The influence of the economic recession on visitors to the Kruger National Park
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The aim of this study was to identify the determinants of demand of visitors for the Kruger National Park (KNP) during a recession. From 355 questionnaires, the results revealed the following determinants that influenced visitors' demand for the Park: behavioural determinants as well as socio-demographic determinants. The results indicated that visitors to the KNP found that visiting the Park is a great way of getting away from their busy lifestyles (Gauteng Province), while visitors from Mpumalanga indicated that many of them considered visiting other tourism attractions. It was also found that visitors adapted their spending behaviour at the Park in order to afford a visit. This was the first time that the influence of determinants of tourism demand during a recession was determined. This information is important for SANParks, because it provides management with valuable insights into what strategic planning should be conducted in the event of a future recession. It was also found that the demand for visiting the KNP was not greatly influenced by the recession, because visitors could adapt their spending behaviour at the KNP. Furthermore, the study shows that visiting natural areas may have become a primary need or part of a lifestyle, especially during the 2008/2009 recessionary period.