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

Peer Reviewed
1 January 2017

This article 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. Although
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-maximizing 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.

Sustainable Development Goals

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Publication | 15 May 2017