Developing new business models for Africa’s national parks: Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Many of Africa’s most important conservation landscapes fall within national protected area systems. With increasing pressures on public purses, protected areas authorities face new pressures to build more sustainable business cases for these national parks and reserves, but often lack the experience or capacity to do this. It is in this context that Conservation Capital is becoming increasing engaged. Sometimes these engagements cover entire protected area systems – sometimes they cover individual protected area landscapes.
Kenya: Historically, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) entered into commercial arrangements with third party tourism operators on a case-by-case basis. This resulted in an unstructured portfolio of partnerships that fostered complexity, inefficiency and inadequate returns. In 2008, Conservation Capital was asked to design a simplified and uniform commercial formula that would be used for all tourism operations to contract with KWS. The subsequent implementation of this contracting basis significantly increased collection rates, multiplying returns to KWS by more than 400% over time.
Zimbabwe: Based on the success of the Kenya initiative, we were engaged to support the African Wildlife Foundation in developing a similar formula for Zimbabwe’s national parks. From 2012 to 2014 we have worked closely with the commercial services team of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) to review the fee structures and contracting systems between ZPWMA and tourism operators across the national parks network. Our recommendations are designed to foster the regeneration of tourism operations in Zimbabwe following the widespread economic collapse of the late 2000’s.