CAPTURING
THE
GAINS

economic and social upgrading
in global production networks



Capturing the Gains Working Paper 2013/19

Economic and social upgrading in tourism global production networks: findings from Uganda.

Michelle Christian and Francis Mwaura


Abstract

Over the last decade, Uganda has re-emerged as a global tourism destination after years of instability. The growth of Uganda’s tourism global production network, however, is slow and is characterized by a few elite firms and highly controlled travel through tightly coordinated distribution channels. Capturing the Gains research asked how and if economic upgrading in the tourism global production network was happening in Uganda, and if social upgrading followed, by exploring one tourism location: Murchison Falls National Park. The findings suggest that tourism firms pursued vertical and horizontal economic upgrading strategies, but the social upgrading outcomes were mixed. Social upgrading for permanent workers followed economic upgrading for hotels and tourism service providers in Murchison Falls National Park, but not for community members outside the Park. Several aspects, such as the role of Uganda Wildlife Authority concessions, distribution access, and local labour market dynamics, are motivating factors in influencing upgrading dynamics.

 

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