Crime as deterrent to sustainable tourism growth? : perspectives on the impact of crime on tourism in the Western Cape

Dalhousie, Landi (2005-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study analyses the impact of crime on sustainable tourism growth in the Western Cape. It investigates tourists' perceptions of crime in the province and the role of the media in creating or influencing these perceptions. This study also provides an overview of the most important government initiatives and policies that have been undertaken and implemented at local, provincial and national levels. These policies are discussed and evaluated to determine whether it has in fact brought or encouraged sustainable tourism growth in the Western Cape. A survey, with a sample size of 25 respondents was undertaken during the period of April to June 2005 and comprised 13 tour operators, eight tourism bureaus and four travel agencies, which are all based in the Western Cape. The aim of the study was to gain insight into the travel motivations and patterns of the thousands of tourists that visit the province every year and their perceptions regarding crime, from the viewpoint of these primary producers (i.e. the travel intermediaries) in the tourism production system. Crime does not only affect residents, but also has an impact on tourist behaviour and deters visitors from visiting a country, as most tourists are risk-aversive and consider such factors when deciding on a destination. Only a small number of tourists are disappointed with the crime situation when visiting the Western Cape, but the majority of tourists still regard it as a serious problem, and possible deterrent, of the province. These perceptions do have a tendency to change more positively once tourists have visited the area. Nevertheless, respondents feel obliged to warn tourists against crime or give them advice about their safety and security. The various levels of government are committed towards improving safety and security in South Africa and numerous policies and initiatives have been developed and implemented. However, most do not specifically focus on crimes against tourists. Safety and security is considered as a prerequisite for a successful tourism industry, thus both local residents and tourists should receive equal attention with regards to safety and security from the government. However, many respondents are unaware of the existence of the government's initiatives to combat crime, which raises doubts about the effectiveness of these initiatives, their implementation and their intended benefits. The government should formulate comprehensive and constructive provincial policies in order to address the potentially detrimental impacts of crime on sustainable tourism growth in the Western Cape.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie analiseer die impak van misdaad op volhoubare toerisme groei in die Wes-Kaap. Dit ondersoek toeriste se persepsies van misdaad in die provinsie en die rol van die media om hierdie persepsies te beinvloed. Die studie gee 'n oorsig oor die belangrikste regeringsinisiatiewe en -beleide wat geimplimenteer is op plaaslike, provinsiale and nasionale vlakke. Hierdie beleide word bespreek en geevalueer om vas te stel of dit daadwerklik volhoubare toerisme groei in die Wes-Kaap bewerkstellig en aanmoedig. 'n Opname met 'n steekproef van 25 respondente was onderneem gedurende April tot Junie 2005. Die steekproef sluit in 13 toer operateurs, agt toerismeburo's en vier reisagentskappe, almal gebasseer in die Wes-Kaap. Die doel van die studie was om insig te kry oor die motivering en reispatrone van die toeriste wat jaarliks die provinsie besoek, asook wat hul persepsies oor misdaad is soos waargeneem deur die primere produsente (d.w. s. reisbemiddelaars) in die toerisme produksiesisteem. Misdaad affekteer nie net inwoners nie, maar het ook 'n impak op toeriste se gedrag en kan selfs toeriste weerhou daarvan om die land te besoek, want veiligheid en sekuriteit is van die belangrikste oorwegingsfaktore wanneer daar besluit word om 'n land te besoek. Slegs 'n paar toeriste is teleurgesteld met die misdaad situasie wanneer hulle die Wes-Kaap besoek, maar die meerderheid beskou dit steeds as 'n ernstige probleem, of selfs afskrikmiddel, in die provinsie. Hierdie persepsies is geneig om te verander nadat die toeriste die area besoek het. Respondente beskou dit egter steeds as hul plig om toeriste teen misdaad te waarsku. Op verskeie vlakke van regering word daar voortdurend gestreef na veiligheid en sekuriteit in Suid-Afrika te verbeter. Verskeie regeringsbeleide en inisiatiewe is al ontwikkel en geimplimenteer, maar die meeste fokus nie spesifiek op misdaad teen toeriste nie. Veiligheid en sekuriteit word beskou as 'n voorvereiste vir 'n suksesvolle toerisme industrie, daarom moet beide inwoners en toeriste dieselfde aandag met betrekking tot veiligheid en sekuriteit van die regering ontvang. Dis egter kommerwekkend dat meeste van die respondente onbewus is van hierdie inisiatiewe om misdaad te bekamp. Die regering moet fokus daarop om 'n omvattende en konstruktiewe provinsiale beleid te formuleer om sodoende die nadelige impak van misdaad op volhoubare toerismegroei in die Wes-Kaap aan te spreek.

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