Securing benefits for local communities from international visitors to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 2
  • SDG 1
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: This paper estimates the visitation demand function for Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) in order to determine the scope for raising fees charged to international tourists in order to fund revenue-sharing schemes for local communities. International and Southern African Development Community tourists account for approximately 25% and 2% of the total number of visitors to South African national parks, with domestic visitors making up the remaining portion. Though small, the South African international tourism market is mature, and accounts for a disproportionately large share (around 42%) of net revenue. To estimate visitation demand at the KTP and three other national parks, random effects Tobit Model was used. Using the estimated elasticities, the revenue-maximising daily conservation fee was computed to be R1 131.94 (US$144.20) for KTP, which can be compared with the R180 (US$22.93) currently charged. Furthermore, the study also demonstrated that there is a possibility of raising fees at the other three parks. Sharing conservation revenue with communities surrounding parks could demonstrate the link between ecotourism and local communities’ economic development, and promote a positive view of land restitution involving national parks.