Profiles of tourists participating in shark cage diving in Gansbaai, South Africa06 December 2021
Coastal and marine tourism is a sector that draws visitors from around the globe to South Africa. This is largely because of an array of marine wildlife resources found in the country. Despite this strong pull factor, there is limited information on the economic value of the marine environment. This article focuses on establishing the profiles of visitors taking part in shark cage diving in Gansbaai. Such profiling will facilitate the understanding of the potential target market of CMT visitors to Gansbaai, whilst contributing towards targeted developments in the area aimed at capturing the economic value of such visitors through the provision of a range of visitor-specific activities to make the destination more appealing. It will also contribute to further developments in the area, in providing a wide range of activities to make the destination more appealing. In ascertaining the profile of visitors, a quantitative research design was adopted. A total of n = 378 self-administered questionnaires were collected from visitors taking part in shark cage diving using a face-to-face proportionate sampling technique. The results revealed that a majority of visitors were drawn to Gansbaai because of shark cage diving and that a large portion travelled to Gansbaai for holiday purposes. There was a challenge in the ability of the destination to attract overnight visitors because of a limited product offering in the area. As a result, minimal spending occurs in Gansbaai as an overwhelming majority of the visitors are day visitors. These results have implications for tourists, tourism destination planners, tour operators and tourism establishments in Gansbaai.