The recent Covid-19 pandemic has triggered issues related to the sustainability of tourism worldwide, including in protected areas such as national parks. This issue includes whether national parks must be focused on conservation or tourism and whether their management is centralized or de-centralized. This study aims to review the condition of sustainable tourism in selected national parks in Indonesia and South Africa. The two countries have different paradigms and management systems. Indonesia is decentralized with a conservation paradigm, while South Africa manages its national parks centrally with a tourism paradigm. We evaluate this condition by examining the literature from studies in the last five years (2018-2022) related to the Baluran, Kayan Mentarang, Komodo, Kruger, and Kgalagadi national parks. Evaluations are carried out on sustainable tourism's economic, social, and environmental pillars. The literature review results reveal that national parks in Indonesia tend to be ori-ented towards social and environmental aspects with high variability in sustainable tourism performance. When the governance system changes from decentralized to centralized, the orientation also changes towards prioritizing economic aspects. Meanwhile, national parks in South Africa have low variability in performance, with the primary orientation being on the economic aspect. This research contributes to the importance of sustainable tourism management to determine the right governance system to simultaneously achieve the three pillars of sustainable tourism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Tourism and Development
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023


  • Indonesia
  • South Africa
  • Sustainable tourism
  • national park
  • protected areas governance


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