The economic valuation of nature-based tourism in the South African Kgalagadi area and implications for the Khomani San ‘bushmen’ community

Peer Reviewed
1 January 2014

The economic importance of the various attributes of dryland nature-based tourism in the Kgalagadi area is generally unknown, as is the distribution of benefits from such tourism. This study seeks to value selected attributes of nature-based tourism in the Kgalagadi area by applying the choice experiment technique and then assessing the potential for nature-based tourism to contribute to the Khomani San ‘bushmen’ livelihoods through a payment for ecosystem services scheme. The values placed on the attributes by park visitors are estimated using the conditional logit and random parameter logit models. The visitors prefer more pristine recreational opportunities, increased chances of seeing predators and disapprove of granting the local Khomani San communities access to grazing opportunities inside the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Notably, the marginal willingness to pay for pristine recreational opportunities across all models ranging from R76.96 (US$9.08) to R177.08 (US$20.88) per trip depending on the type of restrictions imposed. Given that previous studies report that the Khomani San are willing to accept reasonable compensation for relevant resource-use restrictions, there is scope for a payment for ecosystem services scheme where visitors could be charged additional park entry fees sufficient to compensate the local communities to accept a restriction of natural resource use in the Kgalagadi area.


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Publication | 29 May 2014