African and Indians in game reserves : a study of African and Indian views on the recreational use of game reserves.
Throughout the world, tourism is booming and South Africa, like many developing countries, has a phenomenal resource base for tourism that includes unspoilt wilderness areas, varied and impressive scenery, accessible wildlife, good weather conditions, cultural diversity, as well as an increasingly developed infrastructure. South Africa though is mainly seen and experienced by international tourists and a small number of privileged locals and therefore, South Africa's full potential in local tourism has not been realised. In 2000, the World Bank financed a quantitative research project on Nature Tourism and Conservation in South Africa to assess the domestic tourism market. This study found that there might be a latent unrealised demand for nature tourism among the African and Indian population. It was this broader finding that prompted this study. Information for this study was gathered through household surveys and a two-week on-site survey in a game reserve. Three sets of participants were chosen to participate in this qualitative study. These were African youth (age 18 to 26 years), African adults (>30 years old) with children and finally Indian couples (aged < 30 years). Participants were also chosen based on their current income level or potential incomes once they leave university. In this case, only the middle to upper income group was targeted. All three groups participated in pre field focus groups and a select group were taken to the HluhluwelUmflozi Game Reserve for three days where additional focus groups were held. The methodology also encompassed a literature review, telephonic interviews and field observations. Information gathered during this study was used to understand the reasoning behind the vacation trends of middle to upper income Africans and Indians and to develop a marketing strategy to be used to attract other Africans and Indians to the game reserves of South Africa. The study found that there is a latent unrealised demand for nature tourism among the middle to upper income Africans and Indians. The vacation trends among Africans and Indians are also very similar in that those with families prefer to vacation in large groups cons isting of both friends and families. It was also found that their past vacation destinations included mainly built up, urban areas and that both the African and Indian participants had great misconceptions regarding game reserves. These misconceptions formed part of the reasons for them not vacationing at game reserves. With regards to an advertising strategy, the study found that current advertising strategies are not working. Participants were encouraged to come up with advertising strategies that would entice other middle to upper income African and Indian families to vacation at game reserves. The participants recommended the use of television, cinema, radio , and newspaper advertisements; as well as the use of brochures and competitions to encourage vis itation. Included in their detailed view of how each strategy should play out, they recommended that when developing advertisements and brochures, it is imperative that African and Indian models are used in the adverts. The current advertising only makes use of white models and this discourages potential African and Indian tourists.