The South African National Parks (SANParks) said in an effort to transform the National Parks visitor demographics it has recoded good results with the increase in Black visitors.
According to SANParks Managing Executive Tourism & Marketing Glenn Phillips, there has been an impressive 11.4% increase from 389 624 to 434 216 in the last 2012/2013 financial year.”
He said a steep increase in total black overnight visitors in national parks grew by 19.4% from 40 534 to 48 390.
In other developments, Phillips said when compared to trends in the industry, SANParks has had a good year. “We forecast 2012/13 to be a flat year, however year end results revealed a 1.7% growth with an overall occupancy of 70% compared to 68.3% in the previous year.
The unit nights sold were 527 755 compared to the 525 495 sold in the previous year. Phillips said in terms of Camp person sold an impressive 696 234 were sold and the previous saw only 658 747 sold.
According to Phillips, increases in international markets were seen from Germany with 16.9% increase, France 17.6% increase, United States of America 7.2%, while declines were recorded in the United Kingdom by 3.1% and Holland 1.2%.
He said SANParks flagship project, the Wild Card, continues to be one of the most popular access mechanism programmes in the country. This year the organisation has sold 100 179 cards.
South African visitors comprise 75.8% of total visitors to national parks.
He said that from a financial perspective, SANParks also recorded a good growth in tourism income. “Despite the unfavorable global economic situation, SANParks has seen good returns in tourism income. In the 2012/13 financial year a total of R848,988 million was recorded in comparison to R762,763 million recorded in the 2011/12 financial year.