An analysis of critical success factors in managing the tourist experience at Kruger National Park
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Kruger National Park (KNP) attracts over 1 million tourists per annum and is one of the top five international destinations in South Africa. However, there is a lot of competition in South Africa and, together with the 22 national parks managed by SANParks, there are also local and provincial parks and more than 9,000 game farms with neighboring countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana competing for ecotourists. This implies the need for higher quality products and services that must be delivered to the tourist to fulfill the expectations of tourists. This can be achieved by determining the critical success factors (CSFs) in managing the tourist experience at KNP, since knowledge of these factors can lead to a satisfied tourist experience that will keep visitors loyal to the park and thus ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of the KNP. The purpose of this research is therefore to determine the CSFs of managing the tourist experience at KNP. To achieve this goal, a questionnaire survey was conducted at KNP from December 27, 2010 to January 4, 2011. Questionnaires were distributed at the chalets and camping areas in the following rest camps: Skukuza (152), Berg & Dal (98), Lower Sabie (85), and Satara (101). A total of 436 questionnaires were obtained from the rest camps. The results showed that nine CSFs can be identified, which KNP management can use to improve on quality service delivery, giving the tourists a memorable experience at KNP. Three of the nine CSFs that have not yet been identified in previous research are wildlife experience, interpretation, and luxuries.