Factors influencing a memorable game viewing experience
Van der Merwe, P.
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One of the most important aspects in selling tourism products is to provide tourists with a memorable experience. In the case of South Africa, most of the tourism product offerings are nature or wildlife based, with South African National Parks as one of the biggest contributors to the wildlife tourism product offering. The two most preferred methods to engage with wildlife is self-drive game viewing and making use of operators in safari vehicles for guided game viewing. The purpose of this article is therefore to determine which factors determine a memorable game viewing experience in each of the abovementioned options, namely self-drive and guided viewing. A quantitative research method was used by means of a web-based survey. The survey was posted on the official website of South African National Parks. A total of 387 usable questionnaires were received back during this time frame. The results indicated that wildlife ambiance and interpretation are fundamental in having a memorable game viewing experience for self-drive game viewing and guided game viewing in safari vehicles, respectively. This article makes two main contributions to the current literature: Firstly, it has found that national park management do have limited control over some factors (for example species variety, species numbers and infrastructure) which require good management in order to provide tourists with a memorable experience; and secondly, it is the first time that memorable wildlife experience has been determined concerning land-based wildlife and within South African National Parks.