‗Nothing to Show Because of this Dirt?‘ Prospects for Urban Tourism under Informality


  • Dorothy Zengeni
  • Blessing Muchenje
  • Miriam Mbasera


destination, attractivenes, tourism, urbanization, planning


This article examines the contribution of destination physical appeal (both cleanliness and urban planning) to tourism destination competitiveness based on urban tourism under the impact of informality. The research established the influence of effective cleanliness and proper urban planning on a destination in line with tourist best practices. It was motivated by the continual informality in urban areas resulting in poor destination appeal. A mixed method of qualitative and quantitative was used in the research. Case studies of the oldest residential areas from South Africa and Zimbabwe, that is Soweto and Mbare, respectively, were used. These were chosen because of their popularity and active social and economic activities. Research findings indicated that destination appeal plays a central role in making a destination more competitive than the others. Most old towns are somehow neglected in terms of formal development yet they have a lot to offer in terms of tourism. Though there are many unique attractions and activities to show, dirty places are unattractive and feared by visitors. The study, therefore, recommends that there be a holistic approach to urban planning to manage destination appeal. Cooperation of public, private and non-governmental parties is a necessity for the old towns to be more appealing to visitors.