West coast National Park 2012

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West coast National Park 2012

  1. 1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe authors would like to thank the following people and institutions:1. The staff at Tourism Research in Economic Environs & Society (TREES) at the North-West University for their help.2. The staff at South African National Parks, especially Mr Glenn Phillips, for financial assistance and support during the survey as well as Park Manageress, Mrs Patricia Bopane, and her staff, especially those at the Postberg section.3. The following students of the North-West University for the fieldwork: • Annari van Aswegen • Esmarie Myburgh • Linda-Louise Geldenhuys4. Malcolm Ellis for the language editing.5. All the visitors who completed the questionnaires. i
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS1. Introduction 12. Aims of Research 23. Method of Research 24. Results 4DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE 44.1 Gender 44.2 Language 44.3 Age 54.4 Marital status 64.5 Country residence 64.6 Province of residence 74.7 Level of education 74.8 Annual gross income 8ECONOMIC PROFILE 94.9 Number of people in travelling group 94.10 Number of people paid for 94.11 Mode of transport 104.12 Number of day visits to National Parks over three years 114.13 Expenditure 11CONSUMER PROFILE 124.14 Reasons for visiting 124.15 Memorable viewing experience 134.16 Media effectiveness 154.17 Decision to visit Park 154.18 Initiator of visit to Park 164.16 Age of first exposure to Park 164.17 Wild Card information 174.18 Service delivery rate 185. Conclusions & Recommendations 195.1 Profiling day visitors to West Coast National Park 195.2 Recommendations 215.3 Researchers’ highlights and disappointments 22 ii
  3. 3. LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Age 5 Table 2: Province of residence 7 Table 3: Number of people in group 9 Table 4: Number of people paid for 10 Table 5: Number of visits to National Parks over the past 3 years as a day visitor 11 Table 6: Expenditure 12 Table 7: Motivational factors 13 Table 8: Memorable viewing aspects 14 Table 9: Heard about the Park 15 Table 10: Visit decision 16 Table 11: Visit initiator 16 Table 12: Age of first exposure 17 Table 13: Service delivery 18 Table 14: Profile of day visitors 19 LIST OF FIGURESFigure 1 Gender 4Figure 2: Home language 5Figure 3: Marital status 6Figure 4: Country of residence 6Figure 5: Level of education 8Figure 6: Income 8Figure 7: Transport type 10Figure 8: Wild Card owners 17 iii
  4. 4. LIST OF MAPSMap 1: Location of West Coast National Park 1Map 2: Map of West Coast National Park 2 iv
  5. 5. 1. IntroductionThe West Coast National Park (WCNP) is located approximately 100km north of CapeTown, and surrounds the Langebaan Lagoon, a Ramsar site ( that is, a wetland ofinternational importance). The Park is situated on the West Coast Route, one that ischaracterised by a variety of small towns (Yzerfontein, Saldanha and Darling) that offer awide variety of tourism products. The pristine wetlands and landscapes offer exceptionalbirdlife, spring flowers and white beaches edging azure waters that stretch into the earlymorning mists. Thousands of seabirds roost on the sheltered islands while brooding saltmarshes host vast concentrations of migrant waders from the northern hemisphere. Duringthe spring in the West Coast National Park, the Strandveld is embroidered with a multi-huedtapestry of flowers and, in Postberg Reserve, many different antelopes can be viewed in asetting that is as unique as it is idyllic. From August to November, whale watching fromTsaarbank, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is a popular activity.One of the key objectives of the WCNP is to develop into a fully operational National Parkthat offers a variety of tourism products, while enhancing the overall tourist experience in asustainable manner.South African National Parks (SANParks) is currently recognised as the leading, self-ownedand -managed tourism organisation in South Africa. In furtherance of its mandate, SANParksaspires to be seen as ‘The Nature Based Tourism Destination of Choice’ in the country.Map 1: Location of West Coast National Park (Source: Google Maps) 1
  6. 6. Map 2: Map of West Coast National Park 2. Aims of ResearchThis research has the following four primary aims: • To determine the market profile of day visitors to WCNP; • To determine the spending patterns and preferences of day visitors to the WCNP; • To analyse trends, and to make recommendations with regard to marketing; and • To determine the quality and standard of current service levels within the WCNP. 3. Method of ResearchIn order to achieve the above aims, the approach below was adopted.A questionnaire was developed to focus on the following aspects: • Demographic data; • Expenditure patterns; • Reasons for visiting the Park; • Marketing mediums; • Service levels; and • Factors that influence the choice of holiday destination. 2
  7. 7. The following method was used for the day visitors (that is, excursionists):Starting with the data from the pilot study first completed in 2007, this was now the fifth timethat this research has been conducted. The survey was conducted between 8 August 2012and 13 August 2012. Three students were placed strategically at the gate to the PostbergReserve, the main attraction in the Park during the flower season. With the help of the Parkrangers, questionnaires were distributed to day visitors, when they stopped at the gate topresent their permit for the day. Four hundred and sixty-six (466) usable questionnaireswere captured during the course of 6 days. In 2010, 371 usable questionnaires werecaptured. The lower number was believed to be due to the poor weather conditions. Onlyday visitors (per definition) completed the questionnaire. For the purpose of this report, anexcursionist is a person who makes an economic input with regard to any area other thanthat in which s/he generally lives and works, or who voluntarily visits a place, away fromher/his normal abode, for a period of less than 24 hours. For the purpose of this report, anyreference to day visitors implies excursionists. This information, together with that obtainedin previous surveys, will be useful in developing a total picture of day visitors visiting theWest Coast National Park. 3
  8. 8. 4. RESULTS Demographic Profile4.1 GenderMore than half of the respondents (57%) to West Coast National Park (WCNP) in2012 were female while 43% were male (Figure 1). Male 43% Female 57%Figure 1: Gender4.2 LanguageAccording to Figure 2, half of the respondents (50%) were English-speaking while47% were Afrikaans-speaking and 3% spoke other languages that included Dutch,Flemish, French, German, Italian and Taiwanese. 4
  9. 9. 50% 47% 3% Afrikaans English OtherFigure 2: Home Language4.3 AgeTable 1: AgeAGE Sept 2007 Aug/Sept 2008 Aug/Sept 2009 Aug 2010 Aug 2012 2%< 19 yrs 3% 1% - - 5%20–24yrs 2% 5% 1% 4% 15%25-34 yrs 8% 14% 12% 9% 31%35-49 yrs 15% 26% 25% 18% 35%50-64 yrs 32% 28% 35% 40% 11%65-79 yrs 40% 26% 25% 26% 1%80+ yrs - - 2% 3%Table 1 clearly shows that the largest group of respondents in 2012 were those between 50and 64 years of age (35%), followed by the groups of visitors between 35 and 49 years ofage (31%), and then visitors between 25 and 34 years (15%). The average age ofrespondents to WCNP in 2012 was 47.2 years, significantly lower, when compared to 2010’s56 years, 2009’s 54 years and 2007’s 56 years, respectively, averages. 5
  10. 10. 4.4 Marital statusThe majority of respondents (72%) were married (Figure 3), followed by the 16% who weresingle. Seven percent (7%) were living together, 4% were divorced and just 1% waswidowed. 72% 16% 7% 4% 1% Single Married Living together Divorced Widow/erFigure 3: Marital status4.5 Country of residenceAs shown in the Figure 4, almost all of the respondents (97%) were South African while 3%were from a number of foreign countries that included: Australia, China, Dubai, Finland,Germany, Italy; Korea, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Switzerland, the United ArabEmirates, the UK and the USA. 97% 3% RSA OtherFigure 4: Country of Residence 6
  11. 11. 4.6 Province of residenceThe main market for WCNP during August 2012 was the respondents from the WesternCape (90%), followed by 7% who travelled from Gauteng and 1% who, respectively,travelled from the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and the Free State. When compared to theprevious surveys, there was an increase in the number of respondents from the WesternCape while the respondents from, in particular, Gauteng showed a sharp decrease (Table2).Table 2: Province of residencePROVINCE OF Sept 2007 Aug/Sept 2008 Aug/Sept 2009 Aug 2010 Aug 2012RESIDENCEWestern Cape 75% 63% 74% 68% 90%KwaZulu-Natal 4% 4% 5% 2% -Eastern Cape 1% - 2% 7% 1%Gauteng 13% 25% 12% 17% 7%Northern Cape - - - - -Limpopo 1% 4% 3% 1% -Mpumalanga 3% - 2% 1% 1%Free State 2% 4% 1% 2% 1%North West 1% - 1% 2% -4.7 Level of educationFrom Figure 5, it can be seen that respondents at WCNP were mostly well-qualified (81%),with 38% who had obtained a diploma or degree, 23% who had postgraduate qualificationsand 20% who had obtained a professionally qualification. Seventeen percent (17%) hadobtained a matric certificate and 1% had, respectively, either not been schooled or claimedsome other type of qualification. 7
  12. 12. 38% 23% 20% 17% 1% 1% No school Matric Diploma, degree Postgraduate Professional OtherFigure 5: Level of education4.8 Annual gross incomeTwenty-one percent (21%) of respondents to WCNP in August 2012 had earned an annualincome of more than R552 001, followed by 17% who had earned, respectively, betweenR140 001 and R221 000 or between R20 001 and R140 000 (Figure 6). Thirteen percent(13%) had earned, respectively, between R305 001 and R431 000 or R221 001 and R305000. These groups were followed by 11% who had earned between R431 001 and R552000 or and then by those who had earned less than R20 000 (8%). R552 001 > 21% R431 001 - R 552 000 11% R305 001 - R431 000 13% R221 001 - R305 000 13% R140 001 - R221 000 17% R20 001 - R 140 000 17% < R20 000 8%Figure 6: Income 8
  13. 13. Economic profile4.9 Number of people in travelling groupAccording to Table 3, 36% of respondents had travelled in groups of two people (36%), 26%had travelled in groups of four and 17% had travelled in groups of three. Ten percent (10%)of visitors chose to travel in a group of five persons. The average size of travelling groups in2012 was 2.28 persons.Table 3: Number of people in groupNUMBER OF PERCENTAGEPEOPLE 20121 person 2%2 people 36%3 people 17%4 people 26%5 people 10%6 people 3%7 people 3%8 people 1%9 people 1%10 people 1%4.10 Number of people paid forThirty-nine percent (39%) of respondents to WCNP were financially responsible for twopersons (Table 4), followed by those who had paid for four persons (22%) and those whohad paid for three (15%). On average, respondents were financially responsible for 2.7persons. This correlates well with 2010’s average of 2.6 persons, but is somewhat less thanthe averages of 2008 and 2009 that were 3.2 and 3.6 persons, respectively. 9
  14. 14. Table 4: Number of people paid forNUMBER OF PERCENTAGE PERCENTAGE PERCENTAGE PERCENTAGEPEOPLE 2008 2009 2010 2012No one - - - 7%1 person 6% 12% 10% 8%2 people 60% 42% 53% 39%3 people 2% 18% 15% 15%4 people 13% 18% 14% 22%5 people 6% 4% 4% 7%6 people 4% 2% 2% 2%7 people 2% 1% 1% -8 people 2% 1% 1% -9 people - 1% - -16 people - 1% - -4.11 Mode of transportAlmost half of the respondents (45%) chose to travel to the Park in a sedan (Figure 7), while26% had travelled in a 4x4, 13% in a 2x4 or “bakkie” and 12% in a leisure vehicle. Threepercent (3%) had driven in a kombi and 1% had used other forms of transport that includeda bus. 45% 26% 12% 13% 3% 1% 4x4 Kombi Leisure vehicle Sedan 2x4/bakkie OtherFigure 7: Transport type 10
  15. 15. 4.12 Number of day visits to National Parks over three years Thirty-six percent (36%) of respondents had visited National Parks once (Table 5) during the preceding three years, followed by those who had visited twice (23%) and those who had visited three times (20%). Respondents had visited National Parks as day visitors an average of 3.31 times during the period under review. Table 5: Number of visits to National Parks over the past 3 years as a day visitorNUMBER OF % (Sept 2007) % (Aug/Sept 2008) % (Aug/Sept 2009) % (Aug 2010) % (Aug 2012)VISITSOnce 42% 46% 46% 41% 36%Twice 27% 19% 27% 18% 23%3 Times 13% 17% 18% 19% 20%4 Times 6% 2% 2% 5% 6%5 Times 4% 4% 2% 4% 2%6 Times 2% 8% 2% 4% 4%7 Times 1% - - 2% 2%8 Times 1% - - - 2%9 Times - - - 1% -10+ Times 4% 4% 3% 6% 5% 4.13 Expenditure The average spending per group during August 2012 at WCNP was R 314.63, which was a decline of R 126.37 from the spending in 2010 (Table 6). The highest spending categories in 2012 included: entrance and conservation fees (R 98.20), transport (R 64.42), accommodation (R 47.93) and restaurants (R 42.19). 11
  16. 16. Table 6: ExpenditureITEMS (Sept 2007) (Aug/Sept (Aug/Sept (Aug 2010) (Aug 2012) 2008) 2009)Entrance & conservation fee R55.38 R61.91 R 72.12 R 61.41 R 98.20Accommodation - - - - R 47.93Restaurants R32.13 R41.92 R 44.30 R 29.32 R 42.19Food R8.91 R12.87 R24.82 R 12.20 R 35.90Beverages R11.56 R7.11 R 15.18 R 8.31 R 15.82Transport R239.91 R66.58 R64.73 R 305.42 R 64.42Souvenirs and jewellery R2.13 R1.32 R 3.52 R 10.20 R 4.82Clothes - - - - R 0.88Other R5.62 R32.24 R 27.42 R 14.58 R 4.48AVERAGE SPENDING PER R 355.64 R 223.95 R 252.08 R 441.00 R 314.63GROUP Consumer profile 4.14 Reasons for visiting Respondents were asked to indicate how important the motives listed in Table 7 were for respondents when deciding to visit the Park. The following motives were rated as important to extremely important: • To appreciate the flowers 95% • To relax 93% • To be able to experience this amazing natural 93% phenomenon • The Park is easily accessible 91% • To get away from my routine 87% • To photograph animals and plants 83% • It is part of my lifestyle 83% 12
  17. 17. The following motives were rated as slightly important to not at all important: • The Park has great accommodation facilities 64% • For the geological aspects 55%Table 7: Motivational factors Not at all Slightly Important Very Extremely important important important important 5% 8% 21% 30% 36%a. To get away from my routine 3% 4% 13% 35% 45%b. To relax 12% 10% 25% 28% 25%c. To explore a new destination 12% 11% 20% 29% 28%d. To spend time with myfriends 3% 2% 8% 25% 62%e. To appreciate the flowers 8% 9% 19% 23% 41%f. To photograph animals andplants 20% 12% 26% 18% 24%g. It is a spiritual experience 49% 15% 15% 13% 8%h. The Park has greataccommodation facilities 35% 20% 25% 11% 9%i. For the geological aspects 4% 3% 18% 31% 44%j. To be able to experience thisamazing natural phenomenon 4% 5% 22% 34% 35%k. The Park is easily accessible 8% 9% 29% 25% 29%l. It is part of my lifestyle4.15 Memorable viewing experienceListed in Table 8 are various aspects that can lead to a memorable flower viewingexperience. The following were rated as important to extremely important: • Being able to clearly see the flowers 97% • The ambience 97% 13
  18. 18. • To be able to spend enough time at a sighting to take it all in 95% • Variety of flowers 95% • Large numbers of a type of flower 95% • The quietness and tranquillity offered by nature 95% • The close proximity to the flowers 94% • It is a combination of what the club has to offer 92% • j. To be able to share the experience with someone special 91%Table 8: Memorable viewing aspects Not at all Slightly Important Very Extremely important important important importanta. Variety of flowers 2% 3% 23% 30% 42%b. Large numbers of a type of flower 1% 4% 23% 31% 41%c. Surprises or things out of the ordinary 5% 7% 27% 29% 32%d. Seeing things that you least expect 5% 14% 29% 25% 27%e. Expectations that you are going to see 21% 22% 28% 16% 14%a specific type of flowerf. The close proximity to the flowers 2% 4% 19% 31% 44%g. The quietness and tranquillity offered 2% 3% 13% 29% 53%by natureh. To be able to spend enough time at a 2% 3% 23% 32% 40%sighting to take it all ini. To identify scares flowers 25% 24% 26% 12% 13%j. To be able to share the experience with 4% 5% 19% 31% 41%someone specialk. Being able to clearly see the flowers 1% 2% 17% 30% 50%l. The possibility of identifying the flowers 19% 21% 27% 17% 16%m. To have enough time to photograph 6% 7% 24% 29% 34%the flowersn. It is a combination of what the club has 3% 5% 28% 30% 34%to offero. Type of flowers 9% 13% 29% 25% 24%p. The ambience 2% 1% 19% 32% 46% 14
  19. 19. 4.16 Media effectivenessFriends and family (word-of-mouth) remained the most effective marketing medium in 2012(49%) followed by the influence of previous visits (38%). Fifteen percent (15%) ofrespondents had heard about the Park through SANParks, followed by those taking theirinformation from magazines (13%) and websites (10%). Other forms of media were lesseffective. Other sources of information concerning the Park (3%) included newspapers (forrespondents who stayed in the area) and those people who had always known of the Park(Table 9).Table 9: Heard about the Park MEDIA 2010 2012 (%) YES (%) NO (%) YES (%) NO Website 16% 84% 10% 90% Shows 6% 94% 3% 97% Friends & family 50% 50% 49% 51% Radio 8% 92% 4% 96% TV 16% 84% 3% 97% Magazines 29% 71% 13% 87% SANParks 29% 71% 15% 85% Previous visits 40% 60% 38% 62% Facebook - - 0% 100% Twitter - - 0% 100% Internet blogs - - 1% 99% Other 8% 92% 3% 97%4.17 Decision to visit ParkThe majority of respondents (77%) had made a spontaneous decision to visit the Park,followed by the 11% who had decided a month prior to their visit and the 10% who haddecided to visit more than a month previously (Table 10). Two percent (2%) had eitherdecided to visit the Park some two weeks in advance of their arrival, or they were making anannual visit. 15
  20. 20. Table 10: Visit decisionWHEN DECISION WAS MADE PERCENTAGESpontaneous decision 77%A month ago 11%More than a month ago 10%Other 2%4.18 Initiator of visit to ParkAlmost half of the respondents (48%) had decided for themselves to visit the Park while thetrips of 20% of the visitors had been initiated by the respondents’ families, 17% by theirspouses and 14% by their friends (Table 11). Other initiators of trips included therespondents’ boyfriends or girlfriends, newspapers or work.Table 11: Visit initiatorTRIP INITIATOR PERCENTAGESelf 48%Friends 14%Spouse 17%Family 20%Other 1%4.19 Age of first exposure to ParkThe majority of respondents (56%) had been still very young (0 – 10 years) when they wereexposed to a National Park for the first time (Table 12). Twenty percent (20%) ofrespondents were between 11 and 20 years while 13% were between 21 and 30 years, 6%between 31 and 40 years and 2% who were, respectively, between 41 and 50 or between 51and 60. The average age of respondents in 2012 was just 14.51 years old. 16
  21. 21. Table 12: Age of first exposureAGE PERCENTAGE 56%0 – 10 years 20%11 – 20 years 13%21 – 30 years 6%31 – 40 years 2%41 – 50 years 2%51 – 60 years 1%61 – 70 years4.20 Wild Card informationAccording to Figure 8, 62% of respondents indicated that they did not own a Wild Card while38% said that they did. Yes 38% No 62%Figure 8: Wild Card owners 17
  22. 22. 4.21 Service delivery rateRespondents were asked to rate the services in WCNP according to the criteria in Table 13.The following services in the Park were each rated as being Good to Excellent: • Friendliness and helpfulness 76% • Directions to and at Park 72% • Accessibility 71%Many respondents had not made use of the shop (43%), restaurant (39%) or braai facilities(32%).Table 13: Service deliverySERVICES Very Poor Fair Good Excellent Not poor applicable 2% 4% 19% 34% 28% 13%Ablution blocks 1% 5% 15% 35% 36% 8%Accessibility 5% 5% 15% 22% 14% 39%Restaurants 2% 3% 19% 23% 21% 32%Braai facilities 4% 8% 17% 18% 10% 43%Shops 2% 2% 14% 33% 39% 10%Directions to and at Park 1% 1% 8% 29% 47% 14%Friendliness andhelpfulness 3% 2% 11% 27% 41% 16%Reception 18
  23. 23. 5. Conclusions & Recommendations5.1 Profiling day visitors to West Coast National Park:Table 14 gives a summary of the profiles of respondents to the Park drawn from the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2012 surveys.Table 14: Profile of day visitors CHARACTERISTICS (Sept 2007) (Aug/Sept 2008) (Aug/Sept 2009) (Aug 2010) (Aug 2012) Gender Female (57%) Language English speaking English speaking English speaking English Speaking English (50%), Afrikaans (47%) Average age 56 years of age 51 years of age 54 years of age 55 years of age 47.2 years of age Marital status Married Married Married Married Married (72%) Foreigners country of residence Germany; England Belgium; German; France; Namibia; US; German; Italian; Australia; China; Dubai; England Netherlands Netherlands; Spanish; Finland; Germany; Italy; French Korea; the Netherlands; the Philippines; Switzerland; the United Arab Emirates; the UK; the USA Province of residence Western Cape Western Cape Western Cape and Western Cape Western Cape (90%) Gauteng Level of education Well qualified Well qualified Well qualified Well qualified Well qualified (81%) 19
  24. 24. Annual gross income - - - - More than R552 001Group size - - - - 2.28 personsPersons paid for 2,7 persons 3,2 persons 3.6 persons 2.6 persons 2.7 personsMode of transport Sedan Sedan Sedan Recreation vehicle Sedan (45%)Visit to National Park over the past Once Once Once Three times Three times3 yearsExpenditure R364.87 R223.95 R252.08 R441.00 R 314.63Main motive - - Appreciation of flowers Appreciation of flowers To appreciate flowers; To relax; To be able to experience this amazing natural phenomenonMemorable viewing experience - - - - Being able to clearly see the flowers; The ambienceMedia effectiveness - - - - Friends and family (49%); Previous visits (38%)Decision to visit Park - - - - Spontaneous decision (77%)Trip initiator - - - - Self (48%)Age of first exposure - - - - 14.51 years averageWild Card holder - - - - No (62%)Service delivery - - - - Friendliness and helpfulness; Directions to Park; Accessibility 20
  25. 25. The average respondent at the 2012 survey can be summarised as follows: • Respondents were either Afrikaans- or English-speaking, married and in their late 40’s travelling from the Western Cape in a sedan. • They were well qualified, earning more than R552 001 per annum and travelled to the Park in groups of two persons and were financially responsible for everyone in their group. • Foreign respondents were from Australia, China, Dubai, Finland, Germany, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the USA. • Respondents were exposed to a National Park for the first time when they were about 15 years old and they had visited National Parks three times in the preceding three years as day visitors. • Respondents had made a spontaneous decision to visit the Park and they were not Wild Card holders. • Services in the Park that respondents felt most happy with included the Park’s friendliness and helpfulness, the directions to the Park, as well as its accessibility. • Respondents spent an average of R314.63 per group and they felt that being able to see flowers clearly, together with the Park’s ambience, were the most influential contributors to a memorable viewing experience. • Being able to appreciate flowers and to relax while experiencing the amazing natural phenomenon of the Park were the main motivations for respondents to visit the Park. • Hearing about the Park from friends and family or memories of previous visits were the most effective marketing mediums for the Park.5.2 RecommendationsThe following recommendations resulting from the research can be made: DEVELOPMENTAL PROPOSALS • Develop a 4x4 route • A brochure showing with all the flowers and animals in Park • Kiosk at the viewpoint • More benches for people to sit and enjoy the Park • Better signage in Park which shows speed limits as well as those places where people are allowed to alight from their vehicles • More short hiking routes • Widen the Park roads to better accommodate traffic • Develop more accommodation in Park 21
  26. 26. PROPOSALS FOR MANAGEMENT • Make entering the Park easier • Post more personnel at the entrance gate during peak periods • Something needs to be done about people speeding in Park • Maintain the roads in the Park • Maintenance of ablution facilities (men’s ablution flooded, no hand wash lotion) • Limit the number of cars allowed to enter as over-crowding detracts from the ambience5.3 Researchers’ highlights and disappointments 5.3.1 Highlights • The flowers were exceptionally beautiful. • The number of kudus that we saw. 5.3.2 Disappointments • Poor road conditions. • The kiosk did not have enough stock. 22

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