This study sets out to address problems caused by the lack of an integrated tourism management framework that would give a strategic direction to the delivery of tourism services in the Kruger National Park (KNP). The lack of tourism management plans and capacity in protected areas can be traced back to the classic management approach that concentrates exclusively on biodiversity conservation while paying superficial attention to other equally important management elements such as tourism, community participation, financial viability and governance matters. As a result of such management deficiencies, protected areas are unable to raise sufficient revenue from their tourism business to adequately meet obligations of their conservation mandate, community expectations and maintenance of the tourism facilities. Financial problems lead to over-dependence on diminishing and inflation-eroded state subsidies, thus compromising the effective management of parks. A management approach that does not balance the elements that constitute the management function of a protected area has the potential to destroy the resource base on which the attractiveness of a protected area as a holiday destination hinges and risks alienating tourists. The practice of 'fortress conservation' with protected areas treated as distinct units from their surrounding communities is being challenged worldwide. Protected area managers are now constantly looking for management paradigms that can harmonize the fundamental functions of conserving biodiversity, delivering tourism services and ensuring financial viability whilst contributing to the socio-economic development and benefits for local people balancing conservation and socio-economic needs. This is the situation in which the KNP finds itself. The study recommends the adoption of an integrated tourism management framework based on adaptive tourism management principles to enable the Park to cope with continuous uncertainties, conflict management, dynamic systems of societal changes, economic changes, changes of ecosystems and bridging the gap between conservation and tourism.
Thesis (PhD (Tourism Management))--University of Pretoria, 2005.
Van Heerden, Neels, 1957-; Van Heerden, Cornelius Hendrik, 1957-(Taylor & Francis, 2007-01)
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