Abelana Game Reserve: Community Partnership Driving Shared Value in Ecotourism
In 2020, the chief executive officer of Abelana Game Reserve in South Africa was considering the arrangement between the game reserve and the Mashishimale community, who owned the land. He had promised to provide added value to the land by highlighting four pillars of focus: land, community, business, and investors. Two lodges were formally opened to guests in March 2020, but the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic stopped all business activities-until September 2020, when the government began easing lockdown restrictions and the shareholders met to discuss tourist bookings and expansion plans. The management team had an ambitious and exciting overall vision for the game reserve, but there were more pressing challenges to consider, including a collaborative cross-sector partnership, training and developing workers, creating jobs in the community, and supporting local businesses. Were there other shared value ideas to consider for more employment opportunities and growth within the community? Amy Moore is affiliated with University of Pretoria. Verity Hawarden is affiliated with University of Pretoria.