G.P. Nortjé & Professor K. Mearnsr
African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, Volume 6 (4)
This study investigated the relationship between environmental impact and eco-tourists’ perceptions of it, in the Makuleke Contractual Park(MCP), Kruger National Park. The emphasis was on environmental damage caused by game drive vehicles driving off-road. The study wasbased on 112 completed visitor questionnaires, with an equal number of foreign and local tourists who completed the questionnaire. Tourists had significantly variable demographic characteristics. Tourists’ environmental perceptions varied, but a significant majority of tourists agreed that off-road driving has a negative impact on the environment. Contradictions exist between what they know or perceive as being damaging and what they prefer to act on. Results indicate a need for improved visitor education on the possible negative impacts of demands for off-road driving.Visitors were required to complete the first section regarding their demographics, followed by indicating their perceptions in sections two to five of the questionnaire on Likert-type scales. The questions were structured in such a way that it would be possible to draw correlations between the tourists’ environmental values and their perceptions on off-road driving.