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Title: Stakeholder perceptions of the proposed eco-culture resort in the Chelmsford Nature Reserve at Ntshingwayo Dam in Newcastle, South Africa
Authors: Nzimande, Sibonelo Reverence 
Issue Date: 2019
This study focuses on stakeholder perceptions of the proposed Eco-Culture Resort (ECR) in the Chelmsford Nature Reserve at Ntshingwayo Dam in Newcastle, South Africa, particularly with regard to how these relate to the potential economic impacts and benefits of this project. Fifty (50) respondents drawn from the ranks of three key stakeholder groups – government, business and community – were interviewed as part of this study. The selection of respondents was informed by the mesosystem and the intrinsic role of each respondent. Although structured, interviews comprised of open-ended questions which allowed respondents to share critical information based on individual experiences. Following purposive sampling, data was collected and analysed thematically. The study concluded that the three key stakeholders are aware of the proposed ECR, although their understanding thereof varies depending on their institutional affiliation and their relationship with it. Respondents perceived the planned ECR more in terms of what they believe its objective should be rather than what it actually is. Respondents also view the proposed resort as a tourist destination with a huge economic development potential for the Amajuba District and the province of KwaZulu-Natal as a whole, if implemented successfully. There is a strong feeling that this proposed development will enhance the level of environmental awareness among both would-be patrons and the broader community. Critically, respondents prioritised environmental conservation and public participation as key motivations for establishing the ECR. They fear that challenges may arise as a result of poor stakeholder engagement and poor planning. These fears are addressed by the recommendations of the study, which are to ensure that extensive stakeholder engagement takes place; the project is upgraded to an anchor project; the ECR is properly marketed; and proper infrastructural planning as well as ongoing post-development monitoring and evaluation takes place.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Technology: Tourism & Hospitality Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2019.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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