Nature-based tourism : a community ecological and socio-economic development planning approach : a case study of Goba Area, Maputo - Mozambique

Soto, Samuel João (2001)

Assignment (MFor)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The ongoing environmental destruction that results from the continuous use of the woodland resources for economic purposes has caused extensive changes in the original vegetation of Goba area of southern Mozambique. Developing alternative sources of income for communities can reduce their dependence on the production of charcoal, building materials and wood carvings. The lack of infrastructure and remoteness of these localities from the markets make alternatives economically unfeasible and thus unsustainable for rural development. Ineffective policy planning that does not address the problem in a holistic way causes the dilemma of local people in remote areas. The challenge at Goba is to develop alternative livelihoods that are economically, socially and ecologically sustainable. Nature-based tourism has been identified as such an alternative to realize this goal. However, this development requires incentives for sustainable resource use, which can be created either by expanding the benefits accruing from the efficient use of the resource or by changing the distribution of the benefits and cost in favor of the users. In many cases, local communities have developed tourism initiatives in ecologically fragile, remote areas, without sound planning based on detailed ecological and socio-economic information. Uncontrolled flows of tourists in unplanned tourist destinations degrade these areas. These destinations lose their aesthetic appeal; tourism flow decreases and consequently new attractions are opened. This study is of a land use planning nature and follows a combination of existing framework tools. The primary aim of this study was to develop simple guidelines for nature-based tourism that contribute to the conservation and management of the rural woodland areas as well as to the improved socio-economic welfare of rural communities in the Goba area. The study used baseline information for planning, focusing on the tourism market and on the ecological and socia-economical aspects of the siudy area. Two strategies were used to obtain the information, namely market research and attraction resources analysis. The market research in the southern part of Mozambique shows that: International tourist flows are at present from Southern African countries mostly South Africa (more than 50%), North America, Europe and Australia or Asia. Mozambique is perceived mainly as a sunny beach destination for vacations and weekends though most of the tourists were engaged in multi-destination itineraries that included safari, wildernesses, bird watching, touring and curiosity. There was no evidence from any tourist that nature tourism was the reason to visit Mozambique, but many of them said that they would visit ecotourism and nature tourism destinations if available. The average daily expenditure per tourist was found to be US$47. Tourists from long-haul distances had higher disposable expenditures and stayed longer in both attraction assets and in the country. Sixty nine per cent (69%) of surveyed tourists were over 50 years of age and they were mostly males (57%). The results show clearly that many issues must be taken into consideration where the development of ecotourism and nature-based tourism, especially in rural areas, is concerned. Such considerations should include (i) careful planning of the destinations based on the local developmental policy; (ii) developing saleable tourist products and packages and (iii), promotional strategies to expand the market to capture tourists with high average daily expenditure. The rural communities can then have a chance to develop nature-based tourism that uses outstanding natural resources. The resources analysis study results revealed that: The rugged topographic, climatic conditions of Goba water catchment area and the distance from settlements have naturally preserved local forest resources from human utilization. The area has well conserved and differentiated natural scenic landscape. These scenic landscapes have recreational values as well as environmental contrast, scientific discovery potential and retention of vanishing biological species. To preserve or improve the management of these landscapes, it is essential to consider recreation use in relation to all other potential values. Few existing landscapes showed a relative ability to absorb impacts produced by facility development with a minimum negative effect on the visual and ecological quality of the landscape. The majority of the landscapes have some potential for primitive and sensitive recreational spectrum. All these results are consistent with results from similar studies on watershed and water catchment ecology. Given the constraints on the environmental settings of the Goba landscapes, it is recommended that the basic and logic framework development should attract tourists interested in the more primitive portion of the recreational spectrum and should have fewer facilities of small-scale building. These facilities should be rustic in character with less service and more emphasis on self-reliance. Improved management of the Goba ecosystem is needed to maintain the ecological functions of the catchment and local culture and rurality. In conclusion, this study suggests that, if on these remote fragile ecosystems local communities can protect and market attractive quality-of-life-amenities, maintain a relatively low cost of living, and offer serviceable links to global telecommunication infrastructures in order to attract tourists and retirees, these communities can survive and may even thrive as local economies. An incentive planning method and sustained extension outreach effort in rural development, which focuses on nourishing local action at the grassroots level, will complement such a policy strategy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Omvattende verandering van die natuurlike plantegroei in die Goba area van suiderlike Mosambiek is teweeg gebring deur die deurlopende bentting van die omgewing deur die misbruik van die natuurlike hulpbronne vir ekonomiese wins. Die ontwikkeling van alternatiewe inkomstebronne vir plaaslike gemeenskap kan hul afhanklikheid van hout vir die produksie van houtskool, boumateriaal en houtsneewerk verminder. Die gebrek aan infrastruktuur en die groot afstande na markte maak die verkoop van die houtprodukte in stedelike gebiede onprakties en dus nie 'n volhoubare oplossing vir landelike ontwikkeling nie. Oneffektiewe beleidsbeplanning wat die probleem nie holisites benader nie veroorsaak 'n dilemma vir inwoners in afgeleë gebiede. Die uitdaging in Goba is om alternatiewe bronne van inkomste te ontwikkel wat ekonomies, sosiaal en ekologies volhoubaar is. Natuurgebaseerde toerisme is geïdentifiseer as 'n moontlike alternatief wat aan die doel kan beantwoord. Die ontwikkeling van eko-toerisme sal egter net slaag indien die plaaslike bevolking genoegsaam aangemoedig word om die natuurlike hulpbronne op 'n volhoubare basis te benut. Dit kan gedoen word óf deur winste terug te ploeg in die omgewing en so die toerisme basis te vergroot óf deur winsdeling op 'n gebruikersgunstige voordele- en kostebasis te behartig. In baie gevalle het plaaslike gemeenskappe toerisme inisiatiewe in sensitiewe, afgeleë gebiede ontwikkel, sonder deeglike beplanning wat op uitgebreide ekologiese en sosio-ekonomiese inligting berus. Die onbeheerde toeriste aanloop na onbeplande areas lei tot die stelselmatige vernietiging daarvan. Hierdie bestemmings verloor hul estetiese waarde en het tot gevolg dat toeriste ander ongerepte areas gaan soek. Hierdie studie handeloor die beplanning van grondgebruik en volg 'n kombinasie van bestaande raamwerk prosedure. Die primêre doel van hierdie ondersoek is om eenvoudige riglyne vir natuurgebaseede eko-toerisme te ontwikkel wat 'n bydra kan lewer tot die bewaring en bestuur van die natuurlike wonde en wat die sosioekonomiese welvaart van die plaaslike bevolking van Goba sal bevorder. Die studie maak gebruik van basiese inligting vir beplanning, en fokus op die toeristemark sowel as op die ekologiese en sosioekonomiese aspekte van die studie-area. Die twee strategieë wat gevolg is om inligting in te win is marknavorsing en die analise van toeriste-attraksie hulpbronne. Marknavorsing in die suide van Mosambiek toon dat die meerderheid internasionale besoekers aan Mosambiek afkomstig is van lande in Suidelike Afrika (Suid-Afrika alleen 50%), en daarna uit Noord- Amerika, Europa and Australië/Asië. Mosambiek word hoofsaaklik as 'n sonnige strandoord-bestemming vir vakansies en naweke beskou, hoewel die meeste toeriste 'n multi-bestemming reisplan volg wat safaris, ornitologie, reis en besoeke aan besienswaardighede insluit. Daar is geen bewys gevind dat enige toeris Mosambiek besoek het met eko-toerisme as doel nie, maar baie sou belangstelom dit te doen indien ekoen natuurgebaseerde toeriste-betemmings beskikbaar was. Die gemiddelde daaglikse uitgawe per toeris was US$47. Toeriste wat groot afstande moes aflê om hul bestemming te bereik het meer beskikbare fondse en bly langer, beide in die land en by verskillende attraksies. Van die toeriste by wie die opname gemaak is 69% ouer as 50 jaar en die meerderheid (57%) was mans. Die resultate toon dat daar talle faktore is om in ag te neem by die ontwikkeling van 'n landelike area vir natuurgebaseede en eko-toerisme. Daar moet aandag gegee word aan (i) deeglike beplanning van die bestemming gebaseer op die plaaslike ontwikkelingsbeleid; (ii) die ontwikkeling van verkoopbare toeriste produkte en pakkette;en (iii), promosie strategieë om die mark uit te brei om toeriste wat meer spandeer te lok. Die landelike gemeenskappe word sodoende die geleentheid gebied om hul besondere natuurlike hulpbronne te ontwikkel vir natuurgebaseerde toerisme. Die hulpbron-analise toon dat die afgeleë en bergagtige topografie en die klimaatsomstandighede van Goba se wateropvangsgebied as natuurlike beskerming vir inheense woude teen die benutting deur die plaaslike bevolking gedien het. Die area is goed bewaar met skouspelagtige natuurtonele. Die skouspelagtige landskap beskik oor rekreasiewaarde sowel as omgewingskontras, potensiaal vir wetenskaplike ontdekkings en vir bewaring van seldsame fauna en flora. Om hierdie landskap te bewaar of die bestuur daarvan te verbeter, moet gebruik vir rekreasie in verhouding tot die ander potensiële waardes beskou word. Daar is beperkte areas wat die vermoë besit om ontwikkeling te absorbeer en waar die verbouing van fasiliteite slegs 'n minimale negatiewe effek op die visuele en ekologiese kwaliteit sal hê. Die potensiaal bestaan egter vir alle areas om op 'n beperkte skaalontwikkel te word vir die primitiewe en sensitiewe sektor van die rekreasie spektrum. Die resultate van die vavorsing stem ooreen met soortgelyke studies van waterskeiding- en wateropvangsgebied-ekologie en ontwikkeling. Vir die gegewe omgewingsbeperkings van Goba word dit aanbeveel dat ontwikkeling op 'n basiese vlak geskied om daadie proporsie van die toeriste te lok wat in die sogenaamde wildernis-ervaring belangstel. Geboue en beperkte fasiliteite moet slegs op klein skaal opgerig word. Die fasiliteite moet by die omgewing inpas en die klem moet op selfvoorsiening eerder as op dienstelewering val. Die bestuur van die Goba ekosisteem moet egter verbeter om die ekologiese funksie en die plaaslike kultuur en landelikeid te behou. Die bevinding van die studie is dat indien ver-afgeleë en sensitiewe ekosisteme deur die plaaslike bevolking bestuur en beskerm word, dit tot ekonomiese welvaart van die landelike gebiede kan lei. Hierdie areas moet bestuur word sodat die landelike karakter as toeriste aantreklikheid behou word, dat die lewenskoste relatief laag bly en dat verbindings met die buitewêreld op telekommunikasie vlak ingestel word. Beplanning moet op 'n aansporingsbasis gegrond wees met uitreikingsprogramme met landelike ontwikkeling as doel. Aanmoediging van plaaslike aksie op grondvlak behoort so 'n beleidstrategie te versterk.

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