Locating opportunities for outdoor action and adventure recreation and tourism in the Western Cape: GIS application

  • Johannes H Van der Merwe


This paper indicates how modern spatial computing technology can be used for developing spatial policy for, and planning of outdoor action and adventure recreation and tourism (OAART). An application was performed in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The research overviews spatial recreation and tourism development policy, marketing and express outdoor recreationist and tourist preferences that translate into spatial suitability indicators or attraction features captured in a spatial resource database. Special attention was given to the conceptual foundations of attraction and what can be captured in spatial format as mapped variables. The methodological approach of spatial multiple criteria evaluation (MCE) by weighted linear combination of spatial factor layers as images in a geographical information system (GIS) are explained. The outcome in map format demonstrates the execution of the technique for the Western Cape. The fine-scale spatial result was compared with the coarser regional indicators of the marketing-based spatial development framework proposed to guide official recreation and tourism planning. The results are useful for entrepreneurial and regulatory planning and may be replicated in different spatial locations provided a supporting database exists.

Keywords: Geographical Information System (GIS); Multiple Criteria Evaluation (MCE); Action and adventure recreation; Nature tourism; Spatial planning; Western Cape Province

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, 2012, 34(2): 197-214

Author Biography

Johannes H Van der Merwe
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069