A Comparative Assessment of Tourism Development of Zambian National Parks to those in the South African Region

Authors: Chikondi Thole*, Stellenbosch University, Thomas Kweku Taylor, Copperbelt University, Brian Child, University of Florida
Topics: Tourism Geography, Africa, Regional Geography
Keywords: wildlife economy, destination growth,tourism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Mid-City, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Wildlife tourism in Zambia has experienced slower growth in comparison to other destinations in the region. Although the wildlife resource upon which tourism in national parks is built may be similar, each national park destination may have some distinctives that separate it from the rest for competitive advantages. Despite the Southern African region maximising on the presence of the Big 5, and other wildlife species, there are many factors that have caused some to be catapulted to success whilst others have persistently struggled. This paper comparatively assesses the tourism development of Zambia’s two main national parks of Kafue and South Luangwa with those of the region under study which include Masai Mara, Serengeti, Krugar, Chobe and Etosha national parks. It provides insight in the significance of various variables to the development and evolution of destinations, and refers to concepts in political ecology and regional planning that explain the differences in outcomes of tourism in national parks. The paper hypothesises that the entrepreneurial drive, government policy recognising the significance of tourism, strong wildlife economy linkages and supportive narratives and discourses on wildlife tourism have been key to driving destination evolution and growth

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