Using a panel of 13 tourism-intensive economies for the period 1995-2012, this paper shows that rising growth in tourism which is proxied by tourism receipts to GDP ratio has an impact on poverty conditional on the poverty measure used. Using a panel Vector Autoregression method, there is little evidence to suggest that growth in tourism reduces headcount poverty. However, the poverty gap measure shows that the amount of money needed to help the poor out of poverty is significantly reduced. Based on different types of Gini coefficient, the results fail to find an improvement in income inequality resulting from tourism growth. Alternative measures such as relative poverty and poverty gap may be considered to better assess the impact of tourism on the poor.
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