Push and pull factors of national parks in South Africa
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South Africa's national parks are one of South Africa's major attractions. Since visitors are among the most important role players in the sustainability of these parks, and in-depth research is needed to understand them, this article analyses the push and pull factors that bring them to the parks. The study used a structured questionnaire to collect data on these factors and the socio-demographic profile of the visitors. Surveys conducted at nine National Parks produced 1300 questionnaires. The factor analysis identified two push and three pull factors underlying visitors' motives for visiting the parks. Differences in the push and pull factors for different socio-demographic subgroups were examined. It was clear that visitors are pushed to parks to relax, and pulled by nature as a product. It was also found that age, whether accompanied by children, province of residence, educational level and home language had a significant influence on the push and pull factors. With the current number of other tourism products competing for nature based tourists, this type of information can ensure that the most appropriate marketing messages are communicated to potential visitors and that the parks are sustained.