oa Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science - Which age group spends the most in a national park? : original research
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.
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