Following financial tourism flows: Linking leakages to multipliers in Tarabuco, Bolivia
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Tourism as a strategy to increase and diversify incomes in poor rural areas can have many benefits. However, in established tourism areas profits often leak away due to weak local linkages, thereby limiting multiplier effects. The main attraction in Tarabuco, Bolivia, is the Sunday market that attracts thousands of tourists per year. During the field research of this thesis the money of those tourists was followed; tracing the route and identifying beneficiaries. Due to a high involvement of non-local actors and strong linkages with cities outside the region, Tarabuco is not retaining most of the profits, since most money from tourism flows indirectly to urban areas. Local management could make a change, but a lack of skills and priority are hard to overcome. However, also money from the city flows to Tarabuco, which indicates the tourism benefits are shared irrespectively of geographical location. Current tourism research often focuses on a certain region, but financial tourism effects are best investigated in terms of flows. Tourism can indeed increase and diversify incomes of poor people in rural areas, but management is important in limiting leakages and promoting local linkages.