African Protected Area Conservation and Science has just published its latest article, 'The Socio-Economic Impact of the Karoo National Park', on Koedoe online for your reading pleasure. National parks in South Africa are seen as major tourism assets due to the wildlife and various activities for international and local visitors.
Little is known of the socio-economic contribution of these parks to their respective local economies. The purpose of this research is to determine the socio-economic impact of the Karoo National Park (KNP) in South Africa, especially the economic impact of the KNP on the local economy, the impact of tourism business development in the Karoo district and how the Park affects the community.
Three surveys were used to determine the socio-economic impact: a community survey, a business survey and a touristsurvey. The results show that the park has an impact in terms of production, income generation and employment in the area but this impact isnot as significant as that of other National Parks in South Africa. A small percentage (4 percent) of businesses in Beaufort West owe their existence to the KNP but most rely on tourist spending.
For the park to have a greater impact, it is imperative to increase accommodation capacity, offer more activities and promote activities and attractions in the region.
The full-text of this article is available at www.koedoe.co.za at http://www.koedoe.co.za/index. php/koedoe/index. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, OpenJournals Publishing, and SANParks.