trading partners' markets in exchange, as well as gain valuable international attention and publicity.

English

Keywords: Africa, Poverty Alleviation, GATS, Tourism, Infrastructure, Aid for Trade, LDCs, Linkages
JEL: D78: Microeconomics / Analysis of Collective Decision-Making / Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; L83: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Services / Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error