Exploring the tourism potential of Mafikeng, South Africa
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The majority of tourism-related studies are done with the consumer, namely the tourist, in mind. This paper, however, aims to explore the way in which the impact and potential of tourism is perceived by the local population in and around Mafikeng, the capital city of South Africa�s North West Province. During this investigation, data was collected in two different ways. Firstly, focus group interviews were held with senior marketing students in order to identify relevant variables (activities) related to the impact and potential of tourism. These variables were then used to design a Likert scale (5-point attitude) question. This questionnaire was distributed to a sample drawn from a population that consisted of local inhabitants of the Mafikeng (also known as Mahikeng) area. A quantitative analysis of the 128 responses was conducted in order to determine the perceptions of local residents. Various groupings of perceptions were identified through a cluster analysis. The study found that local residents generally had a positive perception of the impact and potential of tourism in the Mafikeng area. In addition, this research has also made a contribution to the development of a profile of the local residents regarding general perceptions of tourist activities in the Mafikeng area. The different perceptions identified during the cluster analysis have the potential to inform future research.