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Information and communication technology as a tool for craft market traders in promoting community tourism.

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Date

2017

Authors

Mkhize, Thokozani Agnes.

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Abstract

This is an interdisciplinary study, taking information and communication technology (ICT) as a point of departure, incorporating tourism, art and craft, e-business and community development as the field of knowledge. The craft market traders around Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (HIP) lack essential business tools, such as ICT devices, to improve craft market trading with tourists, nationally and internationally, without the intervention of the middleman, who could help to enable sustainable community development. Craft market traders manufacture or produce their crafts using natural resources such as Juncus maritimus and thatch grass for mats, bowls and hats. They use tree trunks and natural wood for sculptures and meat platters. Most of these natural resources are already depleted outside the protected areas and local communities have to rely on natural resources inside the park. Harvesting without permission in the park is illegal. The researcher has provided a step-by-step outline on how she intends to execute the logical chain of events that would produce solutions to the problems identified and answers to critical questions. The researcher examined the historical background of craft, the cultural background of the craft market traders and ICT devices that can improve their business performance. The business sector, as well as government, played a role in the success of this research. ABSA Bank and the Department of Economic Development were engaged. There are possible positive outcomes, such as the installation of an ABSA automatic teller machine in HIP. The overall objective of the research was to find solutions that can enhance the standard of living of the local communities, by increasing the employment rate in terms of craft market traders selling their craft, nationally and internationally.

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Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

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