Niche Tourism and the Challenges of Developing Medical Tourism in the Western Cape Province of South Africa

By Nwafor, Okechukwu | Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, August 2012 | Go to article overview

Niche Tourism and the Challenges of Developing Medical Tourism in the Western Cape Province of South Africa


Nwafor, Okechukwu, Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies


Abstract

The term niche refers to a specific segment of any particular market. This article investigates the importance of niche tourism in the Western Cape province of South Africa. In addition to surveying the available niche sectors in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, the article establishes that Medical tourism is a niche market that has huge prospects for future development in the Western Cape Province. The significance of this article lies in the fact that a well articulated and enhanced medical tourism will contribute to South African national reserves of foreign currency thus increasing South Africa's national income. The need to develop adequate niche tourism in the Medical sector, the article argues, requires an investigation into some of the factors that aid/negate this niche sector. While recommendations on how to combat these impediments are proffered, the article argues that Medical tourism is a specialist interest tourism sector that has the potential to contribute and serve as a strong base for the development of a healthy tourism economy in South Africa. The article contributes to a growing body of knowledge on tourism and public history. It has the potential to spark further theoretical and ethnographic investigations into the niche sector of tourism studies.

Keywords: niche, tourism, medical, South Africa, Western Cape.

INTRODUCTION

In any market, 'niche' is a specific segment, usually with a well-defined product that can be tailored to meet the interests of the customer. Robinson and Novelli have defined 'niche tourism' as that which emerged in recent years as a contrast to 'mass tourism' (2005, 1). Niche tourism opposes the homogeneous and undifferentiated mass tourism product. From its impact in the world - ranging from space tourism to gastronomic tourism - it could be established that 'even the most extreme corners of the human imagination can be catered for in a packaged way' (Stone 2005, 191). Robinson and Novelli argue that the term 'niche tourism' is contestable as a terminology. They acknowledge that the 'niche' term is 'borrowed' from the realms of marketing segmentation and note that 'niche' as a concept is rooted within the discipline of ecology. Even so, they agree that 'usage of the term is not without its semantic problems [but] has taken on a commonsense meaning' (2005, 7). In this article, therefore, I evaluate the level of development of niche tourism in the Western Cape Province of South Africa and then explore avenues towards improving Medical Tourism in the same province. I recommend factors that must be considered before a stable Medical Tourism can be adequately met in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

Importance of Niche Tourism Internationally and in South Africa

Internationally there is a complex system of global economic transaction that takes place under the guise of niche tourism. For example, niche tourism is seen as a mechanism for attracting high spending tourists because of its uniqueness. This marks it as elitist in opposition to the banal and cheap mass tourism. Again it is generally believed that tourists become more cosmopolitan than other tourists. This is believed to place these niche tourists at a more cultivated, more refined and more selective pedestal above their mass contemporaries. This obviously suggests that a sense of finesse seems to hang, like an aura, around the image of niche tourists.

In South Africa with the end of apartheid in 1994, the South African government undertook to make tourism one of the country's leading industries in the creation of employment and the generation of foreign income (WTTC, 2002). Although tourism destinations are increasingly proclaiming the importance of niche tourism as part of their destination development strategies in South Africa, according to Economic Review (2004), indications are, according to Sheard and Veldtman (2003) that existing research is superficial and currently does not provide much detail relating to niche markets, within the tourism industry. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Niche Tourism and the Challenges of Developing Medical Tourism in the Western Cape Province of South Africa
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.