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- Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science
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- Volume 56, Issue 2, 2014
Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science - Volume 56, Issue 2, 2014
Volume 56, Issue 2, 2014
The development of a tourism research framework by South African National Parks to inform management : original researchAuthor Duan BiggsSource: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –9 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1164More Less
Tourism is critical source of financing for conservation in Africa. South African National Parks (SANParks) raises in excess of 80% of their own funds through tourism revenue. SANParks has a culture of co-learning between scientists and conservation managers through a process known as strategic adaptive management (SAM). Despite the critical role that tourism plays in SANParks, it has, until recently, not been formally incorporated in the SAM process. Moreover, SANParks recently adopted a new responsible tourism policy to guide the development and management of tourism across all national parks. The new policy calls for tourism that supports biodiversity conservation, is environmentally efficient and socially responsible. In 2011, SANParks initiated a tourism research programme to support the incorporation of tourism in SAM and to provide enabling information for the implementation of the responsible tourism policy. This article summarised the development of the tourism research programme in SANParks and its key research themes.
Conservation implications: An active tourism research programme that integrates science and management is necessary for tourism to play a stronger role in delivering outcomes for conservation, neighbouring communities and broader society.
Exploring the impacts of protected area tourism on local communities using a resilience approach : original researchSource: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –10 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1161More Less
As the protected area mandate expands to include social equity, the impacts of parks and their tourism on neighbouring indigenous and local communities is receiving growing practical and theoretical interest. This article reported on one such study, which explored the impacts of protected area tourism on communities bordering the iconic Kruger National Park in South Africa and Purnululu National Park in Australia. The study drew on interviews with park staff, tourism operators and community members. Guided by a conceptual framework grounded in resilience thinking, interactions amongst the parks, tourism and local communities were revealed as complex, contested and multi-scalar. Underlying drivers included cultural norms and values based on nature, entrenched poverty, poor Western education and economic opportunities associated with tourism. Park tourism offered intrinsic opportunities and benefits from nature conservation and associated intangible cultural values. More tangible benefits arose through employment. Damage-causing animals and visitation difficulties were negative impacts. Interaction with tourists was limited, with a sense of disconnect evident. Findings indicated the need for multifaceted, carefully considered policy responses if social equity and benefits for local communities are to be achieved. Framing the impacts of protected area tourism through the resilience framework provided a useful way to access local community perceptions whilst retaining awareness of the broader multi-scalar context in which interactions occur.
Conservation implications: Perceptions of separation and lack of education to engage in economic opportunities are major issues. Intrinsic appreciation of parks is an important platform for building future opportunities. Accrual of future benefits for local communities from park tourism depends on developing diverse economic opportunities, building community capacity and managing expectations and addressing economic disadvantage.
Evaluating the effectiveness of guided versus non-guided interpretation in the Kruger National Park, South Africa : original researchSource: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1160More Less
In the face of growing pressure placed on the natural environment, the study on which this article is based considered the effectiveness of interpretive provision in mitigating the harmful effects of tourism on the environment. The aim of this research was to determine whether guided or non-guided interpretation is most effective in reaching the stated goals of interpretation. The four key goals of interpretation, namely visitor satisfaction, knowledge gain, attitude change and modification of behaviour intent, were used in the assessment of the relative effectiveness of guided and non-guided interpretation in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Through comparing responses to questionnaires from post-visit samples and observing both guided and non-guided interpretation, the research found that guided interpretation was only marginally more effective in reaching the four key goals of interpretation than the non-guided interpretive media. Guided interpretation was found to be more effective in terms of visitor satisfaction, whilst guided and non-guided interpretation had only marginal differences in effectiveness in relation to knowledge gain, attitude change and intent to modify behaviour.
Conservation implications: The necessity of implementing an appropriate interpretation programme within protected areas cannot be overemphasised. The interpretation programme should be designed to include elements of both guided and non-guided interpretation in order to achieve a predetermined goal. The effectiveness of the programme should be evaluated periodically and amended where appropriate.
Author Francesca CiniSource: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1158More Less
Age (and its changing structure amongst the wider population) is one of the most relevant aspects required to better understand and forecast the needs, interests and associated consumption behaviours of tourists. This research used age to investigate the expenditure patterns amongst a sample of visitors to the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), South Africa. In March 2010, visitors to the TMNP were found to differ significantly from those at other parks, as they were younger and most of them were foreigners. This study found that younger visitors (18-29 years) were higher spenders when compared to those aged 30-49 years. As parks are generally visited by older people, this study showed the economic importance of the younger market. The research also made clear implications and recommendations for park management as to how to address these findings.
Conservation implications: Conservation is dependent on funding. One of the main sources of income is tourism and tourism related activities. This research can assist marketers and managers to target the right markets in order to be more sustainable. This research also shows the importance of environmental education at an early age in order to grow awareness and to target the right markets.
Good governance and tourism development in protected areas : the case of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, central Vietnam : original researchAuthor Ly T. PhongSource: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –10 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1146More Less
Protected areas are increasingly expected to serve as a natural income-producing resource via the exploitation of recreational and touristic activities. Whilst tourism is often considered a viable option for generating income which benefits the conservation of a protected area, there are many cases in which insufficient and opaque planning hinder sustainable development, thereby reducing local benefit sharing and, ultimately, nature conservation. This article delineated and examined factors in governance which may underlie tourism development in protected areas. Based on Graham, Amos and Plumptre's five good governance principles, a specific analysis was made of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam, which highlighted challenges in the practical implementation of governing principles arising for nature conservation, sustainable tourism development and complex stakeholder environments. Despite the limited opportunity of this study to examine the wider national and international context, the discussion facilitated an overview of the factors necessary to understand governance principles and tourism development. This article could serve as a basis for future research, especially with respect to comparative analyses of different management structures existing in Vietnam and in other contested centrally steered protected area spaces.
Conservation implications: This research has shown that tourism and its development, despite a more market-oriented and decentralised policymaking, is a fragmented concept impacted by bureaucratic burden, lack of institutional capacities, top-down processes and little benefit-sharing. There is urgent need for stakeholders - public and private - to reconcile the means of protected areas for the ends (conservation) by clarifying responsibilities as well as structures and processes which determine decision-making.
Tourism and conservation in Madagascar : the importance of Andasibe National Park : original researchSource: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –8 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1144More Less
Madagascar is renowned for high levels of biodiversity and endemism. As a result of its unique flora and fauna, as well as the high levels of human threat to the environment, such as illegal clearing, hunting and political instability, it is a critical global conservation priority. Andasibe-Mantadia National Park in eastern Madagascar is one of the most popular protected areas visited by tourists. Observations carried out in 2011 showed that even though there were some negative impacts associated with natural-area tourism, the benefits to both the local communities and associated biological conservation outweighed the negatives. Natural-area tourism at Andasibe is well organised, with many local guide associations having partnerships with international organisations and 50% of park fees going directly to local communities. Forest loss is a widespread problem in Madagascar, but at Andasibe the forest is valued for its ecological function and as a generator of profits from natural-area tourism. Exploitation of the park was not observed. Andasibe is an example of how conservation and natural-area tourism can work together in Madagascar for the benefit of local communities and the environment. However, with the current unstable political climate and lack of adequate wider tourism and conservation planning frameworks, awakening to its potential as a leading conservation tourism destination will not be a simple task.
Conservation implications: This research demonstrated that ecotourism can be an effective means of achieving conservation objectives, whilst, at the same time, improving the livelihoods of local people. We caution, however, that governments can do a lot more to encourage and support the nexus between tourism and conservation.
Assessment of the main factors impacting community members' attitudes towards tourism and protected areas in six southern African countries : original researchAuthor Susan SnymanSource: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –12 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1139More Less
In southern Africa, many early conservation efforts from the late 1800s and early 1900s either displaced local communities or restricted their access to natural resources. This naturally affected community attitudes towards protected areas and efforts were later made to rectify growing tensions. In the last few decades of the 20th century, these efforts led to conservation and ecotourism models that increasingly included communities in the decision-making and benefit-sharing process in order to garner their support. Although the results of these policies were mixed, it is clear that the future success of conservation and, consequently, ecotourism in many areas will depend on the attitudes and behaviour of communities living in or adjacent to protected areas. Managing and understanding community expectations and attitudes under varying socio-economic circumstances will lead to more efficient, equitable and sustainable community-based conservation and ecotourism models. This study was based on 1400 community interview schedules conducted in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, allowing for an accurate comparison of attitudes across countries, protected areas and communities. The results highlighted important demographic and socio-economic factors to consider in terms of understanding the attitudes of those living in and around protected areas. Suggestions were put forward for managing community relationships and garnering long-term support for protected areas and ecotourism.
Conservation implications: It was observed that, in general, community members living in or adjacent to conservation areas in southern Africa have an understanding and appreciation of the importance of conservation. Formal education was found to positively impact attitudes and human-wildlife conflict negatively impacted attitudes, highlighting important policy focus areas.
Source: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –11 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1114More Less
This study analysed the determinants of tourists' length of stay at one of South Africa's oldest and largest national parks, the Kruger National Park. It took the different regions of this Park into account and analysed visitors to the northern and southern regions separately to distinguish the different determinants of length of stay. The results showed clear differences between the determinants of length of stay for the two regions, indicating that for a destination with the size and scope of the Kruger Park, a regional approach should be followed to improve management and encourage visitors to stay longer.
Conservation implications: The northern and southern regions of the Kruger National Park differ significantly in terms of ecosystems, rainfall, climate and wildlife. From a tourism perspective, these regions should be managed separately taking the distinct differences of the two regions into consideration. Different variables influence visitors' length of stay in these two regions. Conservation practitioners can use the results of this study to manage visitors to these areas.
Research to guide management of outdoor recreation and tourism in parks and protected areas : original researchAuthor Robert E. ManningSource: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –7 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1159More Less
A framework for managing outdoor recreation and tourism in parks and protected areas was presented in this article. This management-by-objectives framework includes, (1) formulating indicators and standards of quality, (2) monitoring indicators of quality and (3) implementing management actions designed to maintain standards of quality. This management framework can be used to help balance the demand for outdoor recreation and tourism and the need to protect park resources and the quality of the visitor experience. A programme of research to help guide application of this management framework was described and illustrated. This research is part of a growing body of scientific and professional literature on outdoor recreation and tourism that can be used to build the capacity of park and protected area management agencies.
Conservation implications: The management framework described in this article, and the associated programme of research, can be used by conservation practitioners to balance use and protection of national parks and protected areas.
Source: Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science 56, pp 1 –2 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v56i2.1221More Less
Three significant trends are converging with the result of increasing the importance of understanding and managing the nexus of tourism and protected areas. Firstly, international travel and tourism continues to grow significantly, resulting in more people wanting to visit, learn and appreciate their natural and cultural heritage. Secondly, international conservation efforts are increasingly dependent on protected areas serving as the cornerstone of slowing (ideally stopping) the loss of biological diversity. Thirdly, demands from society on protected areas are not only increasing, they are diversifying as well. Increased demand is, in part, the result of a growing human population that competes for space with natural areas and its wildlife through other land uses such as agriculture. Diversifying because protected areas are increasingly viewed as a source of monetary revenue and ecosystem-based benefits, such as health for humans, as engines of local livelihood development, as mechanisms for catalysing 'peace' on a transboundary scale and even as models of governance. These three trends accelerate the need for not only greater institutional capability to manage visitors and tourism development - which are amongst the most significant capacity needs, according to the World Commission on Protected Areas (2012) - but also more knowledge about visitor preferences, their behaviour, needs, spending patterns and social and environmental impacts. The convergence of these three trends also poses new challenges and opportunities not just for the conservation movement but for civil society as well.