Pathways to the past : tourism and heritage in the Little Karoo

Van Pletzen-Vos, Liezl (2009-03)

Thesis (DPhil (Geography and Environmental Studies))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The rapid growth of tourism, particularly heritage tourism, in South Africa is leading to a detrimental impact on heritage resources. Part of the problem lies in the lack of knowledge visitors have of the significance and vulnerability of the resources they are engaging with. Another part of the problem is the inherent conflict between the heritage tourism sector and the heritage management sector. Whilst sharing the same resource base, each sector has very different aims. Tourism seeks to exploit heritage resources, whilst heritage management seeks to conserve them. These problems are not necessarily restricted to South Africa and the study of its nature and extent is here limited to the Little Karoo. The Little Karoo is defined in this dissertation as the area in the Western Cape bounded by the Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains in the south, and the Swartberg in the north. It includes the towns of Montagu, Barrydale, Ladismith, Amalienstein, Zoar, Calitzdorp, Van Wyksdorp, Oudtshoorn, Dysselsdorp, De Rust and Herold. Of importance to this research is the fact that the Little Karoo can be accessed by a variety of passes, poorts and kloofs. This study has been undertaken in order to explore a non-empirical solution to the problem of the human impact on heritage resources through their thematic interpretation and presentation. This research also aims to improve the relationship between the tourism and heritage industries by introducing a shared terminology in the form of a model or framework. This framework is a way of organising and presenting the heritage story in such a way that both heritage tourism and heritage managers (and other stakeholders) can understand. The aim of the study is to devise a mechanism with which to identify, organise, interpret and present heritage resources in a thematic manner. The resulting thematic framework will hopefully enrich the heritage experience of visitors to heritage sites while providing guidance as to the vulnerability of heritage resources. A secondary objective is to develop common terminology for the heritage tourism and heritage management communities. The intent is to improve the relationship between these two sectors and thereby mitigate further damage to heritage resources. Data for this study was collected from several empirical sources. Extant and primary data was accessed. Extant data came from the pertinent published sources, while primary data was collected via a combination of personal and group face-to-face semi-structured interviews and personal observation of heritage sites in the Little Karoo during 2003 and 2004. The main outcome of this research was the development of a South African Heritage Tourism Thematic Framework (SAHTTF). The SAHTTF is, in part, based on and inspired by frameworks from the United States, Australia, Canada and South Africa. There are three tiers within the framework: theme groups, themes and sub-themes. The framework is intended to be flexible and the three tiers can be mixed and matched in whatever way best serves the story of the heritage resource in question. The five theme groups are: Development of the environment; Peopling our land; Way of life; Governing South Africa and Developing South Africa. The whole story of South Africa can be organised and presented using this framework. However, in order to keep this study within reasonable limits, the focus of the story was limited to the heritage story of the Little Karoo. The case studies of the Cango Caves, Cogmans Kloof, Swartberg Pass and Seweweeks Poort tested the effectiveness of the SAHTTF. It is recommended that the SAHTTF be presented to the heritage tourism and heritage management sectors for further evaluation and testing. This research has proved that the SAHTTF can be an effective tool in the identification, organization, interpretation and presentation of heritage resources.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die snelle groei van toerisme, veral erfnistoerisme, in Suid-Afrika het tot gevolg dat erfnisbronne onder groot druk geplaas word. Die probleem is deels dat besoekers geen of weinig kennis dra van die kwesbaarheid en belangrikheid van die bronne waarmee hulle handel. Verder is die probleem die belangebotsing tussen erfnistoerisme en erfnisbestuur sektore. Toerisme verbruik erfnisbronne, terwyl erfnisbestuur poog om dit te bewaar. Hierdie probleem is egter nie noodwendig eie aan Suid-Afrika nie en vir die doeleindes van dié studie word die omvang en aard daarvan slegs in die Klein Karoo ondersoek. Die Klein Karoo word beskou as die gebied in die Westelike Provinsie wat in die suide deur die Langeberge en Outenikwaberge en in die noorde deur die Swartberge begrens word. Dit omsluit die dorpe Montagu, Barrydale, Ladismith, Amalienstein, Zoar, Calitzdorp, Vanwyksdorp, Oudtshoorn, Dysselsdorp, De Rust en Herold. Die Klein Karoo kan deur talle passe, poorte en klowe bereik word – die belangrike feit wat in hierdie studie ontgin word. Die navorsing is onderneem ten einde 'n nie-empiriese oplossing vir die impak van die mens op erfnisbronne deur tematiese interpretasie en voorstelling te vind. Dit beoog om die verhouding tussen die bedryf van erfnistoerisme en erfnisbestuur te bestendig deur gedeelde terminologie in die vorm van 'n model of raamwerk. Hierdie raamwerk bied 'n metode om die verhale van erfnis so aan te bied dat beide die bedrywers van erfnistoerisme en -bestuur begrip daarvoor kan ontwikkel. Die doel van die navorsing is om 'n meganisme te vind waardeur die erfnisbronne op 'n tematiese wyse geïdentifiseer, georganiseer, vertolk en aangebied kan word. Hierdie tematiese raamwerk sal hopelik besoekers se ervaring van erfnisbronne verryk en leiding gee rakende die kwesbaarheid van terreine. Data vir die navorsing is uit verskeie empiriese bronne versamel. Bestaande en primêre data is gebruik. Bestaande data was afkomstig van toepaslike publikasies en primêre data is versamel en ingewin via 'n kombinasie van individuele en groepsonderhoude deur middel van semigestruktureerde onderhoude, asook persoonlike waarneming van verskillende erfnisterrreine in die Klein Karoo tussen 2003 en 2004. Die belangrikste opbrengs uit die navorsing is die ontwikkeling van 'n Suid-Afrikanse Erfnistoerisme Tematiese Raamwerk (South Afican Heritage Tourism Thematic Framework – SAHTTF). Die SAHTTF is deels gebaseer op, en geïnspireer deur, soortgelyke raamwerke in die VSA, Australië, Kanada en Suid-Afrika. Daar is drie vlakke in die raamwerk: tematiese groepe, temas en sub-temas. Die raamwerk is aanpasbaar en die drie vlakke kan in enige kombinasie gebruik word om die verhaal of geskiedenis van die betrokke bron ten beste voor te stel. Die vyf tematiese groepe is: Onwikkeling van die omgewing; Bevolking van ons land; Lewenswyses; Regering van Suid-Afrika; en Ontwikkeling van Suid-Afrika. Die hele erfnisverhaal van Suid-Afrika kan georganiseer en voorgestel word deur dié raamwerk. Ten einde hierdie navorsing hanteerbaar te hou, is op die erfnisverhaal van die Klein Karoo gekonsentreer. As gevallestudies het die Kangogrotte, Kogmanskloof, Swartbergpas en Seweweekspoort as toets vir die doeltreffendheid van die raamwerk gedien. Die navorsing beveel aan dat die SAHTTF aan die beheerstrukture van erfnistoerisme en erfnisbestuur voorgelê word vir verdere evaluering en toetsing. Die navorsing het bevind dat die SAHTTF 'n doeltreffende instrument kan wees in die identifisering, organisering, vertolking en voorstelling van ons erfnis bronne.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/3969
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