14 CHARACTERISTICS OF
Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure Authorized
©2016 The World Bank Group
1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
All rights reserved.
This volume is a product of the sta of the World Bank Group. The World Bank Group
refers to the member institutions of the World Bank Group: The World Bank (International
Bank for Reconstruction and Development); International Finance Corporation (IFC); and
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which are separate and distinct legal
entities each organized under its respective Articles of Agreement. We encourage use for
educational and non-commercial purposes.
The ﬁndings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this volume do not necessarily
reﬂect the views of the Directors or Executive Directors of the respective institutions of
the World Bank Group or the governments they represent. The World Bank Group does
not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work.
Rights and Permissions
The material in this publication is copyrighted. Copying and/or transmitting portions or
all of this work without permission may be a violation of applicable law. The World Bank
encourages dissemination of its work and will normally grant permission to reproduce
portions of the work promptly.
For permission to photocopy or reprint any part of this work, please send a request
with complete information to the Copyright Clearance Center Inc., 222 Rosewood
Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, USA; telephone: 978-750-8400; fax: 978-750-4470; Internet:
All other queries on rights and licenses, including subsidiary rights, should be addressed
to the Oce of the Publisher, The World Bank Group, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC
20433, USA; fax: 202-522-2422
Cover photo: Andrea Borgarello for World Bank/TerraAfrica
Inside photos: Andrea Borgarello for World Bank/TerraAfrica, other photo credits as
detailed on relevant pages.
Document: This document has been written by Anna Spenceley, Hermione Nevill, Carla
Faustino Coelho, Michelle Souto, with extensive input from John Perrottet, Jason Hopps,
Ross Hughes, Magda Lovei, Banu Setlur, Wim Douw, Beril Benli, Marjanne Sevenant and
Tania Priscilla Gomez.
Governments and protected area
Authorities are under increasing pressure
to preserve the beauty and biodiversity of
their beaches, parks, and pristine natural
sites, while also growing tourism activity.
Is it possible to do both?
Tourism concessioning is one solution. The private sector
can be an important partner in helping protected area
authorities achieve their twin goals of conservation
and attracting visitors. Delivering successful tourism
concessioning programs, however, is challenging and
depends on the right mix of characteristics, technical
expertise, and institutional experience.
The World Bank Group presents 14 key characteristics
displayed in most successful tourism concessioning
Isalo National Park, Madagascar. Photo: © Hermione Nevill
This short guide is designed for protected area managers,
tourism authorities and their advisors in the international
development and non-governmental organization (NGO)
It has been jointly produced as an introduction to
concessioning practices by the World Bank Group’s
Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice and the IFC’s
Advisory Team on Public Private Partnerships.
It has been written for those who are new to concessioning,
new to the tourism sector or new to protected areas.
The guide intends to provide a brief overview of the key
messages to consider when starting work in this area.
There are a minimum of 14 key characteristics displayed by
most successful concessions programs.
...put conservation ﬁrst,
and accept that some
areas are not suitable
...recognize the value of
...strive to make tourism
...value local community
viability early on.
awareness and strong
is supported by a sound
...rely on robust
...select the appropriate
and clear procurement
beyond the deal.
progress and adapt.
01 PUT CONSERVATION FIRST, AND ACCEPT THAT
SOME AREAS ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR TOURISM
NOT ALL PROTECTED AREAS
WILL BE SUITABLE FOR TOURISM
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature
(IUCN) categorization suggests that tourism should be
avoided in some protected areas which are considered
too environmentally or culturally sensitive.
Of the seven IUCN categories, it is inappropriate to
develop tourism in category 1a: ‘Strict Nature Reserve’.
As a management objective, tourism has varied suitability
across the other categories.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
The primary function of a protected area is to
protect nature and biodiversity. In some cases,
protected areas will also safeguard valuable and
threatened cultural and/or historic assets. Covering
nearly 12 percent of the Earth’s surface, protected
areas are also becoming key components in climate
change mitigation strategies.
1 Table adapted from IUCN (1994) Guidelines for protected area management categories, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK, and; Eagles, P. J, McCool, S. and Haynes, C. D. (2002) Sustainable tourism in
protected areas: guidelines for planning and management, World Commission on Protected areas, Best Practice Protected Areas Guidelines Series No. 8, IUCN: Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge UK.
FIGURE 1: MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF PROTECTED AREA1
PROTECTED AREA DEFINITION:
A clearly deﬁned geographical space, recognized, dedicated and
managed, through legal or other eective means, to achieve the long-
term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and
- IUCN, 2008
Ia STRICT NATURE RESERVE
Ib WILDERNESS AREA
Tourism is secondary
V PROTECTED LANDSCAPE/SEASCAPE
Tourism is primary objective
VI MANAGED RESOURCE PROTECTED AREA
Tourism is potentially applicable
II NATIONAL PARK
Tourism is primary objective
IV HABITAT/SPECIES MANAGEMENT AREA
Tourism is potentially applicable
III NATIONAL MONUMENT
Tourism is primary objective
PROTECTED AREAS MAY ADDITIONALLY NOT BE
SUITABLY ATTRACTIVE FOR TOURISM
Assuming the protected area does allow tourism (under
the IUCN), it does not mean that tourism will be a viable
activity. The most common reasons for this include:
• Attractiveness: Insuciently attractive natural or
cultural features to develop a commercially viable
tourism product that is marketable and suciently
• Accessibility and infrastructure: Dicult location
and connectivity, taking into account costs and
time needed to travel to and within the area, as well
as proximity of established tourist circuits/routes.
The availability and cost of water, power and other
utilities is also relevant.
• Governance and management: Insucient local
authority capacity or willingness to support the
process, including maintenance or management
of the asset (protected area). This may be further
complicated by lack of transparency or experience.
• Stability and social dynamics: Issues of safety,
security and stability around the protected area,
including the openness and support of the local
PROTECTED AREA AUTHORITIES OFTEN WANT
DIFFERENT THINGS FROM TOURISM
There are four broad types of governance for protected
areas, depending on the key actors responsible for
management decisions (see box below). Although
conservation will be the primary objective of each type,
those managing protected areas may have dierent
priorities and expectations for tourism development. The
more successful concessioning programs identify these
priorities early on.
THERE ARE ALTERNATIVE (NON-TOURISM) MEANS
OF PROTECTED AREA FINANCING
Where tourism is not a viable proposition for a protected
area, the IUCN Best Practice Guidelines on Sustainable
Financing of Protected Areas2 provide a tool to explore
alternative options. Eective protected area authorities
always respect an area’s limitations in terms of tourism.
2 Emerton, L, Bishop, J., and Thomas, L. (2006) Sustainable ﬁnancing of protected areas: A global review of challenges and options, IUCN Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines, Series No. 13. IUCN Gland,
• Governance by government: Federal or national
ministry, sub-national ministry or agency in
charge, government-delegated management.
• Shared governance: Trans-boundary
governance, collaborative or joint governance.
• Private governance: Conserved areas
established and run by individual landowners.
non-proﬁt organizations, or for-proﬁt
• Governance by indigenous people and local
communities: indigenous or community
conserved territories established and run by
02 RECOGNIZE THE VALUE OF TOURISM
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Eective protected area authorities value and maximize
the wider beneﬁts of tourism. Successful protected area
managers understand that tourism can help them achieve
their goals of conserving the environment for future
generations, as well as bringing other beneﬁts to the area.
Tourism operations located in protected areas succeed
when they thoughtfully leverage the available natural or
cultural resources, such as landscapes, wildlife, plant life,
indigenous cultures and historical sites. Such attractions
inspire investors to develop tourism products and services,
including accommodation, catering, retail outlets and a
myriad of tourist activities (such as birdwatching and
sports) that help grow a country’s economy through job
creation and local revenue generation.
FIGURE 2: EXAMPLES OF NATURAL AND HUMAN MADE ATTRACTIONS IN PROTECTED AREAS
Waterfalls like Niagara Falls in the USA and
Canada; desert features in Namibia’s Skeleton
Coast; mountain ranges such as the Himalayas.
Big 5 of elephant, rhino, bualo, lion and
leopard in Africa; coral reefs in marine
Brazil’s Amazon forests; wetland
plants of the Everglades in the USA.
Traditional dress, food, music dance, stories
and craft; such as Aborigines in Australia, and
the Maasai in Kenya.
Buildings and monuments and sites of religious
signiﬁcance, like Machu Picchu in Peru, or the
Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
TOURISM CONCESSIONS BRING VALUE TO A
PROTECTED AREA IN SEVERAL WAYS
A concession can, where appropriate, bring much-
needed protected area revenue as well as various
wider economic, social and environmental beneﬁts.
Recognizing and maximizing this potential, as well as
managing it eectively, is a characteristic of successful
Tourism concessions alone generated the equivalent of
US$58 million between 2002 and 2012 for South African
National Parks (SANParks).3
LEVERAGING THE PRIVATE SECTOR
CAN HELP PROTECTED AREAS
Properly managing protected areas is expensive.
Increasingly, protected area authorities recognize that
the costs can be alleviated with help from other partners
and through tourism concessioning. Nature-based or
cultural tourism operations can be introduced to help
the protected area fulﬁl its primary mandate and ﬁnance
conservation and its existence. Concessions are much
more than a ‘convenient’ way of operating a site: they
often produce greater development impact compared to
sites and tourism operations managed by the State since
this is not normally part of the public sector attributions.
The private sector can produce better results because:4
• Commercial tourism operations are its core business.
• It can more easily adapt to changing markets needs
• It understands how to match product design with
• It understands how to promote products and
services to tourists.
• It can be more eective and ecient in generating
revenue from tourism.
• It can more easily raise capital and other funds,
which diversiﬁes funding sources from reliance on
• It can more easily manage the risks and
responsibilities for commercial tourism.
• It has more freedom in setting price levels.
• It is (often) not constrained by as much
bureaucracy as within government.
Economic, social and environmental beneﬁts:
The various ways of maximizing local beneﬁts include:
• Job creation: Tourism is a labor intensive industry,
and concessions in protected areas oer the
opportunity for local employment6 and training.
• Supply chain linkages: Concessionaires can be
encouraged to buy goods and services from local
businesses and producers, occasionally using the
bid evaluation process as an incentive mechanism.
• Local expenditure: The amount of money retained
in the local economy depends on the degree of
ownership, capacity and involvement of local
entrepreneurs in the value chain.
• Revenue sharing: A percentage of concession derived
revenue may be retained to support conservation
management of the protected area and/or allocated
to a fund for local development.
WHAT IS A ‘CONCESSION’?
A concession is a lease, license, easement or permit
for an operation undertaken by any party other than
the protected area agency.5 A concession may be
awarded via a number of processes, including auction,
tender, direct award to an aected community, or in
response to an unsolicited application. Best practice,
however, suggests a concession should be awarded
in a competitive and transparent manner.
Income from tourism can give local populations a
reason to value and preserve their natural resources.
In Rwanda, for example, poachers have become tour
guides, in the Virunga Volcanos region.
3 SANParks (2012) Annual report, http://www.sanparks.org/assets/docs/general/annual-report-2012.pdf:
pp29-30; Exchange rate of 1 June 2012 used of 0.11714, www.oanda.com
4 Adapted from Eagles, et al, (2009) Op. cit. pp12, Buckley, R. (2010). Conservation Tourism. CAB International. page xvi.
5 Adapted from UNDP (2014), Tourism Concessions in Protected Natural Areas: Guidelines for Managers Copyright.
6 Adapted from Wyman, M., Barborak, J. R., Inamdar, N., and Stein, T. (2011) Best practices for tourism
concessions in protected areas: A review of the ﬁeld, Forests, 2, 913-928. Park ranger on cellphone, Ghana. Photo: © Arne Hoel/The World Bank
PROJECT EXAMPLE: TANZANIA7
Almost half (47%) of the average US$1,376 a tourist spends on a
mountain climbing holiday to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania goes
towards park fees. A further 18% is spent on wages and tips for
porters and guides, and 4% on local cultural goods and services8
(see the ﬁgure below). Increasing the proportion of expenditure
that reaches the local economy is typically a primary aim of
7 Spenceley, A. and Snyman, S. (2016) Can a wildlife tourism company inﬂuence conservation and the development of tourism in a speciﬁc destination? Tourism and Hospitality Research, 0 (0), 1-16, DOI: 10.1177/1467358416634158.
8 Mitchell, J., Keane, J., and Laidlaw, J. (2009) Making success work for the poor: Package tourism in Northern Tanzania, Final Report, Overseas Development Institute, London.
Accessible at http://www.odi.org.uk/sites/odi.org.uk/ﬁles/odi-assets/publications-opinion-ﬁles/4203.pdf
9 Mitchell, J., Keane, J., and Laidlaw, J. (2009) op. cit.
10 Spenceley, A. and Snyman, S. (in press) Can an individual safari camp and company inﬂuence conservation and development of tourism in a speciﬁc destination? Submitted to the Journal of Sustainable Tourism.
FIGURE 3: DISTRIBUTION OF FINANCIAL BENEFITS FROM TOURISM ON MOUNT KILIMANJARO9
PROJECT EXAMPLE: BOTSWANA10
Okavango Wilderness Safaris has a concession for Mombo
Camp in Moremi Game Reserve, in the heart of the Okavango
Delta World Heritage Site.
The lodge is highly proﬁtable, achieving an average
occupancy of 70% between 2009 and 2013, with a rack
rate of US$2,413 per person, per night in the high season.
During this period, the lease fees and taxes paid generated
US$6 million to government, and over US$3.7 million was
spent on sta costs (of whom 75% are local Batswana).
The NGO Children in the Wilderness (CITW) linked to
Wilderness Safaris has provided short environmental
education courses at their Botswanan camps for over
1000 children since 2001, and also wildlife guiding
courses for children who show the greatest potential.
03 STRIVE TO MAKE TOURISM SUSTAINABLE
Sustainability in tourism means
making a positive, long-term
impact on the local environment,
communities and society, and
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IS ON THE RISE
Savvy consumers, many sharing opinions on social media, are increasingly
demanding strong sustainability credentials from the products and services
they purchase around the world. For nature-based tourism operators, there is
therefore an additional and growing market imperative to operate sustainably,
as well as a purely practical one.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
It is equally important for both the Protected Area
Authority and the concessionaire to protect the
natural resources on which the tourism operation is
based (for example, thriving wildlife populations).
If the natural or cultural asset quality becomes
degraded through pollution, deforestation or over-
exploitation, visitor demand and pricing are likely to
decrease, hurting the businesses’ bottom line and
the local economy.
13 Lopez, C. M. (2014). The international standardization process: Tourist service provided by NPA. In World Parks Congress, Sydney 2014.
THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS TO ENHANCE
SUSTAINABILITY IN TOURISM
Some of these are driven by governments and authorities,
and some driven by the industry or consumers.
Governments can set standards and mandatory
requirements through legislation. Regulating and
enforcing sustainable behaviour through construction
permits, licensing, environmental impact assessments,
as well as the concessioning framework or contracts
themselves is now commonplace. Voluntary mechanisms
driven by the industry to enhance sustainability tend to
work in parallel - such as award schemes, sustainability
certiﬁcation, and codes of conduct, as well as consumer-
feedback platforms and ratings.
There are several internationally recognized sets of
criteria, standards and indicators for sustainable tourism.
Key principles are often incorporated into both national
legislation and voluntary schemes.
• The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has
two sets of criteria, one for hotels and tour operators,
and the other for destinations (including protected
areas). Accounting for numerous guidelines and
standards available globally, they address socio-
economic, cultural, and environmental impacts,11 as
well as sustainable management.
• The International Organization for Standardization
(ISO).12 ISO18065:2015 is a voluntary standard
establishing requirements for tourism services in
protected areas while bearing in mind the area’s
• United Nations World Tourism Organization
(UNWTO) Indicators for sustainable development in
tourism destinations describe the process to develop
destination-speciﬁc indicators and includes example
applications in ecotourism destinations.14
Tourism for Tomorrow Award, 2014 – Finalist, Environment
Great Plains Conservation is a company that secures
African landscapes that are deemed to be ‘under threat’
(such as migratory routes) and acquires the rights to
convert that land to protected areas. The company leases
and operates low-impact safari camps on half a million
acres and hopes to expand to 5 million in ten years.15
Bird-watchers at the Cixi wetlands, China.
Photo: © You Ji/World Bank Photo Collection
04 VALUE LOCAL COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Because local people are key stakeholders in most
protected areas, they stand both to gain and lose from
tourism development. Experience shows that communities
who are engaged in tourism activities are more likely to
add value than those that aren’t.
Local people may be living within a protected area, using
and relying on its natural resources, or have sites of
cultural and social signiﬁcance within it. There is growing
recognition that such communities can suer various costs
from living inside or close to protected areas, including
the opportunity cost of not expanding agriculture or
alternative land uses, or experiencing direct conﬂict with
wildlife. They are frequently among the poorest in society
and are often a high government priority in terms of
receiving economic opportunities and greater inclusion.
Tourism can also introduce negative impacts in relation
to local livelihoods, policy priorities, and capital assets.16
Communities themselves should weigh the potential
positive and negative impacts from tourism and then
make informed decisions. Where the beneﬁts from tourism
outweigh the costs, people are generally more supportive
of conservation measures and often contribute directly to
policing and preservation.
16 Adapted from Ashley, Roe and Goodwin (2000:4) Pro-Poor Tourism: Putting Poverty at the Heart of the Tourism Agenda. http://www.odi.org.uk/sites/odi.org.uk/ﬁles/odi-assets/publications-opinion-ﬁles/2861.pdf
17 Adapted from Strasdas, W. (2001). Ecotourism in practice: The implementation of the socioeconomic and conservation-related goals of an ambitious tourism concept in developing countries. Cited in Strasdas, W., Corcoran,
B., & Petermann, T. The Ecotourism Training Manual for Protected Area Managers.Zschortau, Germany: German Foundation for International Development (DSE), Centre for Food, and Rural Development and the Environment (ZEL).
18 International Finance Corporation (2012) Facilitating tourism investment in the Maputo Elephant Reserve: The tourism investment generation approach, Investment Climate Advisory Services, World Bank Group.
19 Thompson, A. (2008) Concessions in Namibia’s protected areas, Presentation to the African Safari Lodges Program, The Grace Hotel, Rosebank, South Africa, 19-21 May 2008.
Accessible from www.asl-foundation.org/news.php?id=241&catid=. Note: Original values in Namibian Dollar, converted using exchange rate for 1 June 2008 of 0.13054.
Communities that receive consistent, tangible beneﬁts
from tourism tend to be more welcoming towards tourists,
which can dramatically enhance the quality of experience
THE MOST EFFECTIVE TYPE OF COMMUNITY
PARTICIPATION DEPENDS ON THE COMMUNITY
There are many dierent degrees of community
participation. At a bare minimum, eective protected area
authorities consult widely with locals, share information,
listen to concerns, and design the concessions process
with these issues in mind. Beyond this, communities can
also participate more actively through the tourism value
chain or by becoming concessionaires. The dierent types
of involvement17 (shown on the right) require increasing
levels of skill, risk and empowerment. They correspondingly
tend to contribute to higher local development impacts.
Eective concessions programs assess suitability of types of
participation on a case-by-case basis.
Determining the most appropriate form of participation
typically involves detailed analysis, in-depth consultation,
and third-party support and training (often from NGOs)
ahead of time.18
For participation that requires moderate or high levels
of skill (e.g. community enterprises or joint-ventures),
communities may require considerable and long-term
technical and capacity building support in order to
An example of the types of improvements that can be
generated through a concession are illustrated in the table
to the right, for the Etendeka concession in the Palmwag
conservancy of Namibia.19 In this case, concessioning
generated beneﬁts from capital investment, more local
people were employed, a higher income was achieved for
the state, and income was directed to the conservancies.
FIGURE 4: TYPES OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
BY INCREASING SKILL, RISK AND EMPOWERMENT
Land rent or
of user rights
PROJECT EXAMPLE: COMPARATIVE BENEFITS OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN JOINT
VENTURE LODGE: ETENDEKA, PALMWAG CONSERVANCY, NAMIBIA20
In some cases, technical support agencies (e.g. NGOs) will have to engage
with a community for several years before the community can make
informed decisions to partner with the private sector in a joint-venture
or as a community-based tourism initiative (i.e. where ownership is by a
collective of community members). Expectations need to be managed for
a signiﬁcant period after the concession is awarded and the facility is being
built and actually starts to generate income. A protected area authority
must factor these elements into the overall concession planning timeframe.
In some instances, authorities may invite NGOs to ready communities for
concessioning a year or two in advance of a concession tender process (e.g.
Maputo Special Reserve, Mozambique).21
Thompson, A. (2008) Concessions in Namibia’s protected areas, Presentation to the African Safari Lodges Program, The Grace Hotel, Rosebank, South Africa, 19-21 May 2008.
Accessible from www.asl-foundation.org/news.php?id=241&catid=. Note: Original values in Namibian Dollar, converted using exchange rate for 1 June 2008 of 0.13054.
21 International Finance Corporation (2012) Facilitating tourism investment in the Maputo Elephant Reserve: The tourism investment generation approach, Investment Climate Advisory Services, World Bank Group.
ETENDEKA BEFORE COMMUNITY JOINT
ETENDEKA AFTER COMMUNITY JOINT VENTURE
Existing tented camp operating for 12 years 20 year concession issued to conservancies
Capital raised for community ownership of:
A redeveloped tented camp
A ﬁxed lodge
Concession held by private tourism operator Partnership between conservancy & new investor to manage the facilities
6 sta employed 35 local sta employed
US$5,220 income per annum for the State
(N$40,000 per annum)
US$39,160 income per annum for the State (N$300,000 per annum)
No direct income for communities US$78325 per annum paid to conservancies (N$600,000) + ownership of the assets with an
expectation of dividend earnings
TABLE 1: COMMUNITY BENEFITS BEFORE AND AFTER JOINT VENTURE PARTICIPATION IN ETENDEKA, NAMIBIA
Etendeka Mountain Camp Big Sky Lodges. Photo © Etendeka Mountain Camp Etendeka Mountain Camp Concessions Area. Photo © Etendeka Mountain Camp
MOZAMBIQUE COMMUNITY JOINT VENTURE
CHEMUCANE; AN INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIP FOR
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ANVIL BAY LODGE IN PONTA
CHEMUCANE (MAPUTO SPECIAL RESERVE)22
This nature-based tourism lodge is a joint venture between
a private sector investor, the Bell Foundation, and a local
community association, Ahi Zameni Chemucane (AZC).
Mozambique’s government initiated the process, and
scoped, planned and procured the investment via a
competitive tender facilitated by IFC. The communities
within the Chemucane were helped by an NGO to create
a community legal structure that allowed them to enter
into a joint venture partnership with the Bell Foundation.
The lodge is forecast to generate up to US$3.5 million
in annual turnover, yielding approximately US$550,000
net income each year to the Chemucane community and
an expected US$550,000 in annual wages from jobs
created. The community’s 40 percent share in the project
is funded by a zero-interest US$500,000 loan from the
African Safari Lodge Foundation (sponsored by the Ford
Foundation) and a US$500,000 grant from the Ministry
of Tourism’s Community Equity Fund (sponsored by the
It was the ﬁrst time Mozambique had given a long-term
concession right to a community for a prime tourist site
within one of the country’s major nature reserves.
The lodge was built by local communities who also
operate it. The project has already created about 30
full time jobs, and helped spur growth in an area with
otherwise few opportunities for formal employment.
SOUTH AFRICA SANPARKS
WEIGHTING CONCESSIONS PROCUREMENT TO
ENCOURAGE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT23
In the concessions process developed by South African
National Parks, bids included ‘empowerment plans’
which received 20% of the weighting during the proposal
reviews. Elements included were:
1. Shareholding by historically disadvantaged
individuals or groups.
2. Training and armative action in employment.
3. Business and economic opportunities for local
Contracts signed by successful bidders required that they
provide SANParks with an annual report to quantiﬁably
account for their empowerment activities and
achievements, in relation to their bid objectives. In this
regard, SANParks reserved the right to impose penalties
if concessionaires failed to meet their empowerment
obligations. Proposals received for accommodation
concessions in Kruger National Park ranged from 7.5%
to 68% shareholding from historically disadvantaged
individuals. By 2014 these concessions had achieved
nearly 500 permanent and temporary jobs.
22 International Finance Corporation (2012) Facilitating tourism investment in the Maputo Elephant Reserve: The tourism investment generation approach, Investment Climate Advisory Services, World Bank Group.
23 Spenceley, A. (2003) Tourism, local livelihoods and the private sector in South Africa: case studies on the growing role of the private sector in natural resources management. Sustainable Livelihoods in Southern Africa
Research Paper 8, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, accessible from http://www.anna.spenceley.co.uk/ﬁles/TourismLivelihoods&PrivateSectorSpenceley.pdf , pp51, and Pers Com. I Dokrat, SANParks, 2014.
Tourists visit Maputo Special Reserve, Mozambique. Photo © Hermione Nevill
05 ESTABLISH MARKET VIABILITY EARLY ON
Experienced investors evaluate a number of factors to determine viability.
Before making a commitment to invest, prospective opportunities are typically
scored. The most viable projects tend to do well in the following areas:
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Market viability is essential for sustainable and proﬁtable
operations. Through analysis and research, all successful
concessions programs establish market viability in the
earliest stages of development. Proﬁtable and sustainable
operators will have assessed supply and demand factors
and moved forward, knowing that their product is
competitive and meets market needs.
A number of factors may dissuade tourists from visiting
even the most pristine attraction, and a poorly performing
tourism concession won’t deliver the types of beneﬁts or
‘value’ that the protected area seeks.
Uncertainty and conﬂict can place investments at risk,
threaten the image and saleability of a destination, and in
extreme cases threaten the security of sta and customers.
Nearby developments and changing geographic/climactic
conditions will also be considered.
COMPETITIVE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Sensible, clear taxation and labour regulations and
repatriation policies encourage foreign investment, as well
as strong sector policies, clear concessions frameworks,
functioning courts, as well as easiness and low administrative
costs of compliance with business regulations.
The location must be suciently attractive, with a
competitive asset base (natural beauty, wildlife populations,
etc.) that meets market demand.
PROTECTED AREA MANAGEMENT
Management of the main attractions or assets is important.
Successful concessions rely on regular infrastructure
maintenance, provision of public facilities, ecient
conservation management – as well as sound ﬁnancial
management by the protected area authorities.
The most idyllic concession will not be proﬁtable if there is
insucient demand for its attractions. Demand projections
are always calculated ahead of time.
Many tourism operations prefer to be within a tourism
cluster or circuit to aid access, packaging, promotion, and
economies of scale. However, oversupply or saturation of
similar products in a given area can be damaging to the
environment as well as the viability of the concession.
Access, both to the protected area, and to the concession
itself is important for both the management of the
operations, and for visitors. The more dicult or expensive
the access, the higher the cost to the business.
Good infrastructure lowers operating costs as well as the type
of communications available in the area (phone and internet
coverage). Solar power and boreholes, rainwater capture, or
desalination plants might be considered for remote areas.
Availability and environmentally sustainable options for
garbage and sewage treatment should also be considered.
AN ESTABLISHED/DEVELOPING TOURISM INDUSTRY
Most investors prefer destinations with a positive brand or
image, where authorities have experience working with the
private sector. This might also help lower marketing and
REASONABLE OPERATING COSTS
This includes costs for inputs such as labour, fuel, food,
utilities, and training, and standard expenditures such as
fees, rents, and taxes.
24 International Finance Corporation (2012) Facilitating tourism investment in the Maputo Elephant Reserve: The tourism investment generation approach, Investment Climate Advisory Services, World Bank Group.
PROJECT EXAMPLE: MOZAMBIQUE ANCHOR PROGRAM
- MAPUTO ELEPHANT RESERVE24
AS PART OF THE INITIAL INDUSTRY DEMAND
ANALYSIS ACTIVITY AT THE OUTSET OF THE
PROGRAM, THE WORLD BANK GROUP EMBARKED
ON A PROCESS OF DIRECT CONSULTATION WITH THE
TOURISM INVESTMENT COMMUNITY.
Attending and presenting at international and regional
tourism investment conferences provided the opportunity
to network with hundreds of potential and existing tourism
investors in Mozambique. To complement this informal
information-gathering, the team also conducted a series
of formal interviews with more serious investors.
• Gained a preliminary understanding of private-sector
perceptions regarding business in Mozambique.
• Increased overall awareness of Mozambique as an
• Tested and stimulated interest in the Elephant
• Started building a long-list of interested investors
The Elephant Reserve concession sites were introduced
to the three groups identiﬁed in the Reserve’s investment
strategy: international investors, regional investors, and
majority national investors. The team actively built and
managed relationships with these investors, continually
updating an annotated short-list of interested parties.
In addition, a quarterly newsletter was launched and
distributed to over 600 international investors, which
generated numerous queries and requests for further
06 DEVELOP STAKEHOLDER AWARENESS
AND STRONG ENGAGEMENT
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
A successful and sustainable concession process identiﬁes
and engages with stakeholders early on to understand their
various concerns and expectations, and works with them
to ensure a project’s success. Dialogue over environmental,
social, political, economic, or other concerns can help avoid
problems and delays later on. Because protected areas are
valuable to dierent groups and individuals for dierent
reasons, eective concessions are built on shared trust and
understanding among many stakeholders.
A SOUND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT PROCESS
It often begins before the start of a project and continues
even after the project ends, and includes the following
• Identifying the main stakeholders.
• Informing and communicating all relevant information
to each stakeholder.
• Consulting with stakeholders and involving them in
• Negotiating with stakeholders over sensitive issues in
• Involving stakeholders and reporting to them to keep
them abreast of developments.
‘Local community at Chemucane, Maputo Special Reserve, Mozambique
Photo © Hermione Nevill
FIGURE 5: KEY ELEMENTS OF STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT25
TABLE 2: THE SEVEN MAIN TYPES OF CONCESSION STAKEHOLDER AND THEIR ROLES26
TYPE OF STAKEHOLDER ROLE IN THE CONCESSION PROCESS
National or local government/politicians To ensure that the proposed concession satisﬁes all local and national legal requirements and meets
the needs of their constituents. To initiate and guide the legal process of concessioning.
Protected area authorities To ensure that the concession does not undermine conservation of the natural and/or cultural asset,
and that it contributes ﬁnancially to the management costs.
Private sector (including tourism and other
Will seek to beneﬁt from the concession (directly or indirectly) and ensure that the concession does
not harm their interests.
Local communities, individuals, action groups,
leaders, landowners, etc.
To ensure the concession improves the livelihoods for present and future generations, and does not
harm their environment or way of life.
Civil society organizations and groups with
To represent the views of groups with less of a voice (marginalized communities) or no voice
(wildlife, environmental issues).
Academic community To provide advice on regional studies or of concessions in other locations.
Development community (including donor
and development agencies)
To provide funding and technical support, which may include advising on poverty reduction
initiatives, sustainability, and environmental protection.
to Stakeholders early
in the decision-making
process, in ways that
are meaningful and
accessible, and continue
throughout the project life.
Plan out each consultation
process, consult inclusively,
document the process and
For controversial and complex
issues, enter into good faith
negotiations that satisfy the
interests of all parties. Add value
to impact mitigation or project
beneﬁts by forming strategic
Establish accessible and
responsive means for
stakeholders to raise
concerns and grievances
about the project
throughout its life.
Involve directly aected
stakeholders in monitoring
mitigation and beneﬁts,
and involve external
monitors where they can
enhance transparency and
Report back to stakeholders
on environmental, social and
economic performance, both
those consulted and those with
more general interests in the
project and parent companies.
Build and maintain sucient
capacity within the company
to manage processes of
track commitments and
report on progress.
Invest time in identifying
stakeholders and assessing
their interests and
25 Adapted from IFC (2007) Stakeholder engagement: A Good Practice Handbook for Companies Doing Business in Emerging Markets, International Finance Corporation, Washington DC, pp13,
accessible from http://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/938f1a0048855805beacfe6a6515bb18/IFC_StakeholderEngagement.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
26 IFC (2007) Stakeholder Engagement: A Good Practice Handbook for Companies Doing Business in Emerging Markets, International Finance Corporation, Washington DC, pp 10, accessible from
07 ENSURE CONCESSIONING IS SUPPORTED
BY A SOUND CONCESSIONS FRAMEWORK
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
The more robust and transparent the concessions
framework, the more successful and sustainable the
concessions will be. When this framework is weak, changes
to national policy or legislation that governs concessions
may be required before beginning a concessions program.
Making an accurate assessment of the weaknesses, how
much work needs to be done, and the likely impact of these
changes, will help to determine the type of intervention
necessary, and the type of advisors that may be needed.
STRONG CONCESSIONS FRAMEWORKS ARE CLEAR,
TRANSPARENT AND LEGALLY ROBUST
A supportive concessions framework is always clear and is
based on sound foundational laws; it is supported by diverse
stakeholders who have also had input; it is implementable
through well aligned laws, policies and regulations; and
it is a living framework that is monitored, evaluated and
modiﬁed, as necessary. Strong legal frameworks for
concessions have three broad dimensions:27
International conventions: Such as the World Heritage
Convention, Convention on the International Trade of
Endangered Species, and the Convention on Biological
Diversity outline commercial activities permitted at World
Heritage Sites. Global conventions and guidelines inﬂuence
and inform national policy and legislation.
1. Concessioning Policy framework: Reﬂects the
protected areas’ Strategic Vision, and sets out the
objectives, context and conditions for concessioning.
Sound policies address the public interest and respond
to collective needs on particular issues (e.g. poverty
reduction, land tenure, income generation, etc.),
and provide guidelines and procedures for eective
implementation. Policies are not legally binding.
2. Concessions Legislation: Laws and regulations
provide the legal basis for concessioning. Laws
can take the form of a Concessions or PPP law,
amendments to pre-existing laws (land law, tourism
law, investment law, etc.). The most eective
laws provide general principles without being too
explicit. They provide the mandate and framework
for commercial activities including contract
duration, protection of biodiversity, rights of the
concessionaire, etc. Based on this, the government
or the protected area authority may then develop
sets of regulations that explicitly describe the
process, procedures and details.
Lawmakers may also consider competition principles.
Competition law helps promote and maintain fair
competition in national markets, protecting consumers and
ensuring entrepreneurs can compete freely in the market
economy. Competition principles vary between jurisdictions
and concern state aid, deregulation, and other policies.
In concessioning, competition issues include exclusive
rights of access for a speciﬁc area, extension or expansion
of a concession and incentives for tourism concessionaires
to behave competitively.
PROJECT EXAMPLES: USA AND SOUTH AFRICA
USA: The 1998 Concessions Management Improvement
Act improves concessions and increases competition.
The National Park Service has since enacted management
and implementing policies that guide its operations
concerning private sector concession contracts.28
South Africa: The Public Finance Management Act
regulates all public private partnerships, including
concessions. South Africa has progressively increased
the number of PPP transactions covering a wide range
of sectors, including transport, oce accommodation,
healthcare, eco-tourism, social development and
correctional services. The National Treasury has developed
a toolkit for implementing PPPs in state controlled game
reserves and national parks.29 All agreements require
National Treasury approval and a deﬁned process must
be followed. Integrated into the process is the Broad-
Based Black Economic Empowerment policy, which
prioritises economic opportunities for the historically
27 Casimiro, R. (2012) Legal frameworks for concessions: Review of legal frameworks globally and in Southern Africa, Presentation made the ‘Concessioning tourism opportunities in conservation areas and maximising rural
development; workshop, 19-22 March 2012, Indy Girrasol, Maputo, Mozambique, available at http://www.slideshare.net/AnnaSpenceley/review-of-legal-frameworks-globally-rita-casimiro
28 Wyman, M., Barborak, J. R., Inamdar, N., and Stein, T. (2011) Best practices for tourism concessions in protected areas: A review of the ﬁeld, Forests, 2, 913-928.
30 National Treasury (2004) Public Private Partnership Manual: National Treasury PPP Practice notes issued in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, National Treasury PPP unit ; Davies, R. (2010) CIA Post completion
monitoring, South African National Park (Project ID9907), IFC internal report.
WHAT IS A CONCESSIONS FRAMEWORK?
It is the essential underlying architecture that
enables a concession to be awarded and operated.
It includes, but is not limited to, the legal and
regulatory structure, and may also encompass
the governance and institutional set-up, as well as
practical tools and guidelines for implementation.
The Quirimbas National park, located in northern
Mozambique and stretching for more than 100
kilometers along the country’s coastline, implemented
a management plan and a tourism development plan
in 2009. The tourism plan includes information on
the status and projections of tourism in the park, and
also outlines a phased tourism development strategy
for accommodation, attractions, and excursions. This
includes maps of the park, potential locations for future
tourism concessions, and fees charged for tourism.
The plan also includes an entire volume on guidelines for
tourism development and operations in the park, with
considerations for environmental management, transport
and access, and local economic linkages. The plan provides
a solid basis for any future concession planning.33
08 RELY ON ROBUST MANAGEMENT PLANS
INVESTORS VALUE MANAGEMENT PLANS AND THEIR
CONSISTENT AND EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION
Robust plans send a message that the management of the
destination has been thought through, has stakeholder
buy-in, and that its resources are managed. This all reduces
the risks for investors. With a management plan in place, it
is less likely that ad-hoc decisions can be taken in response
to external pressure. Successful concessions are generally
found in protected areas that are well researched and
managed, and strategically planned for tourism.
ROBUST MANAGEMENT PLANS OFTEN ACCOUNT
FOR TOURISM ACTIVITIES
Good management plans typically provide the context
for tourism, including concessions, and highlight the
speciﬁc areas that are zoned or allocated for tourism.
Zoning guides the spatial distribution of concession
sites, providing protection for critical habitats and
ecosystems. Zoning also separates conﬂicting human
activities, allows reasonable human uses while protecting
natural or cultural qualities, and allows damaged areas to
recover. Some plans may include descriptions of the type
and location of tourist facilities.
Within management plans, authorities use visitor planning
tools to determine the scope of tourism activities.
Approaches include: limits of acceptable change; visitor
impact management; and deﬁning sustainable tourism
indicators for destinations as described in the IUCN Best
Practice Guidelines on Tourism and Visitor Management
in Protected Areas.31
Plans are produced by the protected area authority
and are generally updated every ﬁve to ten years.
The process of developing a management plan generally
entails the following steps:32
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
A protected area management plan is a blueprint for
the way a protected area will be run, covering both
day-to-day and long-term operations. Management
plans specify the type and degree of resource
management needed to assure the ecological
integrity of the protected area and the protection of
31 Leung, Y-F., Spenceley, A., Hvenegaard, G., and Buckley, R. (2016) Tourism and visitor management in protected Areas: Guidelines for sustainability, 3rd Edition, IUCN, Gland.
32 Thomas, L. and Middleton, J. (2003) Guidelines for management planning of protected areas, Best practice protected Area Guidelines Series No. 10, Cardi University and IUCN, pp23-25.
National Treasury (2004) Public Private Partnership Manual: National Treasury PPP Practice notes issued in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, National Treasury PPP unit ; Davies, R. (2010) CIA Post
completion monitoring, South African National Park (Project ID9907), IFC internal report.
FIGURE 6: DEVELOPMENTAL STEPS
on the draft
the draft plan
of options to
achieve the vision
of a draft
09 SELECT THE APPROPRIATE MODEL
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Choosing the right concession model will help ensure a successful concessioning
process and maximize the socio-economic beneﬁts expected from tourism.
Eective programs understand the implications of each type of concession
model (the level of control and responsibility, risk transfer, revenue sharing,
community participation, etc.) and select the most appropriate for the context.
The best model will depend on the objectives of the protected area authority, the
level of risk they are willing to incur, and the legal framework.
A concession model is the legal
and ﬁnancial structure under
which the concession will be
owned and operated. While
usually categorised as a form of
Public Private Partnership (PPP),
there are a number of dierent
concession models that can be
applied within this spectrum.
TABLE 3: THREE COMMON MODELS USED
FOR PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION IN PROTECTED AREAS
Concessions are by far the most common model in protected areas, with some
lease arrangements where existing authority-owned infrastructurealready exists.
All models mean sharing risks and rewards to deliver the tourism product.
Inexperienced authorities might grant the private sector more responsibility;
conﬁdent authorities might take on a greater role. Whatever the arrangement,
a successful agreement should last long enough for the investor to generate a
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES VARY BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT MODELS
Concessions are just one type of public private partnership that can be used to
encourage private participation in tourism services.
DESCRIPTION DURATION FUNCTIONS TRANSFERRED
TO A PRIVATE OPERATOR
Concession The Authority awards long-term user-rights
to a third party (private owner or owner/
operator, or community group) to build and
manage a tourism facility. In some cases the
concessionaire can sub-lease the facility to an
operator or management group.
The concessionaire has responsibility for all
investment and is usually accountable for
management of the facility.
10 – 40 years.
Design, rehabilitate, extend or
build, ﬁnance, maintain, and
operate - typically providing
services to users/tourists. The
facility is usually transferred
back to the concessioner
(authority) at the end of the
pays a fee to
include share of
Lease The Authority creates a lease agreement with
the private concessionaire. Private operator
thus leases facility (pays rent) and assumes full
operating responsibility, with the government
typically remaining responsible for capital
expenditures on assets.
than 5 years.
Maintain and operate,
providing services to users.
pays a fee to
Government enters into an agreement with a
private operator to manage an existing tourism
facility and pays the private operator a ﬁxed
management fee based on performance.
For example, management of existing
accommodation, restaurant or retail facility.
Can include responsibility for operations and
maintenance of assets (O&M Contract), but
typically government remains responsible for
than 5 years.
Manages a range of speciﬁed
pays the private
operator a ﬁxed
There may also
be a performance
JOINT VENTURE OWNED,
Rocktail Beach Camp is operated by
Wilderness Safaris and leased by a
joint-venture (JV) from iSimangaliso
Wetland Park. The JV is made up of
Wilderness Safaris and a Propriety
Limited Company (PTY). The PTY
is made up of Wilderness Safaris
and the KwaMpukane Community
Trust (50 percent each). 8.5 percent
turnover is paid to the iSimangaliso
Wetland Park Authority, with 8% of
rent given to community.
The Joint-venture also developed
iGugulesizwe community centre
with various tourism tours and
accommodation outside the reserve.35
THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONCESSIONAIRES
Bodies that enter into concession agreements with protected area authorities are
usually private entities, but can also be public or quasi-public, community associations,
or combinations of any of these – such as private-community partnerships.
A large number of concessionaires both build and operate the
facility, but in some cases, usually where the private sector is
not the concessionaire, there will be a dierent entity given
the responsibility to manage the concession development or
existing tourism facilities (under a management contract or
a lease). There have been cases in the past where community
associations or other organizations have taken on the role
of management, but this is unadvisable given the recorded
low level of sucess. The main purpose for concessioning
should be to bring private sector expertise in operating and
marketing to better manage tourism as a revenue generating
activity for the protected area.
EXAMPLES OF INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM CONCESSIONS
PRIVATE SECTOR OWNER AND
Singita holds a concession from the
protected area authority SANParks
in Kruger National Park, and also
manages the lodge (Singita Lebombo)
under their own brand.
The concessions agreement includes
environmental and socio-economic
requirements, including local
procurement and employment. Singita
pays a minimum fee or a percentage
of revenue (if higher) to SANParks.34
COMMUNITY OWNED, PRIVATELY
Thakadu Lodge and Bualo Ridge
Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve,
are both owned by communities
(Batlokwa and Balete respectively),
on land leased from the North West
Parks and Tourism Board (NWPTB).
The facilities are sub-leased to the
Madikwe Collection (private operator)
who manages and operates the
FIGURE 7: EXAMPLES OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF TOURISM CONCESSIONS
Photo © Singita Lebombo Lodge. Photo © Wilderness Safaris, Rocktail Beach Camp. Photo © Credit: Bualo Ridge Safaris.
private sector operator
private sector partnership
34 SANParks (2011) Request for qualiﬁcations issues by South African National Parks in respect of the proposed public private partnership project for the Nwanetsi concession in the Kruger National Park, Accessed from
http://www.sanparks.org/docs/groups_tenders/2011/nwanetsi/rfq-nwanetsi.pdf on 27 March 2015 and Department of Environmental Aairs and Tourism (2007) National Assembly, Question no. 1213, Internal Question
paper no. 25 of 2007, Accessed from https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/ﬁles/parliamentary_updates/question1213.pdf on 27 March 2015
35 Spenceley, A. (2008) Rocktail Beach Camp, Presentation at the African Safari Lodges practitioners workshop, The Grace Hotel, Rosebank, South Africa, 19-21 May 2008.
36 Massyn, P. J. (2008) Madikwe Community Lodges: Thakadu River Camp, Bualo Ridge Safari Lodge, African Safari Lodges practitioners workshop, The Grace Hotel, Rosebank, South Africa, 19-21 May 2008.
THE TYPE OF CONCESSION MODEL, AND THE
PREFERRED CONCESSIONAIRE ARRANGEMENTS ARE
DECIDED IN ADVANCE
When deciding the best strategy to take, successful
protected area authorities use their primary objectives,
the projected viability of concession sites, investor
appetite and their Park Management Plans.
These considerations have an impact on the preferred
model and concession arrangements. In the most eective
concessions programs the authority predetermines the
types of concessionaire (investor) in advance, in order
to better target their oer when it comes to taking the
opportunities to market.
LEGAL, FINANCIAL, SOCIAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL
RESPONSIBILITIES OF CONCESSIONAIRES VARY
There is a broad range of options for the type and
extent of responsibilities placed on a concessionaire. The
responsibilities relate to the priorities of the particular
protected area authority, the investor, and the speciﬁc
10 EMPLOY TRANSPARENT AND CLEAR
A well-designed competitive procurement process should
result in the identiﬁcation of competent concessionaires
that can develop a tourism concession in the most
eective and ecient way - both from a technical, and
value-for-money perspective.37 A well designed process
should result in:
• An agreed contract.
• A satisfactory deal and solution for both the
protected area authority and investor (relating to
the costs, beneﬁts, and opportunity costs).
• Strong environmental and socio-economic beneﬁts
that are agreed.
• A contract period that is sucient for the investor
to make a return on their investment and provides
security over the term of the agreement for both sides.
THERE ARE IMPORTANT BEST PRACTICES IN
DEVELOPING A SOUND PROCUREMENT PROCESS
A qualiﬁed technical team is essential. To ensure a well-
governed procurement process, it is critical that qualiﬁed
and appropriate people are involved in managing the
process all the way through. Members of the committees
set up to manage dierent elements (especially bid
evaluation) should be trustworthy, technically competent,
and fair. Establishing appropriate composition of the
group, and an appropriate mix of skills and expertise, is
critical in ensuring an eective transaction.
GOOD PROCUREMENT PROCESSES:
Authorities make key decisions depending on the needs
of all parties:
When designing a competitive procurement strategy,
the authority will deﬁne key elements of the process:38
• Pre-qualiﬁcation: whether to use a pre-qualiﬁcation
process to select a short-list of ﬁrms or consortia
that will participate in the bidding process.
• Bid process: whether to use a single-stage process to
select the preferred bidder, or a multi-stage process,
in which proposals and the bidding documents may
be reviewed and iterated.
• Negotiation with bidders: to what extent discussions
with bidders may lead to changes in the initial draft
contract: either during the bidding process (with multiple
bidders), or after ﬁnal bids have been submitted.
• Basis for award: whether to rank proposals and
choose the preferred bidder based on a single
ﬁnancial or value-related criterion (after screening
for technical merit), or some weighted evaluation of
ﬁnancial and technical criteria.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
The most successful concessions regimes employ
transparent, well planned, and often competitive
processes that result in a balanced deal, a qualiﬁed
investor, and a viable, sustainable project. These
‘procurement’ procedures can make or break a
concessioning process - and the reputation of the
protected area authority.
fair, and well
for awarding the
with clear roles
Are competitive Are short and
37 World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Inter-American Bank (2014) Public-private partnerships Reference guide: version 2.0, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
38 World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Inter-American Bank (2014) Public-private partnerships Reference guide: version 2.0, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, pp174.
PROTECTED AREA AGENCY PREFERRED METHOD
DURATION OF PROCUREMENT (EFFORT)
SMALL CONCESSION (E.G.
BUSINESS LICENSE, GUIDING)
LARGE CONCESSION (E.G.
Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania Unsolicited (small)
3 weeks in parks 6-18 months
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority,
Unsolicited (ﬁrst come, ﬁrst
8-10 weeks, 4 months for
Expression of Interest process
Longer (not speciﬁed)
Parks Canada Tender 3-6 months 60 days
Ministry of Environment and Tourism,
Direct award to
auction (hunting areas),
direct with applicants
3-12 months 12-14 months
New South Wales, Australia Tender 4-12 weeks 6-18 months
US National Park Service Tender 2 years 2 years
PROJECT EXAMPLE: SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa’s Public Private Partnership manual is a
public document, aligned with the country’s Public
Finance Management Act.40 The manual outlines the
approach to small and large capital investment projects.
It also includes templates for procurement documents, and
proposal evaluation checklists that can be used by protected
area authorities during concessioning. It gives investors clear
information on the process that will be followed.
39 Adapted from Thompson, A. (2009) Scan of concessions systems and best practice, The United States, Canada, Australia, Namibia and New Zealand’s ﬁsheries management system, Department of Conservation, New Zealand.
DIRECT NEGOTIATIONS AND UNSOLICITED PROPOSALS
Direct negotiation may be preferred in some instances. (For small projects, for
example, where there is limited competitive interest, or extensions of existing
contracts). Direct negotiation is not necessarily faster than competitive procurement,
however, and open tenders can demonstrate an authority’s commitment to
transparency, and help to secure the best investor and the best deal for the project.
Best practice assumes competitive and transparent procurement. There is research
into how unsolicited proposals can be managed to protect transparency in the
procurement process, but this is typically a dicult thing to accomplish.
METHODS AND DURATION OF PROCUREMENT DIFFER AMONG PROTECTED
The preferred procurement method used by a selection of protected area
agencies is outlined below, and includes the typical duration for each process.39
UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL DEFINITION:
An unsolicited proposal is a concessions proposal
received by the protected area or Government Authority
outside of a formal process or request for proposal
(RFP). The sponsor may have already identiﬁed a site
or opportunity, and may be looking for a means to
negotiate directly. In some cases, an unsolicited proposal
may trigger the launch of a competitive process, because
it demonstrates to the authority that there is interest in
a site, and that other bidders should also be given an
opportunity to submit proposals.
DIRECT NEGOTIATION DEFINITION:
A direct negotiation is the bilateral negotiation process
between a sponsor and a concessioning authority over
the terms and conditions of the concession. This process
requires sound legal counsel and typically takes place in
the absence of a competitive process, or after an award
has been made.
TABLE 4: PROCUREMENT METHODS BY A SELECTION OF PROTECTED AREA AGENCIES
Fano, member of a local guide Association, Andasibe National Park,
Madagascar. Photo © Hermione Nevill
11 HAVE EQUITABLE CONTRACTS
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Eective contracts are comprehensive, clear, and protect the interests
of all parties. Without equitable contracts, the partnership between the
concessionaire and the other parties may be strained or even fail. A good
contract might also be ﬂexible to allow for changes in circumstance.
An eective contract achieves the right balance of responsibilities and
accountabilities and addresses issues important for ﬁnancing (allocation of risks
and rewards, transfer and assignment of rights and termination).
A concession agreement, or
contract, describes the legal rights
and obligations of all signatories
concerning the concession.
EQUITABLE CONTRACTING INCORPORATES A
VARIETY OF KEY ELEMENTS
The best concession agreements stipulate all aspects related
to design, construction, maintenance, and performance
monitoring of the concession. Successful contracting
processes incorporate the following elements:41
• Accurate identiﬁcation of the parties: The contract
should identify the parties as completely as possible.
• Clear payment terms: The contract should explicitly
state the exact payment terms.
• Flexible covenants: Restrictive covenants should be
avoided if possible. Such clauses either should not
extend beyond the termination of the contract or
should not apply if the contract is terminated for cause.
• Be legally valid and comprehensive: Always ensure
a legal review of the contract.
• An appreciation that there will be problems: Include
an appropriate dispute resolution processes.
• Provisions relating to defaults, opportunities to
cure and termination: These provisions promote
performance and avoid litigation. Alleged contractual
breaches must be raised when they arise.
• Adequate negotiation: To discuss and ultimately
agree upon all terms.
• Clear understanding/deadlines/penalties: All parties
should demand explanations and seek answers to
contract queries. A timeline for project completion is
imperative along with penalties.
• Contract language/s and translations. If there are
copies in dierent languages, only one version is a
• Boilerplate provisions. Protect the rights and privileges
of the parties, like Notice Provisions, Assignment,
Warranties, Indemnity, Consent to Jurisdiction, Dispute
Resolution, Modiﬁcation of Agreement.
• All parties have signed: Sign simultaneously or sign
last, so nothing can be changed.
• Clear internal procedures and protocols: To ensure
Mozambique’s government added a draft partnership
agreement to the Requests for Proposals for tourist
developments in the Maputo Elephant Reserve. The
bidders’ proposals had to include a schedule of proposed
amendments to the partnership agreement in a speciﬁed
format. Once a preferred bidder was selected, the
partnership agreement was negotiated. These draft
contracts were developed based on best practice and
stipulated all aspects referred to in this section (i.e.
concession period, payments, conditions precedent,
design, construction and maintenance, and performance
monitoring). The disclosure of the draft partnership
agreement at an early stage of the process helped ensure
that the tender process was fair, transparent and ecient.42
SANPARKS, SOUTH AFRICA
World Bank Group best practice tries to avoid any
post-award negotiation of the concession agreement,
to safeguard transparency. In the SANParks process,
bidders were issued with a draft concession agreement,
asked to mark-up the agreement and submit comments
and invited to a bidders conference where all comments
were discussed. Following the bidders conference,
SANParks issued a ﬁnal bid package including a ﬁnal
Request for Proposal and a ﬁnal concession agreement,
which was not negotiable. All bidders had to submit
a signed agreement with their bids and the winning
bidder’s agreement was countersigned.43
41 Grove, A. S. (1996) Only the Paranoid survive, cited in CRISIL (2013) Lesotho Tourism Public Private Partnership Contract Management Consulting, Contract management Manual and resources, Volume 2: Contract
management training manual.
42 International Finance Corporation (2012) Facilitating tourism investment in the Maputo Elephant Reserve: The tourism investment generation approach, Investment Climate Advisory Services, World Bank Group.
43 Peter Fearnhead (2003), Commercial Tourism Concessions: a means of generating income for South African National Parks, Vth World Parks Congress: Sustainable Finance Stream September 2003, Durban, South Africa.
12 MANAGE EFFECTIVELY BEYOND THE DEAL
EFFECTIVE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT HAS FIVE
The duration of a concession agreement may by far exceed
the tenure of individual sta members in the protected
area authority or the concessionaire enterprise. Eective
management during this period is critical to the long-
lasting and mutual success of the partnership. Relationship
management and institutional memory are vital. Contract
management over the lifecycle of a concession has ﬁve
main elements, as outlined below:
Contract management can be deﬁned as ‘the process
of systematically and eciently managing contract
creation, execution, and analysis for the purpose of
maximizing ﬁnancial and operational performance
and minimizing risk’.
OBJECTIVES OF CONTRACT MANAGEMENT
To manage the partnerships and
establish good working relationships.
To deﬁne roles, responsibilities and
To measure performance and results
against required objectives.
To enable administrative processes
required for eective management.
To react in timely fashion, manage
variations and settle disputes.
In the best cases, the protected area authority produces
a document that includes:44
1. A concession management manual: Includes an
overview of the project objectives and concession
team, governance, communication and meeting
plans, issues relating to construction, payment,
performance, and risk management.
2. A contract management plan: Outlines the contract
implementation schedule through the development,
operation and exit phases. It includes the strategic
objectives and key deliverables, transition,
relationship, and service management, contract
administration, contingency plans, exit strategy and
Engaged and ecient contract managers are key
resources to protected area authorities45
They will possess a variety of skills, including those that
focus on contract and project management, and on legal,
analytical, ﬁnancial, and business issues. They might
also display skills in market evaluation, environmental/
heritage, and infrastructure and support. Other important
traits for an ideal contract manager include:
• Ready to engage specialists on contract management
(including legal expertise).
• Institutional training at functionary level for the
eective implementation of concession operations.
• Understanding of the tourism industry management
issues and economic realities of concession
• Knowledge of the organizational policy of the
protected area authority.
• Ability to interpret and implement national legislation
relating to tourism concessions.
44 CRISIL (2013) Lesotho Tourism P ublic Private Partnership Contract Management Consulting, Contract management Manual and resources, Volume 2: Contract management training manual.
45 Varghese, G. (2012) Concessions processes: Public private partnerships, South African National parks; Pawliczek, M. (2012) Concessions management in Madagascar., and Rodrigues, A., and Booth, V. (2012) Tourism
concessions management in Niassa National Reserve: The combined roles of governance, monitoring and research, 2000-2012; All presentations made during the ‘Concessioning tourism opportunities in conservation
areas and maximising rural development; workshop, 19-22 March 2012, Indy Girrasol, Maputo, Mozambique, all accessible at
http://www.anna.spenceley.co.uk/presentations.htm#.U0aG51xuHwI; Buckley, R. and Sommer, M., (2001) Tourism and protected areas: Partnerships in principle and practice, CRC for sustainable tourism, accessible at
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
A signed contract marks only the beginning of a
partnership. Managing a contract helps ensure that a
mutually beneﬁcial, long-term relationship develops
between the protected area authority and the
concessionaire. Contract management recognizes
the unique needs, constraints, and goals of each
party, and ensures risks have been adequately
transferred. The key to managing eectively beyond
the original deal is regular communication.
Savanna Lodge. Photo © longtaildog
PROJECT EXAMPLE: SANPARKS, SOUTH AFRICA
SANParks Approach to contract management: ‘Not one
of us is as good as all of us!’
SANParks has high risk projects with large capital
investment, and a small, strong contract management
function with specialist expertise (legal, environmental)
where necessary for contentious issues. Contract
Management issues are given priority in the organization
with established mandates, and responsibilities and
accountability are fully identiﬁed. Their management
framework allows for consistency in their approach to all
• A formal and systematic monitoring system:
• Repeated measurement of selected variables
to detect changes.
• Comparison of actual performance and
compliance with agreed levels and standards.
• Provision of early indications of progress
or lack thereof in the achievement of
• Resources are established at inception stages to
ensure management in a highly eective, ecient
and professional manner.
• Combination of project management, legal,
analytical, ﬁnancial, business acumen, market
evaluation, environment/heritage, infrastructure
and support skills.
• An understanding of tourism industry management
and tourism industry management and economic
realities of concession operations.
• Knowledge of organizational policy.
• Ability to interpret and implement PPP legislation.
• Negotiation and contract management skills.
The organization has an eective enforcing legal
mechanism and a good understanding and consideration
of the complexities. Their consistent approach has allowed
them to be ﬁrm but fair-minded and ﬂexible where
necessary, and an overall integrity in the process has paid
o in securing private investors.46
46 ‘Concession Contract Management & Monitoring’ Presentation: Sept 2014, SANParks.
13 MANAGE RISK
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Risks are associated with all concessions programs. Successful concession regimes
practise eective risk management by identifying, mitigating, and monitoring risk
through stakeholder engagement, site assessments, regular reporting, adequate
due diligence, and employing experienced/reputable technical personnel.
Risk management is the
forecasting and analysis
of potential ﬁnancial and
non-ﬁnancial risks, and
identifying procedures to
mitigate or eliminate their
impact. Risks can arise
at the local, national, or
international levels and be
either internal or external to
a tourism project.
Adequate identiﬁcation of those risks, and planning responses, can make the
dierence between success and failure. Risks can lead to costly delays, work
stoppages, threats to the operation, negative publicity, and reputational harm.
Tourism concessions face a multiplicity of risks, especially those based in regions
with weaker legal or political or systems, or in areas vulnerable to extreme or
unpredictable weather conditions. A few of the more important risks tourism
concessions might face are listed below:
An inability to secure capital for
investment, or to make payments to
the contracting authority. Currency
ﬂuctuations also pose a risk.
The prevention or
mitigation of risks from
construction and/or operation of
a tourism site or deriving from other
developments in the region incompatible
with conservation objectives.
unhappy with the
project and pose a
risk to the investment.
APPLYING RISK MANAGEMENT TO TOURISM CONCESSIONS
Sound risk mitigation systems establish standards, and identify and monitor changes in those standards throughout the life of
a tourism concession. Managing risk might require additional external support from specialists. The IFC’s Sustainability Policy
identiﬁes eight broad areas of performance standard monitoring:47
• Standard 1: Environmental and social risks and impacts.
• Standard 2: Labour and working conditions.
• Standard 3: Resource eciency and pollution prevention.
• Standard 4: Community health, safety, and security.
• Standard 5: Land acquisition and involuntary resettlement.
• Standard 6: Biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of living natural resources.
• Standard 7: Indigenous peoples.
• Standard 8: Cultural heritage.
47 IFC (2012:4) Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability are available from
FIGURE 8: RISKS FACED IN TOURISM CONCESSIONING
Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Photo: © Hermione Nevill
PROJECT EXAMPLE: MANAGING ENVIRONMENTAL RISK IN SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa: Concessionaires in Kruger National Park undertook Environmental
Impact Assessments as part of their infrastructure development planning.
Environmental Management Plans were also devised for the construction and
operational phases of the concession, which provided the basis for monitoring
compliance with environmental standards. Monitoring targets were established
in relation to the length of new roads developed, the number of beds, water
consumption, waste production, and speciﬁc game drive guidance (e.g. minimum
approach distances for Big Five wildlife). Concessionaires employed environmental
control ocers to monitor and report on environmental impacts. Sti penalties
were applied for every incidence of non-compliance with the environmental
conditions of the concession agreement.48
48 Spenceley, A. (2004) Responsible nature-based tourism planning in South Africa and the commercialisation of Kruger National Park, In Diamantis, D. (ed) Ecotourism, Thomson, pp 267-280.
Tourists explore buer zone, Isalo National Park, Madagascar.
Photo © Hermione Nevill
14 CONTINUALLY EVALUATE PROGRESS AND ADAPT
Monitoring and evaluation
(M&E) involves learning from
experience, adapting to
changing conditions, updating
practices, or implementing new
ones, when necessary.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is essential to understanding the impact and
performance of a concession. In the long term, M&E “provides government ocials,
development managers, and civil society with better means for learning from past
experience, improving service delivery, planning and allocating resources, and
demonstrating results as part of accountability to key stakeholders”.49 A thorough
M&E program helps answer the questions: Has concessioning been a success?
What can be done better next time? Eective concessions are eective because
they almost always modify or update their approaches or systems.
49 World Bank (2004:5) Monitoring and Evaluation: Some Tools, Methods and Approaches. World Bank: Washington.
50 World Bank (2004:5) Monitoring and Evaluation: Some Tools, Methods and Approaches. World Bank: Washington.
M&E helps track progress in line with the concession
agreement, and identify any discrepancies early on.
The ﬁndings can later be used to adapt concession
processes (e.g. where particular issues arise or where the
ﬁnancial revenues are substantially dierent to what had
M&E can assess the:
• Eciency and cost-eectiveness of the
• Impact of the concession (economically, socially,
• Performance of the concessionaire to meet its
• Opportunity cost of alternate development options
(other than concessionning).
• Success of a commercialisation strategy within
Both the authorities and the private sector have M&E
The protected area authority is the ultimate entity
responsible to ensure that the objectives and speciﬁcations
of the concession agreement are met. However,
monitoring is often also the private sector’s role. Reports
on their performance should be regularly provided to the
authority as speciﬁed in the concession agreement (for
example, water use, or community beneﬁts).
The World Bank Group
1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433
Tel: (202) 473-1000
Fax: (202) 477-6391
14 CHARACTERISTICS OF
With support from: