South Africa's Makeover

Emerging from economic and political isolation, the country sees grassroots tourism as a way to breathe life into local communities

Ten years ago, whites needed official permits to enter black townships in South Africa. Now township tours are included in the travel packages of major South African cities, and visitors are invited to spend a night or two with a local family. "It brings out the entrepreneurs in the travel industry," says David Moshapalo, who runs a Johannesburg travel agency. "Bed-and-breakfast operations can start by opening up the family home to tourists who look to experience life with a South African family as part of their holiday."

Since the dramatic changes of the 1990s that brought South Africa out of political...

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