Financial value of hiking. A brief case study from the Drakensberg
An Optimistic View
In 2002, Tourism Kwa-Zulu Natal said that their research showed that 24% of all foreign visitors to KZN go hiking or mountain climbing. At that time there were 220 680 foreign visitors annually to the Drakensberg (“Berg”), staying for an average of two nights and spending an average of R1 500 per night – therefore a total spend of R662 040 000 per annum. 24% of these visitors were drawn by hiking & climbing – therefore one can say that these folk could have contributed 24% or R158 889 600 to the total spend in the Berg!
In 2002, Tourism KZN said that there were 546 000 domestic visitors to the Berg staying an average of 6 nights and spending and average of R1000 per night – therefore a total spend of R3 276 000 000. 19% of these visitors were drawn by hiking & climbing – therefore one can say that they contributed 19% or R622 440 000 to the total spend in the Berg!
TOTAL = R781 329 600
A Pessimistic View
Let us assume that the only real income that these hikers and climbers contribute are through their gate fees. 24% of 220 680 and 19% of 546 000 = a total number of 156 704 visitors interested in hiking or climbing. The gate fees they generate at an average of R20 per head
= R3 134 080. This amount is definitely not being spent annually on maintaining the trails in the berg!