The impact of tourists' perceptions of safety and security on tourism marketing of Mpumalanga
Mopeli, Mantseo Juliet
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Generally the study intends to determine the perception of tourists on the issues of safety and security during their visit to Mpumalanga. In particular, the study will firstly aim to ascertain whether visitors to Mpumalanga felt unsafe, and if so, to what extent. Secondly, the study will work towards ascertaining whether the tourists choose to limit their activities because they related to their perceptions of crime and safety in Mpumalanga. Lastly, the study will try to establish whether specific demographic factors of the respondents related to their perceptions of crime and safety in Mpumalanga. The research was quantitative in nature. The data was gathered from approximately 400 tourists in Mpumalanga. These respondents were extracted from a bigger population of tourists that utilised tourist destinations in Mpumalanga. The 400 respondents were randomly selected to complete the questionnaire at the time of their departure. The responses were analysed using the Statistical package of social science (SPSS) statistical analysis computer programme. This software helped to organise the data into tables, charts and graphs and also perform statistical calculations that were pertinent to the data analysis process. The questionnaire was administered on a sample of 400 of which 40% were males and 60% were females. From the whole group, most were between 32 and 42 years of age and 57% of this sample was earning between R5001 and R1000 per month. Most of the respondents were from Africa, with some from South Africa, followed by Europe, America and Asia. A greater number of respondents were actually on holiday with some coming for different purposes like visiting family, friends or doing business. Data shows majority of respondents not encountering any crime related incidences with 19% actually being victims of different types of crime, from xiii harassment to being robbed. Even within these unfortunate incidences, there was some degree of safety for a bigger number of visitors and most felt safe to tour during the day and using public transport while 60% felt unsafe to walk along the streets at night. The perception of safety at night and at place of accommodation varied with age, gender, country of origin and monthly income. Based on the finding from this study the issue of safety and security was a concern to tourists such that it was suggested that: there should be dissemination of information on safety to tourists, development of safety and security policies for tourism, improvement of public transport and participation of police in tourism in order to improve the situation.
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