• Tourism;
  • development;
  • poverty;
  • impact evaluation

Understanding the tourism-poverty link is critical if tourism is to be used as a mechanism for reducing poverty. Yet, the available empirical analysis is insufficient for this. This article proposes a research agenda for closing this gap in the literature. It argues that, while analysing the link poses peculiar challenges, models exist to do so. Second, it contends that the key question is not whether the link exists but under what conditions it is strongest. Finally, it maintains that the best way to analyse the link is to incorporate accurate diagnosis and evaluations into tourism projects, using the approaches and concepts of the literature on impact evaluation.