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Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

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neilo
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Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby neilo » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:35 pm

Hi everyone,

I have been going to the kruger for over 42 years (I'm 49 now). It concerns me that prices are going up and up, at least 10% more year on year. When, if ever will these escalations stop. Between toll gates on routes, increases in accommodation prices, massive petrol price increases, and additional wildcard expense, the tourists pocket is being swiftly emptied.

In the Park some of the prices are a joke, and a few bits of accommodation are horrible.

AT Pretoriouskop the EB2 ES2 EB5 EB6 are just nasty :shock: , forget the price. Why don't they tear these horrid huts down and build better accommodation.

The EH1 EH2 EH3 EH5's are also a 1960's hangover at Lower Sabie. Too small and nastily cramped. When the old Lower Sabie reception area burnt down, they never really re-utilized that space well.


Get rid of these architectural nightmares and build more FU4 units (2 adults 2 kids) or 4 adults. Also stop this additional adult rip-off for a 3rd cot or sleeper bed.


Everything is up 38% from 31st of August 2009.

Examples :

Satara

GC5 was R1105 its now R1525

GC6BD was 1105 also R1525.

Pretoriouskop

FU4D was R1105 and it's now R1475 .

What has been done to those units that warrants a 38% increase ? Nothing, Zip, NADA !!!!!

The best accommodation for 3 guests (value/location/newness/price) is Lower Sabie Bungalow (BD3UZ)
R1140 . You need to book this 6 months in advance or you can forget it. They are excellent :clap: , however, they screwed up on the outside areas where there is no privacy from your neighbours noise and activities.

You can't compare this accommodation to a Crocodile Bridge Bungalow (BD3) which is the same price (croco-bridge is one circular room with 3 beds) !!!!!!!!

The pricing needs to reflect what is being offered. Safari tents are another thing. They get weather beaten pretty quickly, and don't have the same longevity of fixed accommodation.

At what point do the national parks stop these ridiculous increases (38% in three years plus wildcards) , or do they price South Africans out of the market ?

The wildcard was never a factor, it was introduced in 2006 ? (I'm not sure). But it's just another way to empty the pocket of the tourist.

I know people from overseas laugh at these prices, but at what point does in become too expensive for South Africans ?

I would love to hear other peoples views

All the best ,


Neilo.

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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby painter » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:53 pm

Neilo, I absolutely agree with you.
Sanparks is rapidly introducing prices that exclude the ordinary South African family from spending time in Kruger. We all know that money is an issue with regard to conservation, BUT who is conservation for. Kruger, like all our National parks, have the task of conserving our National Natural Heritage. Take note, it is our heritage and Sanparks are the custodians of this heritage. Therefore this HERITAGE should be made available to the citizens of this country and be of benefit to all South Africans - not just the few who can afford it.
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth

neilo
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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby neilo » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:04 pm

We are going to Pretoriouskop in a few days for 4 nights. Have'nt stayed in that camp in 20 year's . Part of the reason is the 40% pensioners discount . So we save R1770 for three nights accommodation, which works.

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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby Joep Stevens » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:09 pm

Dear Neilo,

Thanks for enquiry and I will respond by highlighting some aspects raised in your posting:

1. Prices go up because of inflation (annual decrease in the value of money or annual increase in the expenses).
2. If you don't like the budget accommodation (EH's and EB's) don't book them. Less than 20% of KNP's accommodation falls into this budget category and provides for the variety of needs that we try and cater for. Many people like and appreciate that they can stay in the Park at more affordable rates. Not everybody can afford FU4's.
3. Architecturally these old huts are part of Kruger's history and heritage and many many people appreciate them. Occupancies reflect that generally.
4. Overall occupancies are high, certainly much higher than industry averages.
5. 4 out of 5 guest to Kruger are South Africans, therefore our key market and one we do not intend to alienate.
6. Wild Card was introduced (in 2003) as a mechanism to benefit regular and long staying guests. You can choose to not buy the Wild Card and rather pay the daily conservation fees.
7. Yes, we know times are hard out there for everybody, but so too for SANParks. We have to ensure that SANParks remains in fine financial health so that society and our children are able to enjoy the same benefits you have been enjoying for 42 years.

Kind regards.

If there are further queries, please let me know.


JOEP STEVENS
General Manager: Tourism Operations

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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby DrPhil » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:24 pm

These increases from SANParks only shows that the actual inflation is way more than the 6.5% claimed by some. But value for money wise it is still cheap compared to game lodges on the edges of Kruger.... :thumbs_up:

I think it is also important to remember government funding towards SANParks has been reduced drastically, and Kruger funds most of the other parks....
Not in Kruger.... Busy planning the next trip...

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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby neilo » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:28 pm

Hi there,

Yes I am aware of inflation, I've even heard of it :shock: , but 38% is taking no prisoners.

The wild card thing never existed before 2003. What was the point of it's introduction in 2003 other than to create / generate extra revenue.

Be honest, the Kruger is the cash cow for the national parks board... but where is the tipping point ?

Look, your job is to justify and vindicate what goes on at Kruger. Good luck to you.

I just feel that year on year price increases are not justifiable purely on an inflation basis. The KNP needs to meet the public halfway and increase what's being offered (upgrades & improvements to accommodation / improved levels of excellence / maintenance of existing accommodation to near perfect levels.) Inflation increases should be more at 15% for three years and not closer to 40%

Neil.

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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby forestgump » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:44 pm

:clap: :clap: I was half expecting this topic to be locked already.

:twisted: This thread will now be locked until further notice
No to speeding in Sanparks.

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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby salamanda » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:49 pm

We are resigned to the fact that, due to escalating prices, we shall not be able to continue with our trips to Kruger for much longer, whatever the state of the accommodation. I do agree with you neilo about the state of that old accommodation at Pretoriuskop - by all means keep the buildings, but at least put in some decent furniture, beds with mattresses through which you cannot feel the base, make sure all the legs of the tables are the same length, and that the air-conditioners work for example - but we are not looking for luxury. However we received a shock when SANParks announced that in future 50% of the deposit must be paid within the first month after booking! This may curtail our trips sooner than we originally thought.
Last edited by salamanda on Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby GlenD » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:12 pm

Joep Stevens wrote:Dear Neilo,

Thanks for enquiry and I will respond by highlighting some aspects raised in your posting:

1. Prices go up because of inflation (annual decrease in the value of money or annual increase in the expenses).
2. If you don't like the budget accommodation (EH's and EB's) don't book them. Less than 20% of KNP's accommodation falls into this budget category and provides for the variety of needs that we try and cater for. Many people like and appreciate that they can stay in the Park at more affordable rates. Not everybody can afford FU4's.
3. Architecturally these old huts are part of Kruger's history and heritage and many many people appreciate them. Occupancies reflect that generally.
4. Overall occupancies are high, certainly much higher than industry averages.
5. 4 out of 5 guest to Kruger are South Africans, therefore our key market and one we do not intend to alienate.
6. Wild Card was introduced (in 2003) as a mechanism to benefit regular and long staying guests. You can choose to not buy the Wild Card and rather pay the daily conservation fees.
7. Yes, we know times are hard out there for everybody, but so too for SANParks. We have to ensure that SANParks remains in fine financial health so that society and our children are able to enjoy the same benefits you have been enjoying for 42 years.

Kind regards.

If there are further queries, please let me know.


JOEP STEVENS


:thumbs_up:
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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby Elsa » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:11 pm

neilo wrote:The wild card thing never existed before 2003. What was the point of it's introduction in 2003 other than to create / generate extra revenue. Neil.
As I see it, I think the point was for those who go to various SANparks and others regularly to save money on the daily conservation levy.
No one is forced to buy one and if one doesn't feel they would benefit from it, then they are perfectly at liberty to just pay the daily fee.
We go to the park at least twice a year and get great savings from having one.
I haven't yet worked out the difference but it would definitely be huge.
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neilo
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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby neilo » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:40 pm

My point with the wildcard or conservation fee is this....

It never existed before 2003, and so its just an additional expense introduced from that point, to reduce your wallet and increase their's. :evil:

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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby Joep Stevens » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:29 pm

Dear All,

Thanks for the many inputs - this is what we all feel passionate about, namely to keep Kruger and national parks going into the future!

I agree 100% with input that for prices being charged, service and infrastructure should be in good functional order! There is no excuse for anything less!

Thank you.

JOEP
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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby salamanda » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:39 pm

neilo wrote:My point with the wildcard or conservation fee is this....

It never existed before 2003, and so its just an additional expense introduced from that point, to reduce your wallet and increase their's. :evil:


If by 'theirs' you mean SANParks neilo, I don't think your implication is correct. The conservation levy does not enrich anyone:
Your daily conservation fee is payment for the use and maintenance of facilities such as road networks, trails, picnic sites, ablutions, viewing hides, water supply for humans and waterholes for game etc.
In other words it is used to repair damage that the parks environment suffers as a result of our incursion into it, whether it be built environment or natural environment. I don't have any objection to paying this fee for the privilege of being in a natural environment that takes a lot of maintenance to keep it so. SANParks has had to be creative in its methods of raising the money needed to close the gap as government funding is withdrawn and this particular method does no harm to the environment itself.

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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby salamanda » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:40 pm

Joep Stevens wrote:Dear All,

Thanks for the many inputs - this is what we all feel passionate about, namely to keep Kruger and national parks going into the future!

I agree 100% with input that for prices being charged, service and infrastructure should be in good functional order! There is no excuse for anything less!

Thank you.

JOEP



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Re: Accommodation, value, prices 38% increases

Unread postby saraf » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:42 pm

Thanks Joep, I think we all agree with that.

neilo wrote:My point with the wildcard or conservation fee is this....

It never existed before 2003, and so its just an additional expense introduced from that point, to reduce your wallet and increase their's. :evil:


I'm not entirely sure but I am sure conservations fees were around before the introduction of the Wild Card. SANParks actually loose money when card holders spend more than 6 nights (on average) in the parks. If you don't spend that long in any SANPark then yes it is not worth it, otherwise it is a bargain.
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