Applying economic guidelines for responsible tourism in a World Heritage Site
Coetzee, Willem J.L.
Van Niekerk, Mathilda
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This article proposes an integrated sustainable tourism development strategy for the Vredefort Dome as a World Heritage Site. In particular, it analyses the integration of the South African guidelines for responsible tourism applied to a local community. All tourism product owners in the Dome area formed part of this research that was conducted by means of a survey. The strategy that was formulated for the area aims to ensure that future generations will be able to utilise the resources in the same manner as the present generation. It is indicated that this intra-generational equity will only be possible through an integrated approach. The value of this research is its contribution to responsible tourism and, concurrently, its emphasis on the fact that tourism destinations in South Africa need to be developed in an integrated and sustainable manner. In order for the Vredefort Dome to be a World Heritage Site, and to exist as a protected area, it is imperative that the tourism product owners in the area realise their roles as custodians of this precious site. This proposition leads to the main aim of this study, namely to develop an integrated tourism development strategy for the Vredefort Dome as a World Heritage site. The results of the empirical study indicated that tourism stakeholders are prepared to improve the present situation in the Vredefort Dome and are willing to adjust their business practices in the future. Such changes in practice involve some strategic issues, and the economic, social and environmental strategies will give direction to this World Heritage Site to become more sustainable.