Rare and endangered species to be seen at Gansbaai
Entire career in tourism, fortunate several trips on marine tourism boats at Gansbaai
Awe-inspiring experience whale surfacing next to boat
Tourism a priority in macro-economic policy since 1996, shortly after end of Apartheid in 1994. Marine and coastal tourism a focus sector in the Oceans Economy programme.
I am also interested in how tourism affects to local people in destinations, and especially who benefits.
When the time came to choose a PhD research topic, I brought together my interest in marine tourism and the development of people.
My research asks, DOES MWT contribute to better lives for people, and in the case of South Africa, ALL South Africans?
Today, I will be speaking about one of the dimensions of development that I have been researching, I.e Tourism Skills Development and Employment Opportunities.
What is meant by marine wildlife tourism?
Range from watching wild life in captive situations, such as aquariums ------ to watching animals and birds in the wild. The latter is my research interest. Further, I will focus on boat-based MWT.
Growth of sector
Rapid growth in global south – post colonial and post conflict geographies with high poverty rates and pronounced social inequalities
Located in Western Cape province
150 km from cape Town, South Africa’s most popular destination for international tourists, and the base for many tourists visiting Gansbaai
Close to Southern most tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas
MARINE WILDLIFE TOURISM regulated by Department of Environmental Affairs
10 licenced operators – about a third of licenced operators in South Africa; 8/13 shark diving permits
Rich sea life has long attracted human beings. For the past 70,000 years in fact.
The evidence of modern human beings found at Klipgat Cave is of the oldest globally – two other sites also along SA coast.
The abundant natural and cultural heritage contrasted by limited economic resources available to the modern day population of Gansbaai
Population indicators show that ….
By comparison, UAE HDI 0.84 & NZ Gini 0.35
Gansbaai located in relatively affluent province. HOWEVER, several indicators are on par or worse than South African averages
As we know, averages gloss over the dynamics within a society.
Select indicators of development
Household income of Ward 1 – means the vast majority of households fall below the poverty line
Ward level indicators reflect the deep social inequality so typical of post-Apartheid South Africa.
Inequalities the legacy of more than 350 years of racial discrimination under colonialism and Apartheid.
Guess everyone in the room will be able to match the stats for Ward 3 to one of the images on the left
Veronique / Nika – works for Marine Dynamics
Trained as a nurse
Car accident, back injury meant she could not longer lift patients
Employed as kitchen hand at Great White House, provides catering services for Whale Watching and Shark diving businesses
Energy and attitude recognised, moved to Front of House, training & mentorship, 1yr later – appointed FOH manager
Kira – Works for Dyer Island Cruises
Moved from Eastern Cape – deeply impoverished area with limited employment opportunities
Population group that does not have historical relationship with sea
Developing Tourism Skills and Employment Opportunities in Travel & Tourism: marine sector
Empowerment through skills
development and employment
opportunities in marine wildlife tourism
in Gansbaai, South Africa
Arabian Travel Market, 25 April 2018
Heidi van der Watt
Better Tourism Africa
Marine Wildlife Tourism
“any tourist activity with the primary purpose of
watching, studying or enjoying marine wildlife”
(Masters cited in Zeppel & Muloin, 2008, p. 281)
Low / Semi-
Ward 1 Ward 3
Informal 40.6% 0.1%
In dwelling 58.2% 99.9%
Gr 12 + 32.7% 68.9%
$ 5,000 $ 75,000
Respondent group Achieved Sample
8 operators, 16
Tourism employees 11
Local businesses 5
Civil society / related
Households Ward 1 – 10
Ward 2 - 10
Key informants 15
“My wish for my children - a better life and life opportunities
than what I had!”
“… that she will finish school, go to university and
get a good job with good income…”
“I’d like to be a neuro surgeon so that I can help
people like my dad”
“…to send my daugther to a better school so that she has
a strong chance in life …”
Started in 2009
in a smalll
Started in 2003
"eye at sea"
car & house
Ticket Cat C