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National parks and reserves as tourist destinations. Conditions for a national park? Why establish a national park? Problems involving tourism in national parks and reserves (Krüger National Park). Conditions for a national park. Land of some preservation value must be available

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National parks and reserves as tourist destinations

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National parks and reserves as tourist destinations l.jpg

National parks and reserves as tourist destinations

Conditions for a national park?

Why establish a national park?

Problems involving tourism in national parks and reserves (Krüger National Park)

Stefán H Valsson


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Conditions for a national park

  • Land of some preservation value must be available

  • Political will for a national park must exist

  • The land must be protected by law

  • The land must conform to the IUCN standards for national parks regarding size, public access etc.

Stefán H Valsson


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Majority of Americans saw the land as an object to be conquered and made productive. The first reservations for the preservation of scenery therefore tended to be established in areas that were judged to be wasteland that had not economic value in terms of agriculture, grazing, lumbering or mining. (Hall & Page, 1999)

Stefán H Valsson


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Why establish a national park?

Establishment of national parks is seen as one way of opening up the natural attractions of the Third World to tourists in a sustainable manner. This is also attractive to tourists, many of whom are interested in new and exotic locations and are increasingly searching for ‘otherness’ of unspoilt natural environments (Boo, 1991:187-8)

Stefán H Valsson


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Why establish a national park?

  • Protect endangered animal and plant species

  • Protect unique landscape

  • Protect indigenous people

  • Protect the land for science and research

  • Protect the land for the public to enjoy

  • Protect the land for future generations

  • Make money from land that had no economic importance before

Stefán H Valsson


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Why establish a national park?

In Australia the first national parks [the Royal National Park in NSW, 1879] were created for reasons of aesthetics, tourism and recreation with science gaining little recognition. (Hall, 1992a)

Stefán H Valsson


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Why establish a national park?

The term national park is a ‘place label’. In South Africa, some ½ million jobs were lost in mines between 1990 and 2000. Tourism is seen as an alternative job-creator. A locality can market itself to potential investors and and tourists through ‘place marketing’. A national park does just that.

Stefán H Valsson


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Landscape

Animals

Eco-systems

Indigenous people

The general public

Tourists

Future generations

Local people

Local companies

Regional authority

National authority

Foreign nationals

Foreign companies

Who gets the benefit?

Stefán H Valsson


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Who gets the benefit?

The government authority must demonstrate to specific benefit for the local people, by the way of commercial opportunities and employment (Rowinski, 1991:43).

Thus, economic factors may overshadow ecological considerations to the detriment of the park environment (Sherman & Dixon, 1991:90-1).

Stefán H Valsson


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Who gets the benefit?

Tension between tourism and conservation has been made worse because the tourism industry and park managers do not understand each other. The world of tourism sees parks as a tourist attraction, while park managers are concerned with biota and animal behaviour, not in terms of tourists’ needs (Cochrane, 1996:238).

Stefán H Valsson


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Who are the stakeholders?

The stakeholders of national parks and reserves are all those who are involved such as the landscape, animals, eco-systems, indigenous people, the general public, local people, local companies, regional authorities, national authorities, foreign nationals, foreign companies, future generations and tourists…

Stefán H Valsson


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The effect of tourism

It is rather obvious that tourism, especially mass-tourism is detrimental to the environment in many ways such as destruction of resources, pollution and loss of cultural identity. For example, in Kenya’s Maasai Mara NP and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, the heavy demand for firewood for use in lodges and camps for cooking and heating has severely depleted the small riverine forests (Kamuro, 1996).

Stefán H Valsson


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The effect of tourism

Traditional Maasai territory in Kenya and Tanzania includes famous national parks such as Amboseli, Maasai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorogoro, which are heavily visited by tourists on wildlife safaris. Employment for the Maasai living around these parks was limited to posing for photographs and selling craft souvenirs (Bachmann, 1988)

Stefán H Valsson


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The effect of tourism

Profits from safari tourism go mainly to foreign-owned travel enterprises, while local Maasai communities bordering the Mara Reserve continue to lead poverty stricken lives (Carrere, 1995).

Stefán H Valsson


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The effect of tourism

In Europe, the Balearic Islands have responded to tourist pressures by imposing an eco-tax of 1 Euro per visitor per day, to help rectify the serious environmental damage caused by the tourist boom of the last three decades, and to protect fragile areas that are left (Binns & Nel, 2002).

Stefán H Valsson


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The effect of tourism

[Belize]…now has a highly competitive tourism industry, more interested in marketing a product than ensuring that it is environmentally sound, or that people are benefiting from it. (Tourism Concern, 2002).

Stefán H Valsson


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The effect of tourism

[Belize]…the overall number of local residents affected is probably quite low, due to the limited number of parks that accept significant visitor numbers and the tendency of groups to visit on a day-only basis.

(Weaver, 1998)

Stefán H Valsson


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The effect of tourism

In South Africa, tourism has increased greatly since the ANC came into power in 1994.

There has been massive expansion in game parks (reserves and farms) in SA (Binns & Nel, 2002).

The coal mining town Utrecht in SA plans to create a unique nature-based experience by incorporating the town into the game reserve and the game farm that surrounds it by pulling the fences down

Stefán H Valsson


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The effect of tourism

Namaqualand NP in the dry south-western part of South Africa has many unique biological features e.g. half of its plant species are found nowhere else on earth and as such has a global significance. Springtime floral display attracts thousands of tourists. The problem is… (Binns & Nel, 2002).

Stefán H Valsson


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Krüger National Park

Fact sheet:

  • 1898 first proclaimed, declared by law in 1926

  • 1927 one of the world’s first eco-tourism destinations

  • 1951 scientific work started

  • 1959 fencing work done

  • 1961 new species introduced (ongoing)

  • 1964 first wildlife census

  • Makuleka tribe forcefully displaced in the late 60’s

Stefán H Valsson


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Krüger National Park

  • Size 19.485 (1/8th of the size of Iceland)

  • 1989 there were 700.000 visitors

  • 1995 there were 835.000 visitors

  • 14 rest camps with 4000 beds, and 6 secluded bush camps.

  • Typical stay is 3-4 nights

  • Average income per visitor, per day is around 60 USD

  • 3500 workers

Stefán H Valsson


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Krüger National Park

  • 885 km of tarred roads

  • 1739 km of gravel roads

  • 2000 different forms of plant life

  • 490 species of birds (ca. 9000 in the world)

  • 146 species of mammals

  • 114 species of reptiles

  • 49 types of fish

  • 16 different types of eco-systems

Stefán H Valsson


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Krüger National Park – visitor management

  • Buildings blend in with the environment

  • Road signs blend in with the environment

  • Wood for ‘braii’ is imported from outside

  • Adequate space between accommodation, but is still within walking distance of the service area

  • Information center, literature etc. available

  • Security system at gates to check permits and capacity control is maintained

Stefán H Valsson


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Krüger National Park – visitor management

  • No more than 0.75 vehicles per 1 km of road

  • 1979 guided wilderness trails

  • 1994 night drives

  • Educational bush drives during the day

  • Visitors pay for over 70% of operation costs

Stefán H Valsson


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Krüger National Park – current issues

  • 1992 ANC suggested land appropriation that set off a large scale lobbying process by the National Parks Board

  • Until 1990’s, 95% of visitors to the park were affluent white South Africans. All managers and rangers were white. All this changed in 1994

  • Suggested oil pipeline and road across the park from Mocambique

  • River pollution from people outside the park

Stefán H Valsson


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Krüger National Park – current issues

  • Water shortage – boreholes

  • 1996 demand to further develop revenue-earning activities in opposition to conservationists

  • Affirmative action

Stefán H Valsson


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