The tourism potential of Beaufort West


Van Staden, J-W and Marais, L (2005), The tourism potential of Beaufort West: a study based on visitor demand. Development Southern Africa Vol. 22, No. 2.



Tourism is increasingly viewed as a key strategy for promoting local economic development. The integrated development planning (IDP) process of the Beaufort West municipality on the north-eastern border of the Western Cape identified tourism as a key to economic progress. Starting from this tourism-orientated approach to local economic development, a three-month survey of visitors examined the tourist potential of the town, a possible tourism product, and an approach to marketing the town as a destination. The findings suggested that Beaufort West should develop a ‘destination brand’, portraying the town as a ‘tourism gateway’ through which important sectors such as eco-tourism could be marketed. The profile of the survey participants revealed that tourist industries are not fully aware of their customer profile and should adjust their offerings to attract family visitors. The impact of the N1 route through town was also confirmed in the survey, which demonstrated that significant expenditure emanated from the high levels of traffic through the town.

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