Original Research

Community-based ecotourism project in communities adjacent to the Addo Elephant National Park: Will households pay for it?

Babatope E. Akinyemi, Abbyssinia Mushunje
Koedoe | Vol 62, No 1 | a1571 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v62i1.1571 | © 2020 Babatope E. Akinyemi, Abbyssinia Mushunje | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 March 2019 | Published: 22 July 2020

About the author(s)

Babatope E. Akinyemi, Agricultural Economics and Extension Department, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Abbyssinia Mushunje, Agricultural Economics and Extension Department, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa


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Abstract

Management of protected areas (PAs) that includes previously excluded households is gaining approval from both households living in communities adjacent to PAs and PA managers globally. This article examined households willingness to pay (WTP) for community-based ecotourism (CBE) project in adjacent communities to the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP). The study adopted two-stage sampling procedure to interview 198 respondents using double-bounded contingent valuation (CV) questionnaire administered through face-to-face interviews in five communities adjacent to the AENP. Quantitative data analysis was performed with descriptive statistics, pairwise correlation and seemingly unrelated bivariate probit. Findings reveal a strong association between respondent’s support for CBE implementation and WTP. The null hypothesis that WTP is independent of the first bid price is strongly rejected. It was observed that first- and second-bid prices, and seven other variables determined WTP. Lastly, households are willing to pay between R121.00 and R125.00 monthly for a period of 3 years to support development of CBE initiative in their communities.

Conservation implications: This study established that households in communities adjacent to the AENP are in support of the establishment of CBE projects as long as they will be beneficial to them and their communities. This support is demonstrated by households’ willingness to pay for the implementation of community-based projects. Hence, we concluded that the implementation of a CBE project can offer a market for craft-making, village accommodation and village tours that can showcase adjacent communities to visitors and thus assist the park management in strengthening the existing relationship between the park and communities.


Keywords

Addo elephant; bivariate probit; contingent valuation; community-based ecotourism; protected areas

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