Potentials of Rural Tourism Around Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, South Africa: Local Community Perspective

Authors

  • Nelisile Mgabhi Department of Recreation and Tourism, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa, Corresponding author: E-mail: mgabhinz@gmail.com/ MgabhiN@unizulu.ac.za
  • Nomfundo Mzimela Department of Recreation and Tourism, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa, E-mail: mzimela48@gmail.com,
  • Ikechukwu Ezeuduji Department of Recreation and Tourism, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa, E-mail: ezeudujii@unizulu.ac.za

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.34190/ictr.7.1.2246

Keywords:

Rural tourism, rural tourism resources, rural tourism capabilities, rural tourism activities, South Africa.

Abstract

Developing nations continue to place a high priority on rural development, especially those like South Africa (SA) that have large rural populations and little or no economic activity. In addition to urban tourism, rural tourism is another type of tourism that is gaining popularity. This study conducted in the context of SA, KwaZulu-Natal, aimed at assessing the potentials of rural tourism in the communities surrounding Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP). A qualitative research method based on the explorative and interpretative paradigms was used. A purposive technique was used in a form of non-probability sampling. Focus group discussions were held with the participants. Three (3) focus group discussions were conducted with a total of twenty-four (24) participants, eight (8) participants in each group. Content analysis was performed to analyse data. Results revealed that the study area lacked access to basic infrastructure like decent road networks as well as access to clean water and sanitary facilities. The research further revealed that residents in the study area lacked fundamental understanding of what it takes to operate effective tourism enterprises. The study recommends that rural offerings be positioned and offered as parts of tourist products and services within this rural space, after the study area weaknesses have been addressed. The study further suggests that leadership should be committed to advancing the growth of rural tourism through capacity building, including training citizens and assisting in the creation of business strategies and the acquisition of funding for the launch of new ventures.

Author Biographies

Nomfundo Mzimela, Department of Recreation and Tourism, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa, E-mail: mzimela48@gmail.com,

PhD student

Department of Recreation and Tourism, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa, E-mail: mzimela48@gmail.com,

Ikechukwu Ezeuduji, Department of Recreation and Tourism, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa, E-mail: ezeudujii@unizulu.ac.za

Full Proffesor 

Department of Recreation and Tourism, University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa, E-mail: ezeudujii@unizulu.ac.za  

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Published

2024-03-25