The socio-economic impact of the Tsitsikamma National Park / S. Oberholzer.
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The primary objective of this study was to determine the socio-economic impact of the Tsitsikamma National Park. Secondly, to determine the relationship between the community's level of interest in the Tsitsikamma National Park (TNP) and their perceptions concerning the environmental, economic and social impacts of the TNP. By conducting a literature study, the first objective was achieved. The following tourism impacts were identified: environmental, economic and social. These impacts, both positive and negative, were measured by means of a questionnaire. The goal of the questionnaire was to measure the communities' perceptions concerning the Tsitsikamma National Park and its impact on the local economy. Based on this, the aspects that needed clarity were the economic (monetary) value of the TNP in terms of tourists and park management spending as well as the size of the multiplier effect. Furthermore, the residents' perceptions regarding the TNP were identified as well as the benefits received from the TNP. Three surveys were conducted to achieve the goal of this study: a community survey (among the local residents of Nature's Valley and Storms River Village) to measure the tourism impacts; a business survey (including penrnanent local businesses in and around the TNP), and a visitor survey (tourists visiting the TNP) to measure the economic impacts as a result of the TNP. A total of 299 questionnaires were completed of which 132 represented the community survey, 11 the business survey and 156 the visitors' survey. Firstly, partial multipliers were derived through a process of iteration to determine the economic impact of the Tsitsikamma National Park. The total impact of the Tsitsikamma National Park on the local economy resulted in total spending being R45 359 784, an output effect of R50 002793, and finally an income effect of R21 723 510. Therefore, it was found that the TNP has a positive economic impact. Secondly, effect sizes were calculated, which involved the difference in means to determine the relationships between tourism impacts and product interest from the communities' perspectives. It was found that residents who visit the TNP more often have a more positive attitude towards the Tt\IP, which is important for the sustainability of the TNP as well as building positive relationships with the community. The positive impacts due to TNP that were found can be divided into three categories. Firstly, environmental impacts included improving the appearance of the area, conservation of natural resources, sustainability of the natural environment, increased awareness of nature, improvement of knowledge and preservation of water areas for recreation purposes. Secondly, positive economic impacts included an increase in employment opportunities, more investors focused on development in the surrounding areas, business development and tourism is promoted and money spent by tourists stimulates the economy. Lastly the positive social impacts that were identified included opportunities to relax and the park provides opportunities for people to have fun with their families and friends.
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