The determination of park fees in support of benefit sharing in Southern Africa

Peer Reviewed
1 January 2016

Sharing conservation revenue with communities surrounding parks could demonstrate the link
between ecotourism and local communities’ economic development, promote a positive view of
land restitution involving parks, help address skewed distribution of income in the vicinity of parks
and act as an incentive for local communities to participate in conservation even more. This article
estimates the visitation demand function for Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) in order to
determine the appropriate conservation fee to charge visitors to maximize park revenue. The data
were generated from contingent behaviour experiments on South African residents at KTP and
three other parks deemed as either substitutes or complements for visitors to KTP. Our results
suggest that there is sheer underselling of the recreational opportunity at KTP, which implies that
there is room for generating extra revenue to support benefit sharing arrangements with the local
communities. The conservation fees at KTP can increase by as much as 115%, thereby almost
doubling current revenue after accounting for the drop in visitation which will be triggered by the

Sustainable Development Goals

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Publication | 9 September 2016