Answers to Global Questions from the International Competence Network of Tourism Research and Education (ICNT)
Edited By Michael Lück, Jan Velvin and Bernd Eisenstein
Residents’ perceptions regarding an urban national park in South Africa (Kruger, Van der Merwe, Saayman)
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Marinette Kruger, Peet van der Merwe and Melville Saayman
Residents’ Perceptions Regarding an Urban National Park in South Africa
One of South Africa’s most important role-players in wildlife-based tourism at present is South African National Parks (SANParks). SANParks is currently managing 21 national parks, each representing a unique biological diversity of biomes, plants and animal species and it is a major ecotourism attraction for local and foreign tourists, with 4.5 million tourists going through SANParks’ gates during the 2010/11 season (Stevens, personal communication). South African National Parks showed a steady increase of visitors from 3.6 million (2003/04 season) to 4.5 million (2010/11 season). When looking at these figures, it is clear that national parks in South Africa attract a large number of tourists each year (Stevens, personal communication). With this in mind, national parks have three distinct purposes. Firstly, the conservation of a representative sample of the biodiversity of the country; secondly, to provide a recreation outlet where the wonders of the parks can be experienced and enjoyed, and thirdly, to maintain a relationship of community uplifting and capacity building among people living in and around the parks (Saayman & Saayman, 2006). National parks therefore have to create an environment from which the communities can benefit while at the same time conserving the natural environment (Saayman, Van der Merwe, Saayman & Mouton, 2009). According to The Office of Environment and Heritage in New South Wales, there are different types...
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