Leisure and tourism behaviour in rural areas in the North West Province
Mogajane, Victor Solomon
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The purpose of this study was to determine ways in which the accessibility of leisure and tourism behaviour patterns can be improved to ultimately improve the quality of life of people in rural communities in the North West Province. In order to achieve this it was necessary to indicate the holistic perspective of the tourism industry, with special reference to rural tourism and also the holistic perspective on leisure provision in South Africa. This study is important to address the lack of services in rural communities. The literature study firstly concentrated on the advantages and disadvantages of tourism, including a SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. Following that the advantages, disadvantages and benefits of leisure were considered, including both leisure and tourism theories, coupled with the leisure SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis of South Africa’s tourism situation and its leisure provision, as well as the questionnaire (N-675), was used to determine the importance of the factors identified in the literature and the role these factors play in leisure and tourism behavioural patterns. The survey was done in four rural areas in the North West Province, and approximately 800 households were reached. The main results of the study indicated that certain factors are critically important for both tourism and leisure provision: safety, accessibility, affordability, scenery, attractions and accommodation play a determining role in tourism and leisure participation. The weaknesses of South Africa’s leisure and tourism are safety, transport, marketing and tariffs. These factors can be changed into opportunities to ensure that people effectively participate in leisure and tourism. The positive participation of people in leisure and tourism depends on the involvement of all levels of government and integration as well as cooperation agreements with other stakeholders to improve and develop rural communities of the North West Province. The tourism and leisure theories influence people to choose a destination as well as to participate in leisure. There are definite benefits to be gained from participation in leisure and tourism.