Application of geospatial technology for gap analysis in tourism planning for the Western Cape

Van der Merwe, Johannes H. ; Van Niekerk, Adriaan (2013-04-05)

CITATION: Van der Merwe, J. H. & Van Niekerk, A. 2013. Application of geospatial technology for gap analysis in tourism planning for the Western Cape. South African Journal of Science, 109(3/4), Art. #1226, doi:10.1590/sajs.2013/1226.

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We report on the use of modern spatial computing technology in the development of spatial tourism policy and planning in the context of a bounded resource base. We refer briefly to provincial tourism development policy, expand on the tourism marketing framework and use the express tourist preferences to determine suitability indicators or attraction features for a spatial tourism resource base, paying special attention to the conceptual foundations of attraction and the mapping of tourism potential variables. We applied the methodology to a combination of tourism products in the Western Cape Province of South Africa in an approach that involved applying the spatial multiple criteria evaluation through the weighted linear combination of spatial factor layers as images in a geographical information system. We performed an analysis of the gap between tourism potential and tourism resource provision at a spatial resolution of individual towns’ spheres of influence, as represented by Thiessen polygons. The outcome in map format demonstrates the applicability of the technique to the Western Cape. The fine-scale spatial result was analysed for its strategic planning implications. Our results are useful for entrepreneurial and regulatory planning and can be replicated in different spatial locations if the appropriate database can be constructed.

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