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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:26 pm 
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But, Maslow's hierarchy is not cast in stone: give them the bottom two levels (food, comforts, security) and they can actualise to higher levels - even if it's temporary. So, sponsors step up; and lots can be achieved in a child's life.

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:22 pm 
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SZ, being close to a park doesn't at all mean you'll visit it, or even think about visiting it.
Just as an example, as you know I live smack in the middle of The Hague. I can actually see the top of the Ridderzaal from my window. For those less informed, the Ridderzaal is the start of medieval The Hague, the name literally means Hall of knights. Built in 1200 something I think. Around it are the buildings of parliament, and you can see all sorts of VIP's walking around. Including foreign ones, the list of presidents and such I saw in the flesh is quite long.

But anyway, there are quite a few musea around, like the Gevangenpoort. 14th century or such, one definitely did not want to be incarcerated there in that time!
Now how many, as a percentage, people living in The Hague do you think visited that? If you say 10% you'll be very optimistic! And those are people living just minutes away from it!

The communities around Kruger (and other parks) are the same, but worse, the can not pay the price of entering the park.
Camping costs R120 or something like that plus the conservation fee, and even more affluent saffies camp... Just to keep costs down. Now imagine having a job paying next to nothing, and a place visited almost only by tourists. Would you be interested?
Nope.
You point them to the park / museum, and forget you did it.

Which is why Sanparks has programs for the communities, showing them what the parks are about, what the animals and plants are about, and how important they are.

And yes, I did see more people from those communities in the parks the last time I was there. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:36 pm 
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Must admit that's so true DQ It took an influx of tourists to get me to visit a well known Stately Home in my home town, after a tragedy in the 80s brought them in.Just to see what was there. :redface:

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:38 pm 
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Duques, thanks for this...you bring up a lot of points I raised at the beginning of this thread about people not being interested in tourist attractions near them....but Im asking questions because Im not sure exactly what DB want us to debate.

She said she would like to reach communities bordering the park but without internet....and from what you have written it seems that they are already being reached.... to a degree.

DB? Someone? What are we discussing?

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:19 am 
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Maybe just the possibilities ... :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:43 am 
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The possibilities of? :huh:

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts / Off topic threads / Dreams for our future
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:21 am 
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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.

Quote:
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
following table:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts / Off topic threads / Dreams for our future
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:36 am 
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Thanks DinkyBird for the statistics, it's fascinating and surely it seems that the strategics are working! :thumbs_up:

I was rather impressed by the percentage of black visitors to the Parks, I've thought the percentage was lower.


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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts / Off topic threads / Dreams for our future
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:44 am 
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So did I until I went and actually looked them up :redface:

Lots of interesting reading here on this section of the website.

The annual reports can be found on the left menu bar.

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts / Off topic threads / Dreams for our future
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:56 am 
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It was indeed lower. The annual reports give a very nice picture of the growth. Put the oldest annual report next to the latest one, and you'll see a big difference.
They make very interesting reading actually, well, the finance section maybe less. I've been pointing them out for ages now, as it often contains info which is not even on the site/forums yet. Like the wild dogs that were moved, a topic 3 weeks old I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts / Off topic threads / Dreams for our future
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:10 pm 
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The facts posted here are very interesting...does any one have a break down of the ages of those visiting the parks?

I ask because when I came to the Netherlands I lived in a large town where only the under 25's could speak English with any degree of fluency.

We have 4 million visitors a year in the town I am now living in and its well known that visitors from certain countries dont speak a word of English, no matter what their age.(Yes, Im serious..not one single word of English..and its not some of them..its all of them, so not catering for their language excludes almost the entire country from participating on the forum)

The EU is encouraging all countries to teach English at schools but I think if one wants all nationalities to join the Sanparks forum then this lack of English in older people must be taken in to account.

I know that the official language of the forum is English but I think Sanparks would do well to start a thread or a separate site where info and trip reports in German, French and Spanish are available for those not able to understand English.

Many school children here are learning English, Dutch, French and German because the country sees that as being impertative to doing business in the future.....so the same must apply to the tourist industry in SA because its dealing with the same market.

Another question...does anyone tell foreign visitors about the forum or is it up to them to stumble across it? Maybe a slip of paper being handed to each visitor, in their own language, telling them about the forum and suggesting a trip report or the sharing of photographs, might encourage them to join in.

Im probably going over stuff that Sanparks knows already...but these are my observations :D

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts / Off topic threads / Dreams for our future
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:11 pm 
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Hi SZ
Would love it
Walking around Amsterdam with SANParks/forum leaflets.
What i do however is to advice any foreigner that the forum is there
for free advice and a great way to plan you trip .

Regarding the different languages.
We discussed this some years ago.
We then should include languages like Xhosa for eg.
But the biggest obstacle was and still is that SANparks should have more
moderators on board, skilled in different langauges.
And for the time being actually impossible.
But who knows, somewhere in the future

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts / Off topic threads / Dreams for our future
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:38 pm 
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I agree with you Bert...and Im not sure why it should be impossible..there might even be folk in SA who can speak these languages, can accept 'bite sized pieces' of responsibility, and that can be guided by local moderators.

Surely some of the current younger forum members have learnt a language like Zulu or Sotho at school and can form a small team to handle queries, trip reports, posting of pics etc.in that language.

In the Netherlands perhaps one can find forum members who speak German or French that you and DuQues can train and then supervise?

Perhaps CC speaks French?

I do suggest however, that the tone moderators use with different people groups be tailored to suit the group. Its not a 'one size fits all' and I have personally found some of the language used by the current moderators unnecessarily harsh and abrasive. This also comes though on the forum sometimes and I am sure it can be very off putting for people with a different temperament and backgound and who are more used to a sensitive and polite approach.

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts / Off topic threads / Dreams for our future
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:46 pm 
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South africa has 11 official languages.... So in theory we would need 11 different sites. That is of course possible, at high cost, and with a lot of manpower. There is a huge but though....
And that's fragmentation of knowledge / information. Have you looked at for instance the birdforums? Now imagine you have a question about a bird. The info is there, but in... Xhosa for instance, which you can't read. So it might as well not be there.
And how many people are on the internet, speaking 1 of the other 10 languages? Well, 9, afrikaans and english are quite common.

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 Post subject: Re: Locked Posts / Off topic threads / Dreams for our future
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:00 pm 
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I didnt think about anything more than trip reports and sharing photo's for starters DuQues as this is what will get people thru the gates and even on to the forums.

How about, once that is established and more people in the different language groups are on board, that the questions can be asked in any language stipulated by Sanparks (ie where they have translating abilities)and then directed to a person who can speak that language, to translate into English, get an answer (from a current forum member) and then translate back into the origional language? It only need be small scale in the beginning.(And if there is a rush of questions..what a pleasure!)

Actually..if we are only talking about the South African folk, most people of any colour, and within Sanparks target market, speak English or Afrikaans dont they?

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