Developing a socio-economic driven business model for managing an urban national park
Myburgh, Elsie Maria
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Tourism has grown substantially as an economic and a social phenomenon over the past few decades. The issue of environmental sustainability cannot be separated from the issues relating to social and economic development. Over the past century, the African continent has seen an impressive growth in environmental tourism activities which leads to unique managerial challenges. The South African National Parks (SANParks) is the leading conservation authority in South Africa and is responsible for 3 751 113 hectares of protected land in 19 national parks. Within SANParks, there exists a need for the operational emphasis concerning the following, conservation of its biodiversity; nature tourism development and the development and improvement of the living standards of the communities and to allow visitors to have a meaningful recreation experience while participating in outdoor and nature activities. One of the 19 Parks in South Africa, Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is considered an urban park which leads to its own difficulties regarding management techniques. These are influenced by TMNP being an urban park, a marine park, a World Heritage Site as well as one of the natural Seven Wonders of the World. TMNP is an important national asset and can be described as an iconic masterpiece of nature and one of the most visited touristic sites in the world. A framework to assess the socio-economic impact of national parks in South Africa has been developed by Saayman & Saayman (2009:27). This framework is built on different aspects needed when assessing the socio-economic impact. Firstly, it must be clearly defined what the spatial area consists of as well as the main economic activities in that area. Secondly an analysis of demand and supply should be present in order to determine visitor spending. Thirdly, a community survey should follow to determine the social impact, and thereafter a Social Accounting Matrix was used to determine flows of all economic transactions that take place within an economy (regional or national). A social accounting matrix expands the input output accounts to include a complete specification of the circular flow in the economy. Due to tourism activity in an area, multipliers can indicate the magnitude of economic benefits in terms of more sales, more employment opportunities and more income generated by the local community. The purpose for undertaking this study was to identify the socio-economic impact of tourism development on surrounding communities in Cape Town, and to develop a business driven model on how to manage the different economic and social impacts. The literature study in the first four chapters was conducted to ensure a proper framework for understanding and determining social and economic impacts of tourism. Furthermore, the literature study also focused on TMNP and the different issues that play a role in its management. Since the secondary questions required an investigation of an empirical nature, procedures were followed in order to complete the empirical research relevant to the purpose of the study. The purpose of the research was to explain the connection between variables and has resulted in reaching certain conclusions about cause-effect relationships. Primary data was collected at the TMNP which consists of Cape Point, Table Mountain and Boulders (Seal Island), to interpret the results in terms of implications for socio-economic and conservation intervention to maximize benefits. The quantitative approach was adopted by collecting data via questionnaires that were completed at the different sections of TMNP. The use and completion of visitor surveys is of extreme importance when the data needs to be categorized according to different sets of data. By using these surveys more identifiable concerns and objectives can be addressed according to demographics and profiles. Convenience sampling was used and the respondents were chosen because they were available to complete the questionnaire. This method is used extensively in research because the researcher can access the respondents with relative ease. The data used for this study was obtained from the April, 2010 Survey, conducted by the TREES (Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society) at the TMNP. Two sets of surveys were completed during this period namely Survey A: Community survey and Survey B: Visitor Survey to TMNP. For the purpose of this research, the communities living around the TMNP were identified as the target community (population) and are referred to as the Cape Town community. This community comprises areas of Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, Camps Bay, Simon’s Town, Hout Bay, Table Mountain, and Cape Point. The research reported in this particular study focused on tourists visiting the National Park as well as adults within communities in the larger Cape Town environment. The Visitor Survey was completed by day visitors at the TMNP, at Boulders, Cape of Good Hope and Table Mountain. The questionnaire format was divided into the following sections: Section A: Socio-Demographic Detail; Section B: Overall impact of TMNP; Section C: Visitation to TMNP and section D: Specific social impacts. In these questionnaires they had to complete sections on demographics such as nationality, level of education and motivations to visit these attractions. After the necessary data was captured at TMNP, it was analysed and used to determine the socio-economic impacts of the national park on the community of Cape Town. From the data captured, figures and models were developed to assist in the answering of the research problem. After the necessary data had been collected at TMNP, it was coded and captured on Microsoft Excel®. The data was analysed and used to determine the socio-economic impacts of the national park on the community of Cape Town. Firstly the profile of the visitors to Table National Park were analysed and secondly the profile of the Cape Town community surrounding Table Mountain National Park. A SAM (Social Accounting Matrix) for the Western Cape Province was used to determine the economic impact of the Park. The Statistical Consultation Services of the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus conducted the processing of the data. A factor analysis was applied in order to amalgamate the amount of data that had been collected and to determine the social impact of TMNP. In essence the factor analysis is done by determining patterns amongst the variations in value of several variables. Artificial factors are generated and correlated with real variables that are independent of one another. Items measured on a Likert-scale can be effectively analysed by making use of this method. 36 statements were analysed by subjecting them to an Oblimin rotation with Kaiser Normalisation in order to explain the variance-covariance structure of a set of variables through linear combinations of the specific results. As part of the factor analysis the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy (KMO) was used to analyse suitability of the covariance matrix for the factor analysis. The purpose of the factor analysis was to identify various categories into which the statements could be grouped and in total eleven factors were discovered. The groupings that the statements were subjected to are the following social and economic opportunities; relocation and removals; improvements; neglect; improved image; improved business; negative impacts; park knowledge; lack of control; management of wildlife; and use of natural resources. Furthermore the items that were cross-loaded on two factors with a factor loading greater than 03 was categorised in the factor that enhanced its interpretability. An economic analysis is necessary in order to define the economic structure and interdependencies of different sectors of the economy and a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) was used to determine the economic impact by means of multipliers calculated for the Western Cape region. As the purpose of this study is to develop a socio-economic driven business model it is necessary to include the spending of the local visitors. In order to determine the economic impacts of tourism an estimate of visitor spending must be considered. Expenditure information from visitors can be gathered by making use of the responses from the questionnaires. Economic studies increase the understanding of the magnitude of the tourism industry and its linkages to other sectors of the economy. Such understandings can assist in identifying potential partners for the tourism industry as well as in targeting industries as part of regional economic development strategies. Issues such as economic growth, stability, and seasonality may be addressed as part of these studies. Economic impact analyses are commonly used to assess the relative value of possible alternatives. Pressure from communities to be involved in the Park operations model necessitated research based on a socio-economic approach. As a conservation entity the TMNP fulfils its conservation role but there are certain gaps in reaching the community and managing the tourism related sector as well. Management gaps of this nature can influence the operation of the Park and have a definite impact on different management sectors. This prompted a study to develop a socio-economic business driven model for an urban national park. In order to develop this model the study had to discriminate between the different goals of national parks to determine what gaps exist currently in the social and economic sectors and what the impact of TMNP can be on the economy and community of the Western Cape. This business model is envisioned to provide TMNP management and SANParks with a foundation of research and management guidelines for the effective management of the social and economic sectors. Based on this model further development can take place or areas of research can be identified into business models for different types of national parks within SANParks and protected areas. The extent of a socio-economic impact study entails far more than only the assessment of income generated by the park, but also needs to better the lives of the community.