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On-line version ISSN 2071-0771
Print version ISSN 0075-6458


VAN DER MERWE, Petrus; SAAYMAN, Melville  and  BOTHA, Elricke. Interpretation needs and preferences of visitors to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Koedoe [online]. 2020, vol.62, n.1, pp.1-11. ISSN 2071-0771.

South African National Parks is one of South Africa's main drawcards for ecotourists. One of these parks is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP), which is also a World Heritage Site (WHS). Because tourism is key to national parks and WHSs, visitor management strategies such as interpretation are vital for these destinations to provide tourists with better experiences and knowledge. The aim of this research was therefore to determine the interpretation needs and preferences of visitors to KTP. The factor analyses revealed that tourists felt that park guidelines would add the most to a quality experience. Tourists preferred interpretation topics on nature and heritage and would like to receive in-depth information on these topics. Interpretation should also preferably be offered through audio and visual media. These findings impact the development of relevant interpretation services for the park, which will contribute towards visitors' experiences. The research is original as it examined visitors' interpretation needs and preferences on topics, the extent of information tourists would like to receive and the type of media through which information should be presented. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: Designing relevant interpretation services based on tourists' needs and preferences will contribute towards satisfactory experiences. In turn, this may lead to an increase in profits, which can support conservation practices. Effective interpretation messages can also foster additional support towards conservation efforts.

Keywords : ecotourism; wildlife tourism; national parks; education; interpretation; World Heritage Site.

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