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The role of tourism in the sustainable use of wildlife




Saayman, M., author
International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, publisher

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The game farming industry has experienced rapid growth over the past 20 years. We have seen an increase in the number of game farms, job opportunities, breeding programmes, auctions, hunting and number and value of game in general. South Africa has also, over the same period, experienced a significant increase in the number of tourist arrivals to the country, with approximately 10 million tourists visiting our shores per annum. Most of these tourists come to experience South Africa's nature and wildlife in one form or another, which links back to the products offered by the game farming industry. One of the key issues facing the future of game farms as well as the tourism industry in general, is sustainability. The complexity of sustainability lies in the fact that it has to do with not only financial, but also environmental, social and economic sustainability. In other words, how can we as a game farming industry achieve sustainability in all its forms and levels? The purpose of this presentation is to highlight the important role of tourism in game farm management. Currently one of the biggest generators of revenue for game farms is hunting, whilst tourism has played a less important role. One of the reasons for this is ignorance in terms of how tourism and tourism trends can be used as a source of revenue, since game farms lent themselves to different forms of tourism activities, which should be exploited. As in the case of agriculture, it would be beneficial for game farm managers to diversify their products and also their sources of revenue. The paper will highlight the change in sources of income for game farms over the past 20 years and in addition, the paper will also highlight threats to not only the game farms, but the industry as a whole, and possible solutions to managing these threats.


Presented at the 9th international wildlife ranching symposium: wildlife - the key to prosperity for rural communities, held on 12-16 September 2016 at Hotel Safari & the Safari Court, Windhoek, Namibia.

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