SMART TOURISM INVESTMENT: PLANNING PATHWAYS TO BREAK THE POVERTY CYCLE

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1 Tourism Review International, Vol. 18, pp /15 $ Printed in the USA. All rights reserved. DOI: Copyright 2015 Cognizant Comm. Corp. E-ISSN SMART TOURISM INVESTMENT: PLANNING PATHWAYS TO BREAK THE POVERTY CYCLE MOUSTAFA A. MEKAWY Department of Tourism Studies, Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, University of Sadat City, El-Sadat City, Egypt The aim of this article is to highlight how the smart tourism investment (STI) threshold can be used to break the poverty cycle in Egypt. Tourism investment is a major source of economic growth, especially in poor communities. How it can simultaneously be a force to break the poverty cycle is the theme of this study. The global emergence of destination slums poses questions for tourism-led poverty reduction (TLPR) studies and development planning initiatives. Employing exploratory and interpretative modes of enquiry and analyzing the al-darb el Ahmar destination slum illuminates how slums sources of production deterioration, traditional investing methods, and adverse planning approaches may prevent inhabitants from snatching economic opportunities offered by geographic proximity to tourism development zones, to eventually break the cycle of generational poverty. This study offers a valuable approach to STI-led growth and elucidates planning pathways through which poverty traps can be broken. Findings reveal that STI s role in poverty eradication, in close cooperation with other Egyptian social sectors, is crucial and depends on the ability of stakeholders to maintain the productivity of slum resources and capital. The article concludes that the planned STIs for poverty closure programs should have an effective, positive impact if appropriately intervened in, channeled, and monitored. Key words: Smart tourism investment (STI); Destination slum concept; Interpretivism; Poverty cycle; Penetration; Planning pathways Introduction Tourism-led poverty reduction (TLPR) studies show that as a people-oriented industry, tourism provides many jobs that help revitalize local economies. Tourism provides a key opportunity for impoverished areas to combat poverty, diversify their economies, and follow pro-poor, holistic growth strategies (Mekawy, 2012). The growing market trend of tourists seeking cultural and natural resources and attractions in poor areas gives slums a strong comparative advantage (Burgold, Frenzel, & Rolfes, 2013; Freire-Medeiros, 2009; Frenzel, 2013). This trend is particularly relevant Address correspondence to Dr. Moustafa Ahmed Mekawy, Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Sadat City University, El Sadat City, 32897, Egypt. Tel: ; Fax: ; 253

2 254 MEKAWY to informal settlements, since around one third of the urban population in the developing world in 2012, or about 863 million people in extreme poverty, lived in slum communities (United Nations [UN], 2012). However, traditional tourism development is not a panacea. The sector is extremely competitive and sensitive to internal and external shocks ranging from social changes and economic downturns to natural disasters and political instability, although it does demonstrate strong resilience (Cooper, 2008). Therefore, the smart use and investment of slums resources for empowering poverty-stricken dwellers to survive and escape poverty is crucial for shaping a clear roadmap that may lead to overcoming the chronic poverty in these lives (Shehayeb, 2009). However, no previous TLPR study has introduced a complete picture of the role these tourism-based programs and initiatives play in breaking the poverty cycle in poor areas situated near tourism development zones. Earlier TLPR research drew attention to the causative developments between tourism investments and poverty relief, possible factors that lead poverty to persist in destination slums, and the innovative, smart planning thresholds of these courses and associated relationships over time (Mitchell & Ashley, 2007). However, unlike at the international level, Egyptian tourism researchers and planners have not particularly focused on research into smart tourism investment (STI) potentials or the tourism investment poverty nexus, approaches, and pathways, with the intention of ending poverty traps in slums. Hence, the significant question is whether or not STI in destination slum characteristics is beneficial to ending poverty traps in Egyptian slums. This article aims to address this gap in research and contribute to the proof of the latent adoption of STI penetration strategies in closing down the poverty cycle in destination slums, with a focus on capitalizing slum resources. Additionally, the linkages between the state of chronic poverty on the one hand and, on the other, the processes of traditional investment projects and/or adverse planning channels that trap slum dwellers in poverty are discussed and explained. In view of that, the purpose of this study is fourfold. Firstly, it looks into and discusses the conceptual vagueness of the destination slum term, an aspect often ignored in existing TLPR research. Secondly, it aims to inform and stimulate the debate on key STI penetration priorities for poverty abolition and dweller survival in light of the growing emergence of scaled-up slum tourism development responses elsewhere. Thirdly, it analyzes the extent to which smart investment activities focus on maximizing tourism sector gains in a manner that is competitive and sustainable and yields pro-poor benefits that lead to halting the poverty cycle in Egyptian slums. Fourthly, it proposes a planning pathways model to follow when utilizing STI inception in addressing the interests of tourists and the basic needs of poor communities. Destination Slum and Poverty Trap: Clearing the Conceptual Ground Destination Slum: Origins, Problematic Definition, and Theoretical Framework The notion of a destination slum is not new; its origins date back to the 19th century, when wealthy Londoners would sometimes go slumming in the poorer neighborhoods of London s East End, a popular destination for poorism (Diniejko, 2013; Koven, 2006). This idea spread to many places in the US, where slumming included tours to socalled ethnic and exotic neighborhoods such as Little Italy, Chinatown, and African-American districts (Steinbrink, 2012). Connecting socially and economically diverse spaces, these special tourism destinations created new forms of urban encounter (Dürr & Jaffe, 2012). Presently, destination slums exist around the world in cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Mumbai, and Greater Cairo. This form of destination is known locally by different names. For example, in Brazil, where an organized, 1-day visit aims at providing wealthy tourists with a taste of the favela life, it is referred to as favela destination. In both South Africa and India, targeting foreign special interest visitors who are fond of cultural and heritage attractions as well as traditional arts and crafts of the poor, it is called township/shantytown destination. In Egypt, for organized half-day tours intending to show tourists how people live therein, it is known as ashwa iyyat destination (Mekawy, 2012; Saint-Upéry, 2010). Despite two decades of studying destination slum frameworks, rigorous research on this topic remains

3 PATHWAYS TO BREAK THE POVERTY CYCLE 255 in a nascent stage. Multiple definitions, contexts, and approaches preclude integrated research on destination slums. Several attempts to review the literature and to clarify the concept have recently been made (Freire-Medeiros, 2009). However, there is no clear general definition of a destination slum. The concept, subject to ongoing dispute, is elusive, fuzzy, and always relational, shaped by specific backgrounds and interests. In the new global pro-poor tourism trend, the development of slums into tourist destinations has become a central issue for a reality tours phenomenon and for the global circulation of the slums as a trademark (Gilbert, 2007). Following this line of thought, several recent authors have indicated that most of today s slums are destinations and focal points for many authentic reality tourist itineraries (Cejas, 2006). So far, however, there has been little discussion about providing a conceptual basis for understanding the notion of destination slum. In this vein, any attempt at defining a destination slum in theory and supplying alternatives to new concept formation elsewhere and in Egypt must be preceded by a proper appreciation of the necessary and sufficient structures that underlie the formation and application of this concept. One purpose of this study is to consider the account that an analytical philosophy, as an interpretivist paradigm, gives of a fundamental conceptual problem, namely, to explain why a grasp of the destination slum idea requires a grasp of its conceptual structure. Dummett (1993) pointed out that analytical philosophy, as an analysis method, is used to understand a subject matter (concept) by coming to understand its composition (structure). Following this line of thought, the article argues that in the traditional, purely linguistic view, a concept is given by a definition that specifies necessary and sufficient conditions for its application. Likewise, one might be able to provide definitions, such as that a certain poor area is a destination slum if and only if it possesses specific characteristics and content of attractions, or that another particular informal settlement is a destination slum if and only if it becomes a central endpoint for many itineraries, where particular interactions may take place among the stakeholders. Like other concepts, however, the concept of destination slum has not been submitted to this kind of linguistic analysis (Baggio & Marzano, 2007). Cognitive science has offered a dissimilar view of the nature of concepts, understanding them as mental representations, but the nature of conceptual depictions is still debated. Academics have variously proposed that concepts are prototypes, sets of exemplars, or distributed representations in neural networks. An increasing number of researchers have emphasized the role of causal connections in understanding the nature of concepts (Baggio & Marzano, 2007). This study explores the representation of the destination slum concept within a theoretical framework that stresses the importance of the internal structure of those representations (Tyler, Moss, Durrant- Peatfield, & Levy, 2000). Following the idea of conceptual structure, the concept of a destination is not just a set of prototypical features or typical examples but also involves causal relations that can be used to apply the concept in an explanatory fashion. Hermeneutically, if any endpoint is a place that people will make a special trip to visit, specifically where it is a certain geographical unit, one can say that it happened because it is a destination (Framke, 2002). Therefore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that destination concepts, including destination slum notions, are particularly interesting from this theoretical perspective, because they display a strong causal structure, as in Figure 1. The current review accentuates the causal nexus way presented in Figure 1, which reflects much of the investigation contained in this article. By the means of this causal nexus way, the destination slum concept will be approached by employing the interpretivist paradigm. It relies on an antipositivist philosophy (Guba & Lincoln, 1994), holding that the reality of concepts and definitions as we know it is constructed intersubjectively through the meanings and understandings developed socially and experientially. Similarly, Tyler et al. (2000) pointed out that the notion that concepts have an internal structure rests on the critical assumption that conceptual representations are componential in nature that is, that they are made up of smaller elements of meaning, variously referred to as properties, features, or attributes. Therefore, tourism researchers should consider the importance of conceptual representations to express and understand information about the destination slum conceptuality and so must capture a rich

4 256 MEKAWY Figure 1. The causal structure of destination slum concept. variety of knowledge about objects, abstract ideas, mental states, and actions and about the relations among all of these (Tyler et al., 2000). The rationality of this paradigm lies in the refusal view of the notions of theory-neutral observations and the idea of universal laws, as in science. Theory, in this paradigm, takes on a different perspective. That is, multiple knowledges/realities can coexist when equally competent (or trusted) interpreters disagree (Guba & Lincoln, 1994, p. 113). Destination slum findings or knowledge claims, from this perspective, are created as an investigation proceeds. Findings emerge through dialogue in which conflicting interpretations are negotiated among members of a (destination slum theory) community. As noticed, the proposed conceptual framework presented in Figure 1 incorporates a range of analytical philosophy issues as well as planning thresholds. This structure offers a model to follow when involving the tourism research community in constructing destination slum concepts and theories to elaborate on the stakeholders slum tourism experience. In this view, slum tourism activities and practices are the noticeable indicators of tourist motivations, which can develop over time in particular ways that constitute the expected course of the distinctive slum tourism experience. Studies of the tourism poverty nexus show that the importance of a slum as a tourism destination arises from its key unique and productive characteristics (resources, capital, features, flavors, and core attractions) that shape TLPR activities and practices within a particular slum (Scheyvens, 2007). For example, Koven (2006) pointed out that early

5 PATHWAYS TO BREAK THE POVERTY CYCLE 257 slumming, which commenced in Victorian London s poor neighborhoods (destinations), had a set of typical indications and manifestations. These symptoms included curiosity to see the sights, the fashion of wearing common clothes, and going into the main roads and side streets along with a course that, before the 20th century, often included voyeuristic pastimes and disreputable amusements (Diniejko, 2013). Hence, today, investing in the destination slum features idea includes tourists well-understood charitable motivations and endeavors and dwellers needs, with a kind of remedial action that is influential, except for the emergence of poverty traps resistant to traditional tourism investments (Richardson & Langdon, 2000; Saint-Upéry, 2010). Therefore, this study makes a major contribution to research on constructing the destination slum idea by demonstrating that understanding a destination slum concept, as a causal structure like that shown in Figure 1, is coherent with aspects of pattern and exemplar theories of concepts. Moreover, as noted in many studies, destination slums may have unique prolific features that roughly tie a set of characteristics that typically arise in poor areas to particular tourism investments (Shehayeb, 2009). However, such concepts need not be formed directly by observation but can be formed as part of the generation of explanatory hypotheses. Slums as Poverty Traps: Tackling the Drivers This section discusses the main dimensions of destination slums poverty traps. According to the UN (2012), a slum is an area that to a certain extent combines the following characteristics: inadequate access to safe water, inadequate access to sanitation and other infrastructure, poor structural quality of housing, overcrowding, and insecure residential status. In the microbased literature, the underlying mechanisms associated with poverty are linked to informational and/or market failures and to indivisibilities in investment in human capital and other slums assets (Shehayeb, 2009). These inadequacies tend to affect the slum dwellers more severely due to their limited access to the closest tourism markets. Economically, a poverty trap arises in many destination slums when an economic system requires a significant amount of capital in order to earn enough to escape poverty. When individuals lack this capital, they may also find it difficult to acquire it, creating a self-reinforcing cycle of poverty (Kakwani, 2006). In searching for the main causes of poverty traps, the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) (2008) points out that chronic poverty is distinguishable by its duration and multidimensionality. Chronically poor people always, or for during long periods of their lives, live below a poverty line, and their situations are usually defined by structural and social inequalities influenced by multiple discriminations. This is different from the transitorily poor, who move in and out of poverty or who only occasionally fall below the poverty line (CPRC, 2008). Slums poverty traps can be broken by planned and targeted investments in the economy and by providing dwellers the smart means to earn and be employed. Some argue that a series of poverty alleviation programs can be enforced to raise dwellers out of poverty by providing monetary aid for a period of time (Mitchell & Ashley, 2007). However, if the plan fails, people will become dependent on such traditional aid/charitable programs forever and may even sink deeper into the poverty spiral. Thus, poorer countries find this to be difficult, leading to the overexploitation of natural and cultural resources and land (Mekawy, 2014). Therefore, breaking this chronic cycle begins by investing in destination slums productive resources (Kakwani, 2006). This notion relies on the suggestion that breaking the cycle of poverty in destination slums is a slow and often aching process, requiring deep, targeted investment in slum dwellers and characteristics over time. This theory of change targets the promotion of slum-based antipoverty investments and voluntary or community activities that focus on making these investments effective and sustainable. In this vein, the articler argues that this task can be a priority of the growing number of Egyptian nonprofit organizations that focus on charitable activities, which cover the unmet needs and basic infrastructure services including health, education, sport and recreation, arts and culture and environment, throughout slums. The next section outlines

6 258 MEKAWY the main dimensions of STI as a proposed way to empower dwellers. STI: Potential Pathways Although there is little empirical evidence to support the notion that STI initiatives in poor areas perform any better than non-stis, many speculation methods take such tourism project inflows very seriously (World Bank, 2011). In attempting to invest tourism resources of destination slums, investors and national development bodies traditionally try to link these assets to tourists interests along with entrepreneurs objectives, while neglecting the underlying factors that shape the poverty trap of slums inhabitants (Grant, 2004). Therefore, the realization that the tendency of all stakeholders (including the government, industry, and activist groups) is to prioritize tourism investment projects that are aligned with their interests seems to lead to roundabout and incomplete solutions. The distinctions between slum-based antipoverty investments and business investments are often blurred (World Bank, 2009). Thus, a broader focus on STI-related poverty eradication is significant, because it emphasizes the multifaceted nature of slums resources, characteristics, and attractions and the relevance of looking at the broad range of effects that STIs may have on dwellers livelihoods and their poverty traps, discussed later in the article. Based upon previous discussion, the article asks the main question: By using the STI threshold, how can urban poverty traps be tackled in destination slums? At the forefront, targeted investments (e.g., in basic services and infrastructure to benefit slum dwellers) are suggested to make a considerable difference to the lives of people living in chronic poverty traps. In many of Cairo s historic neighborhoods, a lack of access to public infrastructure such as electrical power and water supply is a significant marker of chronic poverty status (Khalifa, 2010). Investment cutbacks are inevitable in countries experiencing economic difficulties, but they also often result from structural adjustment reforms and the privatization of public utilities. In Egyptian slums, urban infrastructure is in a general state of decay. Examples of basic needs are investments in water, sanitation, affordable transportation, health care, education, and energy, as well as law and order and jobs that reward productivity (Shehayeb, 2009; Sims, 2000, 2003). Therefore, this article argues the value of the way of thinking that penetrates root causes to empower slum dwellers to live their lives smartly. Investments in infrastructure can be of great importance in breaking economic isolation. However, this penetration pathway remains a substantially underresearched area. To some, such may include paved roads, power grids, and transportation networks that maintain the lives of slum inhabitants (Estache, 2004; Fay & Yepes, 2003; Foster, 2005; Henry & Carcas, 2005). Others argue that wider cellular coverage and even broadband Internet services obtained through fiber optic cables or satellite connections may act as the smarter solution (World Bank, 2011). Egyptian Slums: From Poverty Traps to Lucrative Tourist Destinations In the context of economics and planning, a poverty trap is any self-reinforcing mechanism that causes poverty to persist. If it continues from one generation to another, the trap begins to strengthen itself if substantial steps are not taken to break the cycle (Azariadis, 2005). Many researchers (e.g., Glaeser, 2011; Turner, 1969) argue that slums can trap people in poverty. This is not exactly new; the depiction of slums as poverty traps can be found in Charles Booth s studies of London in the 1880s (Azariadis, 2005). However, although slums may be poverty traps, there is a greater opportunity to turn them into lucrative tourism destinations and ultimately to break the poverty cycle. TLPR research to date has tended to focus on the symptoms of slum poverty rather than on the real causes. Furthermore, one can argue that despite the considerable number of tourism poverty nexus studies devoted to economic growth and development of poor areas, TLPR researchers have not yet discovered how to make slums attractive destinations for tourism investments. As a result, the tourism investment poverty nexus remains a controversial theory. If Egyptian slums possess the productive features and characteristics that seem to be appropriate for initiating slum-based enterprises, why are so many destination slums still trapped in poverty? Cairo s historical destination slum spatial poverty traps are evident in Egyptian contexts, and these exist

7 PATHWAYS TO BREAK THE POVERTY CYCLE 259 alongside rapid slumming and rising slum tourism activities (Mekawy, 2012). By their nature, all dwellers in those destination slum areas are physically much closer than those who live in the urban lagging areas that have grown out from Cairo s boundaries to local tourism development zones, markets, and services as well as to related productive activities (Bianca & Siravo, 2005), yet they are trapped in poverty (Sabry, 2009). Examples include al-darb el Ahmar and al-gamalia historical destination slums, especially the eastern sections along the Fatimid walls, as well as parts of Masr el Qadima, Boulaq abou Aala, el-khalifa, etc. Also included are remarkable old villages such as Qait Bey and el Tonsi, which serve informal squatters of the vast historical cemetery (Bianca & Siravo, 2005). Within the context of proposed STI and community-centered, productive planning approaches, this review disagrees with the claim that a slum s physical proximity to tourism areas alone is enough. On the contrary, it is the absence of innovative planning and collaborative pathways that causes this continued poverty. It also appears that the problem is both a lack of responsible inclusion in slum-based tourism investments on the part of government plans for dwellers and a failure in empowering them to smartly invest their historical assets (e.g., Islamic Fatimid monuments and endowments) (Collins & Herman, 2008). One possible explanation for this is that most Egyptian governmental development plans and investment pathways depend on rooting out these slums rather than converting them into lucrative tourist destinations (World Bank, 2011). Therefore, as a smart, innovative investment track, it is necessary to see beyond physical vicinity and focus on the underlying dimensions of dwellers inclusion/ exclusion and on empowering charitable relationships that facilitate access to responsible investment opportunities, volunteer tourism markets, and philanthropic services (Richardson & Langdon, 2000). Drawing on Figure 1 s representation of the idea of productive characteristics of such destination slums, the main investment opportunities of Cairo s destination slums can be smartly connected to their unique capital and resources. In this context, the article argues that although there is growing appeal of destination slum, there is much criticism and argument of this concept. It seems reasonable to assume that the attractiveness of slums as tourist destinations is directly connected with the productive resources and unique features, and characteristics of the slums have to be smartly invested to attract tourists to these slums. This leads us to the significant inquiry: What destination slum characteristics can hinder the dwellers from gaining from tourism? When Mekawy (2012) posed this question to respondents in his study, a majority of them indicated that slums remoteness hampers the dwellers from benefiting from tourism activities and investments. Hence, the study argues that at the forefront of destination slums debate is the issue of geographical proximity accessibility nexus. A destination is in many respects defined by its ability to provide appropriate tourist access into a destination and diffusion throughout the destination (World Bank, 2011). The dispersal of tourists throughout a slum can provide economic and social benefits, including improved services to the poor community (Freire- Medeiros, 2009). Consequently, the development of appropriate access for tourists to and within a destination slum includes consideration of a number of key accessibility planning questions. However, destination slum concept has predominantly been challenged by geographical proximity and accessibility issues demonstrating that remote and/or incoherent location to the most visited tourism core attractions and sites degrade the overall accessibility feature of this kind of destination, and eventually degrade the overall economic and investment benefits of destination slums characteristics. Importantly, few writers have been able to draw on any structured research into the appropriate investment methods and forms of utilizing destination slums characteristics as productive resources to illuminate any possible economic threats such as destination leakage. One example is Mekawy (2012), who managed to draw the attention to the benefits associated with the smart use of the holistic, collaborative and responsible participatory approaches of slum dwellers in small-scale cooperatives, which ensure that tourism revenue remains in local poor hands. Thus, this study provides an exciting opportunity to advance our knowledge of the STI of slum features to initiate new era of slum-based enterprises, which are saturated with inimitable slum flavors such as traditional building methods, life patterns, distinctive urban landscape,

8 260 MEKAWY foods, and habits that are incorporated into the investment projects, which developed as profitable public private STIs (Mekawy 2012). Hence, in order to prevent another generation of slum dwellers from growing up with the same barriers as their parents, stakeholders, particular charitable organizations, should be committed to investing early. For those who are able to work but who are not employed, lucrative strategies adopted by notfor-profit private sector should concentrate on providing early penetration support to improve life chances. The aim is to break the cycle of deprivation too often passed from one generation to another. Planning pathways, therefore, have to be driven by stakeholders commitment to STI projects, which secure outcomes and not just income transfers. Accordingly, the following section introduces a successful case study that promotes this discussion. Lucrative Destination Slum Case Study: Evidence From al-darb al-ahmar District The Area in Context. Al-Darb al-ahmar (the red road) in Cairo may not be as famous or as visited as Khan el-khalili Bazaar, but nonetheless it retains much of its past riches and historical atmosphere. The Darb al-ahmar area and its backstreets were initially linked as they all formed part of the Qasaba, the main road running from the Northern Gates (Bab al-nasr and Baba al-futuh) down towards the Citadel, meeting the Darb al- Ahmar road at the Southern Gate, Bab Zuweila. Unchanged over the centuries, the neighborhood of al-darb al-ahmar is a maze of narrow, twisting alleyways lined with splendid mosques and medieval facades. This quarter became a fashionable residential area in the 14th Century, as Al-Nasir Mohammed developed the Citadel area. It contains several interesting mosques and monuments, of which are Al-Mu ayyed Mosque and Mosque of Inal el-yusufi, both in the surrounding area of Bab Zuweila (Siravo, 2001). The Darb al-ahmar area hosts several interesting markets, trades, and crafts. Facing Bab Zuweila and going further up north in Suq al-silah Street one will come across the saddle makers market called Suq al-surugiyyiah, which produces all kinds of leather ware. Further along the street is full of shops where you find stands of drums, belly dancer costumes, wooden tables and chairs, embroidered cloth, and many other simple products such as old oriental teapots and cups (Bianca & Siravo, 2005). Another main attraction is the Attarin area, spices shops, which are spread all over old streets. There visitors will find endless sorts of colorful spices, herbs, and strange mixes used for a wide range of things: cooking, hair dyes, and healing herbs. Seen along the streets are other interesting trades where owners have products such as perfumes, carpets, brass and copperware, glass, and ceramics piled up on show outside their workshops, almost crowding the whole street and turning it into a pedestrian alley. This is particularly the case during holidays and feast days when the whole neighborhood comes alive to its utmost, with its central market surrounded by the ancient Islamic buildings (Shehayeb, 2009). Like similar historical and architectural slum districts elsewhere, al-darb al-ahmar s physical and social status has declined over the years, and it now suffers from urban decay, poor infrastructure, environmental pollution, and a range of social and economic problems (Bianca & Siravo, 2005). These problems have arisen for a variety of reasons, prominent among which are fragmented and at times unclear property rights. In the case of al-darb al-ahmar, the situation is worsened by a conflict of interest between residents and the governmental bodies responsible for the preservation of the many historic monuments found in the area. The authorities have placed a moratorium on building within the domains of monuments (Siravo, 2001). This is an example of the adverse effect of unsympathetic and inflexible planning approaches. The challenge, therefore, is to reveal a pathway forward that takes into account the anxieties of the various stakeholders so that all concerned can perceive benefits in the proposed tourism investment plans. The overall objective must be to reverse the slow decline of al-darb al-ahmar s resources and integrate them fully into the STI schemes and initiatives. Reasons for Choosing the Area. The decision on how to select the case to study is a very important one that merits some reflection. In an essential case study, the case is selected on its own merits. Moreover, the case is selected not because it is representative of other cases, but because of its uniqueness,

9 PATHWAYS TO BREAK THE POVERTY CYCLE 261 which is of genuine interest to the researchers (Tyler et al., 2000). For example, the case in the current study, which explains that the issue of investing decayed resources in historic poor areas, like in al-darb al-ahmar, is a smart one of physical and economic revival in keeping with the preservation and upkeep of historical buildings in a profitable public private manner that targets the poor (Bianca & Siravo, 2005). Having said this, there is scope for considering different investment pathways for the level of intervention allowed to existing resources and there are tourism characteristics and assets within this poverty-stricken area, for which different TLPR development options can be considered to help eradicate the poverty cycle. Likewise, despite the fact the area of al-darb al-ahmar was poor, it featured one of the richest concentrations of Islamic art and architecture in the world. The challenge was to revitalize and invest these heritage capitals in innovative ways that turned traditional notions about the possibility of lucrative use of cultural monuments in stakeholders minds that rather than being a drain on resources, they could be an incentive for social and economic development that aims the poor directly. Al-Darb al-ahmar was therefore intended to be a case study for a variety of investment challenges, ranging from slum surroundings rehabilitation to cultural restoration. The objective was to create models of smart investment guided by the not-forprofit and charitable organizations participatory approach that could be replicated in many other settings, and in particular in the poor historic cities of the Islamic world. Almost one third of historic cities on UNESCO s list of world heritage sites are in the Islamic World. Many face pressures of chronic poverty similar to those of al-darb al-ahmar (Bianca & Siravo, 2005). Therefore, the article argues that the area provides a possible case study to explore actions that might be taken to encourage responsible stakeholders partnerships, particularly as they relate to the redevelopment of blighted areas and changes in the way of investing the existing slum-based resources. The Study Area: Featuring the Productive Characteristics. Al-Darb al-ahmar destination slum is an example of a long-established declining, lagging area inhabited predominantly by the urban poor. It is part of the historic city of Cairo, located to the east of the city center between al-azhar Street in the north and the Salah-Eddin Citadel in the south. The heart of the study area is the Batineya neighborhood (Siravo, 2001). Despite its proximity to the Central Business District, the historic Al-Azhar mosque, and the tourist bazaars of Khan el Khalili, Suq as-sagha, and Suq an-nahhaseen, Batineya is an isolated and neglected area. It is considered by outsiders to be a center of drug trafficking and was avoided by the police until the mid-1980s. Despite this, it contains many historic buildings and is the center of two important craft communities, Aslan and Shughlan, the first known for its shoemakers and the second for its many carpentry shops. Muiz ed Deen Street, marking the southern portion of the western boundary, was the old city s main spine and is still lined with artisans and tradesmen s shops. Bab-el Wazir also has a commercial role and is the location of numerous wood, marble, and canvas workshops (Siravo, 2001). Away from commercial areas, narrow streets lined by three- and four-story houses and occasional neighborhood stores and workshops characterize the al-darb al-ahmar area (Bianca & Siravo, 2005). Along the same line, this article argues that while the al-darb al-ahmar destination slum possesses the main productive tourism resources, the way they are penetrated, invested in, and approached by government authorities has been inefficient. Further, the deterioration of the al-darb al-ahmar slum s sources of production, traditional investing methods, and adverse planning approaches has contributed most to preventing inhabitants from snatching economic opportunities offered by the rich geographic proximity of the neighborhood to tourism development zones. Thus, the dwellers have long failed to escape from chronic poverty. As a result, it is imperative to draw up an intelligible governmental action plan for investing in the productive characteristics that will have an effective, positive, profitable impact (Bianca & Siravo, 2005; CPRC, 2008). STI Example: Aga Khan s Investment Program in Al-Darb al-ahmar Slum The Aga Khan s private investment initiative, as a smart solution by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture

10 262 MEKAWY (AKTC) program, involved not only vast quarry and construction projects at the dumpsite and at the 13th century Ayyubid City wall itself, but it engaged the local poor community in the al Darb al-ahmar slum to participate in and support reconstruction by reviving the ancient neighborhood while protecting its heritage tourism value (Siravo, 2001). To vigorously complete the project, the Aga Khan s consortium opened a new lime quarry and kiln to provide traditional materials to reconstruct the wall and the old city. It trained building tradesmen on the techniques necessary to do preservationquality construction and trained apprentices in masonry, carpentry, and other trades in order to expand the corps of local workers qualified to conduct restoration work. The investment program empowered people to work and not depend on the money aid paid by the program. In doing so, microcredit from the Aga Khan Trust financed a total of 400 tradesmen, small manufacturing businesses, and businesses in shoemaking, furniture, and tourist goods by 2005, a program being expanded with the expectation of reaching $1.0 million per year in total microcredit loans (Bianca & Siravo, 2005). Moreover, the entire project was conducted within the Egyptian political structure, which seeks to control every aspect of heritage investment management, and it continued despite interference from the national antiquities authorities, who would have preferred to evict residents of the Darb al-ahmar in order to preserve the buildings (Siravo, 2004). The Aga Khan Trust s capacity to fend off government control, as well as its commitment to engage with, educate, incentivize, and support the dwellers to participate in and benefit from the preservation effort, has resulted in the project s apparent early success (Siravo, 2001). While dwellers were provided no-cost loans by the AKTC to initiate slum-based antipoverty investments, opportunities for meaningful, productive, self-supporting work must be expanded. What can be taken from this useful example is that the track of the abolition of poverty will require money to empower poverty-trapped dwellers. However, money must be accompanied by holistic, beneficial, and penetrating approaches and by intrepid and coordinated public and private investment programs that provide interrelated and targeted opportunities for the poor. For those who are able to work, greater emphasis must be placed on jobs, education, and training as innovative planning pathways. For those who cannot or should not be expected to work, improvements must be made in the social security program, which, combined with private benefit plans, constitutes the most effective institution for income maintenance. These cannot, of course, do the whole job. The present involvement system must be thoroughly repaired to adequately serve those dwellers whose financial and humanitarian needs are not met by other programs. Connected with improvements in existing profitable, empowering STI programs, the search must continue for new and imaginative programs that will meet the demands of the decade ahead (Bianca & Siravo, 2005, Mekawy, 2014). One of the greatest challenges to achieving lucrative forms of tourism investment in lagging areas is gaining support for this from the private sector, although this also offers the greatest potential for delivering benefits to the poor. While characterized by a drive for profits, the motivations of contemporary private sector tourism businesses (i.e., AKTC programs) are often more diverse, and many are keen to demonstrate corporate social responsibility (World Bank, 2011). For some, this simply leads to unsustainable donations to slum development initiatives, but in other cases, the benefits are more wide ranging and sustainable. For example, the rehabilitation process of al-darb al-ahmar monuments envisions a lucrative future for the district, in which a stable residential core is invigorated and sustained by a profitable pathway system of small workshops and retail activities, supported by essential infrastructure and community facilities and made a more attractive destination by wellmaintained open spaces and monuments (Grant, 2004; Shehayeb, 2009). Hence, the claim is that to realize this vision, conditions must be established to sustain and encourage stable, self-sufficient slum inhabitants. In this vein, the Egyptian government could provide more incentives to encourage private sector businesses to work in such pathways. Breaking Cairo s Slum Poverty Trap: Planning Implications and Innovative Pathways Despite the considerable amount of research devoted to modeling pathways and the development

11 PATHWAYS TO BREAK THE POVERTY CYCLE 263 of slums, economists and tourism planners have not yet discovered how to select appropriate pathways that might lead to poverty abolition in destination slums. As a result, poverty remains the common experience of slum inhabitants (Du Cross, 2008; Mitchell & Ashley, 2007). If pathways for innovative development planning are essentially free to adopt, why are so many destination slums still trapped in poverty? Surveyed literature contains the beginnings of an answer to this question. It is true that the early penetration pathways model is the key to a destination slum s upgrading. However, the most innovative pathways will not always be adopted appropriately. One possible clarification in this debate is that there are self-strengthening mechanisms, or traps, that act as barriers to adoption. Slum traps arise from both marketing failure and from institution failure, that is, from traps within the sets of stakeholders that govern the slums economic interactions. According to the literature, these include the state, private charitable entities, legal systems, social norms, settlements, inhabitants, and so on, and they are endogenous to the system, leading to a continuation of the current situation (Cooper, 2008; Richardson & Langdon, 2000). In an attempt to address this dilemma, with the adoption of the facilitator rather than steerer approach of the World Bank (2009), the main planning thresholds, in which poverty traps can be broken in Cairo s historical destination slums, can be summarized by four pathways: people, linking geography, economic clusters, and targeted investments, as illustrated in Figure 2. Given the significant role of the choice of an optimal investment decision, it is clear that a key first step toward confirming the role of STI in ending chronic poverty is the development of an appropriate investment planning pathway and strategy-making environment. An early directed practical penetration of support to the destination slum conditions is the form of choice in urban poverty planning and also in slum upgrading strategies because of its easy, fruitful access and the possibility of bypassing the self-reinforcing cycle of poverty that can facilitate unwelcome side effects. There are four penetration pathways for planned reliable and sufficient investment support through the destination slum poverty cycle and its related root causes, as shown in Figure 2. According to the UN (2012), poverty is a human condition characterized by sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security, and power necessary to enjoy an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, Figure 2. Schematic illustration showing the destination slum poverty cycle interrupted by early directed practical permeation of support and demonstrating the four possible penetration pathways for positive lucrative impacts through the core causes of poverty cycle.

12 264 MEKAWY economic, political, and social rights (Kakwani, 2006). Hence, looking at it through the lens of dayto-day life, poverty is about not being able to make ends meet, and it goes further than a lack of food, shelter, and clothing. It is accompanied by a loss of inhabitants self-esteem, identity, dignity, privilege, and power (Kakwani, 2006). Therefore, a new international poverty line is needed to escape all features of inequalities. Many researchers such as the World Health Organization (2008) and Collins and Herman (2008) have argued that people living in poverty are more likely to require greater medical services due to chronic health concerns. They are more likely to have lower levels of education and literacy, resulting in fewer opportunities and dependency. These challenges can lead to desperation and, in the most difficult of situations, lead to criminal activity and risky behaviors, which adds further pressure and costs to destination slums justice and social service systems. Consequently, the proposed penetration pathways model illustrated in Figure 2 suggests that to eliminate the real causes of the poverty cycle in its cradle, the first proposed approach should be the well-known investing in people pathway. This trail directs smart financial aid, investments, and infrastructure to benefit the slum s human capital. As a second stream, targeted infrastructure investments that meet dwellers basic and shared needs (i.e., specific investments directed to education and health infrastructure) represent an efficient penetration pathway for planned and sustainable investment support (Estache, 2004; Henry & Carcas, 2005). Insufficient, inadequate economic infrastructure is one of the most pressing obstacles to achieving pro-poor growth. The need for increased investments in infrastructure and for making infrastructure management and maintenance more efficient is widely recognized (Foster, 2005). Infrastructure is now a priority on the international development agenda; it was a major issue at the September 2005 UN Millennium +5 Summit as well as a central theme of the March 2005 report by the Commission for Africa (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], 2006). The main implication is that slums stakeholders who are reevaluating the priority infrastructure should have infrastructure in their programs and planning agendas (Fay & Yepes, 2003). The government s logical strategy response has, therefore, been to emphasize bottom-up, public private participatory planning of social infrastructure, with financial allocations targeting the dwellers social and economic needs (Ashley & Haysom, 2008; World Bank, 2011). Plans should also reflect the cost of basic human needs (Kakwani, 2006). Although most private providers are efficient and effective in providing services to the poor, affordability and social equity are often compromised. Public private partnerships can balance the need to increase access and affordability with the need to improve cost recovery and provide more appropriate payment procedures for poor dwellers. To date, however, there has been little experience with public private partnerships for informal provision of infrastructure services into destination slums. So the existence of this penetration pathway has yet to be proven (OECD, 2006). As a third pathway, economic/businesses clusters are beneficial in increasing resource productivity, saving new job opportunities, and access to capital (Ashley & Haysom, 2008; Narayan, 2002; World Bank, 2011). Unlike the monoeconomic theory, the economic clusters approach tends to empower local poor economies. In this vein, Narayan (2002) pointed out that the formation of small business clusters is one of the important areas for building local organizational capacity. Further, Abdel Azim (2011) argued that when small businesses are unable to access new markets and are unable to improve their products, competition could lead to reduced prices and sometimes to selfexploitation strategies. In this context, the economic clusters approach to the development of destination slum-based tourism business services can be a viable option to achieve collective efficiency and eventually break the cycle of chronic poverty. In a destination slum context, slum-based clusters arise because they increase the productivity with which small businesses within their sphere can compete, and they typically include firms in the tourism industry or commercial area that share infrastructure, suppliers, and distribution networks (Narayan, 2002). A key step to overcoming barriers of small size and isolation for microproducers in Egyptian destination slums is the public private support of sustainable penetration of business clusters ( Mitchell & Ashley, 2007).

13 PATHWAYS TO BREAK THE POVERTY CYCLE 265 Finally, at the forefront of the destination slums debate is the issue of the geographical proximity accessibility nexus. A destination is in many respects defined by its ability to provide appropriate tourist access into a destination and diffusion throughout the destination (World Bank, 2011). The dispersal of tourists throughout a slum can provide economic and social benefits, including improved services to the poor community (Freire-Medeiros, 2009). Consequently, the development of appropriate access for tourists to and within a destination slum includes consideration of a number of key accessibility planning questions. However, the destination slum concept has been challenged by geographical proximity and accessibility issues. These demonstrate that remote and/or incoherent locations of the most visited tourism core attractions and sites degrade the overall accessibility feature of this kind of destination and eventually degrade the overall economic and investment benefits of destination slums characteristics. Therefore, the implication is that there is also a wide open field of opportunity for telecommunications to bring so-called electronic geographic linking to destination slums. This means that the destination slums smart linking geography penetration into regional and world tourism markets enables poor dwellers to earn much more income through sales of handicrafts, home-based commodities, processed goods, and services (Fay & Yepes, 2003; Henry & Carcas, 2005). In sum, many countries, including Egypt, have spent huge sums on subsidies to entice investors into lagging areas, usually without any sustainable impact. The penetration pathways model recommends that the Egyptian government turn its efforts toward the new electronic approach to local economic development, which is gaining ground around the world and which is based on e-economic clusters, local competitive advantage, private initiative, and public private dialogue. Figure 2 shows how smart investments and planning pathways into slums productive characteristics can connect Egyptian slums to the dynamic tourism economies of their rich neighbors (Scheyvens, 2007). There are often strong spatial dimensions to these underlying factors in Egyptian poverty-blighted historical destinations, but much of this argument remains unacknowledged in tourism investment and destination slum planning discourse, because local and national data are limited and aggregated, which misrepresents actors and the factors of poverty cycle analysis. Therefore, Egypt s current strategy of targeting social investments toward low-income slums in low-income governorates may indeed be appropriate. As a result, this article advocates for stronger poverty trap analysis of destination slum development, investments, and poverty contexts in order to support appropriate planning responses. Conclusions This article provides a proposed conceptual and planning framework to advance a causal structure understanding of the destination slum concept and its dominant factors, given that further understanding of the destination slum concept depends heavily upon the interpretivist paradigm. Equally important, this article sees interpretivism as gaining ground at that point against a predominantly positivist research tradition in destination slum analysis. The study also produces new planning insights into the significance and scope of holistic and collaborative approaches to building penetration pathways in which poverty traps can be broken. Therefore, this study concludes that addressing poverty is not something that one organization or order of government can take on alone; it takes a truly collaborative effort, with government, the not-for-profit sector, corporate partners, and community members aligned together (Collins & Herman, 2008; World Bank, 2009, 2011). For the same reason, governments should increasingly leverage the resources of civil society in terms of innovative ideas. STI theory suggests that while the goal of most businesses is the bottom line (revenue, profits, and growth), responsible slum-based tourism enterprises also confront the challenge of contributing to job creation and economic and cultural diversity in a sustainable manner. The power of sustainable STI as a development tool lies in the fact that its philanthropic investments improve slum tourism products and dwellers living conditions, differentiate and add value in the eyes of tourists, and strengthen the slum-based enterprise itself (Richardson & Langdon, 2000). In this vein, evidence from the rigorous analysis of the al-darb al-ahmar case study suggests that targeted STI in slum characteristics, as one of

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