Regional development and national parks in South Africa: Lessons learned
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National parks are playing an important role in the South African tourism landscape - especially in their respective regional economies - since most foreign and many domestic tourists visit one or more of the 21 national parks annually. For the purpose of this article, socio-economic impact analyses were conducted at four national parks using similar methodology. These parks differ considerably and the results confirm that a variety of variables play a role in contributing to the magnitude of the socio-economic impact. From these case studies, a number of interesting lessons have been learned, which have implications for managing national parks. In terms of regional development, it is also shown that different parks play different roles in their regional economies.