SANParks' inaugural Tourism Investment Summit looks beyond parks' borders

2017-02-21 15:41 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - South African National Parks (SANParks) are putting their feelers out to engage in business with the private sector, with an inaugural Tourism Investment Summit for SA national parks set to kick off at The Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Tuesday, 4 April 2017. 

NOTE: This article has been adapted following a statement from SANParks on the rescheduling of the inaugural Tourism Investment Summit. The summit was initially scheduled to take place on 27 March 2017.

According to SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni, the inaugural Tourism Investment Summit organised by SANParks will strive to present new investment opportunities, attract developers and financiers and profile national parks in South Africa as viable investment hubs. 

“National parks offer potential investors with an unparalleled diversity of opportunities in various disciplines which includes, adventure activities, eco-tourism properties, retail and many more.”

He said, as far back as the year 2000, SANParks adopted a Commercialisation Strategy with a firm objective of establishing Private Public Partnerships (PPP’s) initiatives which has resulted in a two-tiered approach leading primarily to the granting of concessions for the construction and management of Eco-tourism lodges and the outsourcing of retail shops and restaurants. 

According to Mketeni, since the year 2000 with the adoption of the Commercialisation Strategy, SANParks has progressively increased the numbers of PPP’s transactions. “By March 2016 there were more than forty-five PPP projects in active implementation leading to infrastructural developments worth over R755 million with assets reverting to SANParks."

“This led to a significant funding of conservation and creating sustainability for SANParks,” Mketeni says. Commercialisation has resulted in a total PPP Income of R816 million to SANParks. 

Now, the organisation aims to attract more key decision-makers in tourism investments, which includes financiers, lenders, developers, tourism retail and services operators, bankers, investment advisors, real estate, property consultants, financial intermediaries, government tourism officials and media.

In a most recent development, for example, the Garden Route National Park has annoucned that a new Zipline attraction will be erected near Knysna and Plettenberg. 

SEE PICS: New zipline attraction coming to coastal area of Garden Route National Park

This all forms part of SANParks' plans "capture tourism growth and create long-term sustainability for the organisation whose primary mandate is the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage of South Africa", Mketeni says. 

You can see a list of tenders for SANParks Investment Opportunities here

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PICS: New zipline attraction coming to coastal area of Garden Route National Park