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the Nature-Based Tourism Sector: OVERVIEW REPORT OF THREE CASE STUDIES: PRETORIUSKOP CAMP, JACKALBERRY LODGE, AND CORAL DIVERS

Authors:

Abstract

Three responsible nature-based tourism assessments were implemented in South Africa during February 2002. The case studies aimed to pilot test three commercial tourism enterprises in relation to a selection of the National Responsible Tourism Guidelines for South Africa that were developed in 2001. This report presents a summary of the results of the case studieS
National Responsible Tourism Guidelines
for the South African Tourism Sector
Application of the Guidelines to the
Nature-Based Tourism Sector
OVERVIEW REPORT OF THREE CASE STUDIES:
PRETORIUSKOP CAMP, JACKALBERRY LODGE, AND
CORAL DIVERS
Anna Spenceley
This report was compiled from reports on the following three case studies
PRETORIUSKOP CAMP, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Ralf Kalwa, Wik van der Walt, Johannes Moreko, & Stefanie Freitag-Ronaldson
JACKALBERRY LODGE, THORNYBUSH GAME RESERVE
Piers Relly with Eddie Koch
&
CORAL DIVERS, SODWANA BAY
Anna Spenceley, Stuart Roberts, & Christopher Muziwakhe Myeni
10 March 2002
Report to DfID / DEAT
CONTENTS
1 SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................. 3
2 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 3
2.1 The nature-based tourism sub-sector ................................................................................... 3
2.2 Tentative sub-sector guidelines for nature-based tourism ................................................... 4
1.1.1 Economic Guidelines ................................................................................................... 4
1.1.2 Social Guidelines ......................................................................................................... 4
1.1.3 Environmental Guidelines ............................................................................................ 5
2.3 Background to Study Sites ................................................................................................... 5
2.4 Methodology ........................................................................................................................ 7
3 SUMMARY OF RESULTS ........................................................................................................ 9
3.1 Economic Guideline Assessments ....................................................................................... 9
3.2 Social Guideline Assessments ........................................................................................... 12
3.3 Environmental Guideline Assessments ................................................................................ 14
4 APPLICATION OF THE GUIDELINES .................................................................................. 17
4.1 Performance of the Enterprises against the Guidelines ..................................................... 17
4.2 Availability of Data ............................................................................................................ 19
5 CONCLUSIONS: IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE ASSESSMENTS ................................... 20
6 CONTACT DETAILS OF CONSULTANTS ........................................................................... 22
1 SUMMARY
Three responsible nature-based tourism assessments were implemented in South Africa during
February 2002. The case studies aimed to pilot test three commercial tourism enterprises in relation
to a selection of the National Responsible Tourism Guidelines for South Africa that were developed
in 2001. This report presents a summary of the results of the case studies1.
2 INTRODUCTION
2.1 The nature-based tourism sub-sector
The nature-based tourism industry is one that relies heavily on the integrity of an attractive
environment to persist. By its very definition, it frequently occurs in rural rather than suburban
areas, where the majority of South Africa’s poor people reside. The responsible design and
management of enterprises working in this sector of the tourism industry has critical implications
for the growth and maintenance of economically, socially and environmentally sustainable
development.
This document sets out the assessment of the draft guidelines and indicators for responsible tourism
as applied to three South African nature-based tourism enterprises:
Pretoriuskop Camp in Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga
Jackalberry Lodge in the Thornybush Game Reserve, Northern Province
Coral Divers in Sodwana Bay, KwaZulu Natal
Sixteen guidelines were selected to assess application to the nature-based tourism sub-sector, and
are only small proportion of the 104 agreed National Responsible Tourism Guidelines. They were
highlighted for use for the following reasons:
Assessable during the operational rather than construction phases with data that should be
readily available to enterprises
Attractiveness to consumers (tourists and tour operators) these are issues that the tourism
market and the tour operators want to know about
Objectively and transparently measurable and declarable rather than qualitative or
intangible issues that are open to interpretation by assessors (e.g. reporting 3 of 10 staff
received training, rather than 33%)
Dealing with the selected guidelines will decrease costs for business, and improve marketability of
operation.
1 The full reports can be obtained from the authors or from Anna Spenceley (contact details at the end of the document).
2.2 Tentative sub-sector guidelines for nature-based tourism
1.1.1 Economic Guidelines
1. Buy locally–made goods and use locally–provided services from locally-owned businesses
wherever quality, quantity, and consistency permits. Monitor the proportion of goods and services
the enterprise sourced from businesses with 50 km and set 20% target for improvement over three
years.
2. Give customers the opportunity to purchase locally produced crafts and curios, set targets to
increase the proportion of sales of goods sourced within 20 km of the enterprise. Assist local craft
workers to develop new products to meet market demand as evidenced in the enterprise.
3. Government and established businesses need to redress previous imbalances, and to enable the
historically disadvantaged to engage in the tourism sector. For example they should source 15% of
services and 15% of products, increasing by 5% per year, for 3 years, from historically
disadvantaged groups, and/or individuals, and report on purchasing activities.
4. Encourage visitors to spend more money in the local economy, and to visit local bars and
restaurants and participate in tours to local areas, bringing business to local communities. Where
appropriate treat this as part of the business of the enterprise and charge a booking fee or
commission, or sell craft and local food products through the mainstream enterprise.
5. Recruit and employ staff in an equitable and transparent manner and maximise the proportion of
staff employed from the local community. Set targets for increasing the proportion of staff and/or of
the enterprise wage bill going to communities within 20 km of the enterprise.
6. Be transparent when reporting community benefits distinguish between
Benefits to employees
Benefits to emerging or community based entrepreneurs
Community benefits, for example leasehold payments, that go to community projects
(grinding mills or school books) or are distributed as household income in the local area.
Consider establishing targets to monitor progress in achieving objectives.
1.1.2 Social Guidelines
7. Consider what contributions the enterprise can make to scholarships, local youth sports teams and
other community causes. Monitor and report increasing contributions with respect to the number of
projects and level of investment
8. Use tourism as a catalyst for human development, focussing on gender equality, career
development and the implementation of national labour standards. (Report on gender equality and
career development)
9. Use local guides, and encourage them to continually improve their quality, to ensure that the
community speaks for itself and to increase the revenues going into the local community (by higher
fees for quality tours). Monitor and report this economic contribution to the community and set
targets to increase it annually.
10. Develop a local social contract for interactions and behaviour between the local community and
tourists (including responsible bargaining), developed with the participation and contributions from
the community, and display it prominently for visitors and publicly within the community.
1.1.3 Environmental Guidelines
11. Meter the quantity of water consumed and manage consumption and leakage so as to reduce
water consumption by 5% per annum for 3 years, and report water consumption and performance in
monitoring.
12. Measure electricity consumption and introduce energy saving measures to achieve 5% reduction
in use per annum over three years. This can be done by for example dimming lights, using low
energy appliances and light bulbs and enhancing the use of natural ventilation
13. Set targets to increase the proportion of energy used from renewable resources – for example
solar, wind, hydroelectric (increase by 10% over 3 years). Sustainable use of wood, from
indigenous and plantation forests is complex, and great care needs to be taken.
14. Set percentage targets and time scales for the reduction of waste produced, levels of recycling
and reuse of waste from the enterprise. Set appropriate targets for reduction and/or recycling of
waste produced per year for paper (5%), plastics (5%), metal (5%) and glass (5%). Report on
progress towards 15% targets over 3 years.
15. Invest a percentage of profits or turnover in species conservation or habitat restoration and
management. Report the investment, and try to increase this by 5% per year.
16. Work with conservation authorities to ensure that visitors to natural heritage areas are aware of
the impacts that they may have on the ecology of the area and how they should behave in order to
minimise those impacts.
It would be useful in the near future if the trade associations and operators working in nature-based
tourism across South Africa reviewed these guidelines and took them on board for implementation.
For example, the case studies made it clear that waste-water management and sewage disposal
should be reviewed. It has also been made clear that there is some overlap of guidelines. For
example, the three economic guidelines regarding purchasing could ideally be combined
(Guidelines 1-3). There is also some overlap between the Economic and Social guidelines
regarding community benefits (Guidelines 6 and 7). Similarly, the guidelines regarding the use and
training of local guides and equality in career development (Guidelines 8 & 9) are partially covered
within the recruitment and employment guideline in the Economic section (Guideline 5).
2.3 Background to Study Sites
The study sites were selected to illustrate the application of the guidelines to nature-based tourism
operations in national and provincial parks and on privately owned land within three of South
Africa’s provinces. They were also selected to illustrate terrestrial photographic safaris and marine
scuba diving2. The study sites were also well known to the author and this, to varying extents,
facilitated agreement of the operations to conduct the pilot studies, and also allowed some inclusion
of previously collected information.
Pretoriuskop Camp, Kruger National Park
Pretoriuskop Camp is located in the south-western section of the Kruger National Park (KNP) some
10 km from Numbi Gate. Pretoriuskop is often the first port of call for many photographic safari
tourists visiting the park, as it links in conveniently with the towns of White River and Nelspruit.
The camp and surrounding park are operated by the government parastatal South African National
Parks (SANParks), while the shop and restaurant are operated by private sector companies: Tigers
Eye and Natures Group respectively. The commercialisation of shops, restaurants and camps
within the park aims to allow SANParks to concentrate on its core business of nature conservation,
2 The choice of Jackalberry Lodge was also intended to illustrate responsible commercial hunting operated in
conjunction with photographic safaris, but the assessment revealed that hunting packages had not been sold during the
period that this study examined.
whilst allowing experts in the field of retail and leisure to concentrate on selling products and
providing meals.
Pretoriuskop Camp is one of the twelve main camps within KNP, which also contains four satellite
camps, four bushveld camps and three bush lodges. The camp has 352 beds distributed in
accommodation varying in quality from luxury furnished ensuite chalets to rondavels with
communal kitchen and ablution facilities. These vary in price from R110 to R2200 per unit/night.
There are also facilities for forty camping sites (R65 per site/night). In addition to morning and
evening safari drives, SANParks also operate bush braais and bush walks for visitors.
The region of the park in which the camp is located neighbours the Mdluli Tribal Authority’s
communal lands. This community has jurisdiction to around 845 ha land within KNP on a property
called Daannel, which lies close to Pretoriuskop camp. The Mdluli TA has requested that this land
be controlled and supervised by KNP’s conservation staff, and has not yet commercially exploited
the land for tourism purposes.
Jackalberry Lodge, Thornybush Game Reserve
Thornybush Game Reserve lies on the south-western boundary of the Timbavati Private Game
Reserve and to the north-east of the Limpopo province (Northern Province) town of Klaserie. The
reserve consists of aggregated and contiguous privately owned game farms now incorporated under
a common constitution. The reserve is divided into northern and southern management areas.
Management are currently in the process of creating a separate entity, known as Southern
Thornybush Wildlife and Property Management (STW&P). They are aiming to present separated
financial information for each entity. This is particularly important in the case of STW&P as it is
engaged in the land management for all of the privately owned properties in the southern
Thornybush area, including those that are not allied to the lodges and those that are not engaged in
commercial tourism enterprise. It serves a wider constituency than Jackalberry and associated
lodges.
A number of the privately owned farms operate established commercial tourist lodges, offering big
five game viewing experiences to paying tourists – mostly from overseas. Jackalberry Lodge offers
10 beds at nightly rates of around R1,600 per bed/night. Its sister operation Waterbuck Lodge (8
beds) operates in the same way. Photographic safaris are currently operated, and although no
commercial hunting was operated during the period of study, there are proposals to offer hunting
packages in the future.
The reserve borders the Timbavati community. There are no joint land ownership arrangements or
leases between the privately owned farms and the community, so external participation in the
activities on the reserve arises primarily through formal and casual employment. Very few of the
employees reside within the Timbavati village community. Prior to their employment at
Jackalberry lodge and/or the Timbavati region, members of management all resided in areas outside
of the 50 km measurement range.
Coral Divers, Sodwana Bay
Coral Divers (CD) is a privately owned company located in Sodwana Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. The
main focus of CD’s operations is the provision of scuba diving trips for guests to the coral reefs that
lie within Sodwana Bay. They also offer training courses through PADI, ranging from beginner to
instructor levels. CD has 150 beds and offers a variety of types of accommodation ranging from
safari tents, to luxury en-suite huts, and offers catered or self-catering options. Prices vary from
R90 to R228 per bed/night.
CD is one of three commercial dive operators licensed by KZN Wildlife to operate within the
Maputaland Marine Reserve. Only one of these, Mseni Lodge, has accommodation facilities.
Another seventeen companies operate ‘private’ boats on a non-commercial basis in the reserve, but
do not pay a license or concession fee to the conservation service to do so.
The Mbila Tribal Authority (TA) neighbours the reserve and Mbazwana is the largest town within
it. The Mbila TA consists of an estimated 20-25,000 inhabitants within a society that is reportedly
not cohesive. An estimated 80% of local people within the community are unemployed.
2.4 Methodology
Each of the assessments was implemented using a previously prepared comparative methodological
framework. This was provided to ensure consistency between the studies and the production of
comparable data and reports, that would allow the performance of the operations to be transparently
assessed and compared. Working databases were provided as tools for the assessors to facilitate
data collection, and also to allow operations to update their progress towards responsibility in the
future, and to help set and monitor benchmarks.
Pretoriuskop Camp, Kruger National Park
Stefanie Freitag-Ronaldson was briefed on the work to be implemented, and the study was
conducted during the week 12 to 15 February 2002. The survey team (Ralf Kalwa and Wik van der
Walt), working under the supervision of Stefanie, sent survey forms and questionnaires that were
forwarded to Camp Management a week prior to the survey being conducted. Johannes Moreko
from the Mdluli Tribal Authority interviewed various managers personally and also set up meetings
in Skukuza.
In addition, management received an Employee Data form in advance to ensure that information
regarding staff could be collected. The survey team met with management and supervisory staff
over a period of four days to complete all the survey forms and discuss the implications of the
questionnaire and the project as a whole.
Jackalberry Lodge, Thornybush Game Reserve
Eddie Koch was briefed on the study, which was then conducted by Piers Relly under Eddie’s
supervision during the week 11 to 13 February 2002, using existing and some previously compiled
research information. The quantitative financial information was drawn from accounting records for
the financial year ended December 2001. Other updated information was obtained by means of
detailed interviews with Kevin Godding, the lodge director and Sue Godding, the general manager.
Management was given a chance to review the report for accuracy and made a number of minor
comments and corrections.
The lodge does not present disaggregated accounts (although it does allocate certain costs to each of
these entities in a consolidated income statement) and the core data covers the activities of
Jackalberry and Waterbuck lodges, Kayatula (for owner use) as well as the southern Thornybush
land management division.
Coral Divers, Sodwana Bay
The assessment of Coral Divers took place between 1 and 10 February 2002, and was researched by
through reviews of relevant literature, observation, semi-structured interviews with key personnel
based on the methodology, and questionnaires distributed to staff at the lodge. Stuart Roberts, the
general manager of Coral Divers, sourced and supplied statistical information regarding
employment, training and wages, and facilitated the course of the field study. In the cases of casual
labourers offering services to guest near to the beach (e.g. people offering to clean diving
equipment; curio sellers; people offering hair-ties) Christopher Muziwakhe Myeni undertook
structured interviews in Zulu and translated information into English. A repeated-measures design
was used in the surveys with questionnaires. Drafts of the report were sent to Coral Divers
management and to KZN Wildlife participants for review for clarification and comment.
... A total of 150 beds are offered, ranging from safari tents to luxury en-suite huts, and incorporating catered or selfcatering options. Prices vary from R90 to R228 (~US$10 to $26) per bed night, and a mixture of domestic and foreign tourists frequent the enterprise (Spenceley, 2002a). ...
... The Mbila Tribal Authority neighbours the reserve and consists of an estimated 20-25,000 inhabitants (Spenceley, 2002a). Some of the local residents have developed informal sector tourism operations, such as making and selling curios, cleaning diving equipment and doing domestic work for visitors to the nearby provincial conservation authority (Enzemvelo KwaZulu Natal Wildlife) campsite (Spenceley and Bell, 2002). ...
... Sun City and R,1950 (~US$189 and $223) per bed night, and operates photographic safari tours catering mainly for foreign tourists (Relly with Koch, 2002).The managers of the lodge also diversify their revenue streams by occasionally offering hunting packages, and by breeding tuberculosis-free buffalo for live sales (Spenceley, 2002a). ...
... Jackalberry lodge offers 10 beds at nightly rates of between R1650 and R1950 ($US$189 and $223), and operates photographic safari tours mainly for foreign tourists (Relly & Koch, 2002). The managers of the lodge diversify their sources of income by occasionally offering hunting packages, and by breeding tuberculosis-free buffalo for live sales (Spenceley, 2002b). To the south of the Thornybush reserve lies the Timbavati Community of around 11,200 people, located within the Mnisi Tribal Authority. ...
... According to the findings, respondents affirm that tourism contributes to employment creation and provides business opportunities for entrepreneurs. This is in line with Spenceley et al (2002) who argue that tourism is a key sector of South Africa's economy. The report by Statistics South Africa (2015a) has also demonstrated the significant contributions of the sector to the South African economy both in terms of employment creation and contributions to the GDP. ...
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