SZ, I would love to see the forum community extend to areas of the local population and global population we have yet to reach.
Locally we have a complicated political history where many South Africans grew up without the possibility of visiting a National Park in their lives. That is why I linked to wanda's post earlier - it really gives us an insight to what it was like for someone like her.
We need to look at this all keeping the political history of SA in mind and to find solutions we need to realise this is a pretty unique situation. As Duco mentioned - it has also to do with economics.
There are programs now in place to correct the situation developed from the past with regard to visitors to the parks - and I think you might find the extract out of the latest Annual Report (2008) interesting.
Visitors to National Parks
Total visitors to the national parks increased by
2.9%, from 4 587 815 to 4 720 737 persons through
SANParks gates. The target was a 3,0% increase.
This was achieved by implementing a focused
and strategy-driven marketing and media plan
both domestically and inter n a t i o n a l l y .
The current domestic market, which consists
mainly of white families and constitutes the
majority of the visitors to the parks, was reached
by an intensive media plan which included print,
outdoor marketing, exhibitions and television.
This proved to be highly effective as it solidified
our position in the market and resulted in the
2,9% growth.Black visitors to the National Parks
Our market analysis in the previous financial
year, and the research conducted, revealed
that a focused marketing strategy would
increase the number of black visitors to national
parks, at the same time giving access to new
markets. Through exhibitions, intensive radio
campaigns, tactical print and television
campaigns, we were able to achieve results
of which we are exceptionally proud. The
number of black visitors to national parks grew
by 21,4% from 255 829 to 310 488. This reflects
a growth in day visitors of 19,8% from 231 282
to 276 986 and in overnight visitors of 36,5%,
from 24 547 to 33 502.
The total number of black visitors to the Parks
now stands at 26,1% (previous year 22,8%)
of total South African day visitors and 7,8%
(previous year 6,1%) of total South African
overnight guests. Overall, the total number
of black guests (day visitor and overnight)
comprises 20,8% (previous year 18,0%) of total
South African guests. This is a clear indication
that our strategic direction is yielding the
desired results.International visitors
The international market continues to play a vital role
and it contributed to approximately 30% of our total
visitors in measured parks during the year under review.
Relationships built as well as marketing interventions
in our core markets proved to be highly effective in
achieving the type of growth as highlighted in the