Rural Community Development | Sustainable Community Development

The Sustainable Tourism Research Institute of Southern Africa cc

P.O. Box 129, HAENERTSBURG 0730, Limpopo Province, Republic of South Africa
4, Rabe Street, HAENERTSBURG, Limpopo Province, Republic of South Africa
Telephone: 015 276-4807 or 015 276-4810
Fax:  086 6032857

Robin Gardner: Cell: 083 447-6789 ~ E-mail:
Michael Gardner: Cell: 083 255-9448 ~ E-mail:

The Sustainable Tourism Research Institute of Southern Africa cc (STRISA) was established in 1997 to provide specialized market research and related services to the tourism industry. Its purpose is:

  • To explore the market research needs of tourism developers, investors, operators and marketers and to design and implement research programmes which allow them to base their decision-making processes on reliable information;To develop methodologies that monitor the performance of sectors of the tourism industry and provide benchmarks and trends to ensure the industry’s viability;
  • To interpret and integrate new and existing data into tourism development and marketing strategies.

The following disciplines are fully covered by the experience and expertise of the Directors and Associates:

  • Qualitative and quantitative market research and data analysis;
  • Market segmentation and long range demand forecasting;
  • Public and private sector tourism development planning;
  • Tourism destination and facility branding and marketing;
  • Environmental planning and impact assessments;
  • Institutional planning, human resource and skills development and mentoring; 
  • Public participation processes and community based tourism development planning;
  • Design and implementation of tourism performance monitoring systems, including codes of conduct for environment-friendly and social outreach management programmes based on national and international guidelines for responsible tourism;
  • Financial feasibility studies;
  • Project planning and implementation.


Robin Hazel Gardner (Managing Director)
Oubaas James Ndhlovu
Michael Vavasour Gardner (Projects’ Director)
Josephine Mampheri Letsoalo
Vincent Craig Carruthers

Company information

Registration No: 1997/050523/23
BEE Exempted Micro Enterprise - Ref no E13C00317

Some Recent Projects by STRISA

(Note: For certain projects STRISA has contracted external consultants to provide specialised services and expertise. In other cases STRISA has been the main sub-consultant. In these cases, the name/s of the primary consultant are noted.)

These are the relevant consultancy projects undertaken over the past eight to ten years:

  • Appointed by the Industrial Development Corporation to head a team of consultants that will carry out a pre-feasibility study of the potential of opening a new gate into Kruger National Park at Shangoni (2013);
  • Appointed by Makgabeng Farm Lodge to prepare a series of display panels providing information on the Rock Art of the Makgabeng, Chief Malaboho and Dr. Helene Franz (2012);
  • Contracted by private sector lodge operator to prepare a tourism development framework for specific attractions in the Blouberg and Makgabeng area of Limpopo (2012);
  • Appointed by Nsovo Environmental Consulting (on behalf of ESKOM) to conduct a specialist study on the likely impacts of new power line corridors on the eco-tourism sector between Phalaborwa and Steelpoort (2012);
  • Appointed by EnviroXcellence (Polokwane) to compile a report on the tourism potential of the proposed Bothasvlei Nature Reserve near Bela Bela (2012);
  • Appointed by a private sector lodge owner to prepare a market feasibility study for a new conference centre (2012);
  • Appointed by Aganang Local Municipality to prepare a Business Plan and application for funding to the Industrial Development Corporation for the rehabilitation of a degraded natural environment and the construction of a small tourism resort (2010/11);
  • Appointed by Gauteng-based entrepreneurs to develop a Business Plan for a Mobile Touring Company and a new Lodge in the Blouberg area (2008/9);
  • Appointed by Lorton Consulting to provide market research for a study covering the possible tourism development of the Makgabeng Rock Art Plateau in Blouberg Municipality (2009);
  • Appointed by private sector entrepreneur to prepared a Business Plan for a lodge in the Thabina Nature Reserve, Greater Tzaneen area (2009);
  • Appointed (2008/9) by Vhembe District Municipality to prepare the following:
    • Tourism Development Framework for the Vhembe District
    • Business Plan for the “Footsteps of the Ancestors” Route
    • Training programme for members of Community Tourism Associations
  • Appointed as sub-consultant by Grant Thornton to prepare a Tourism Development Strategy for Mogalakwena Local Municipality (2008);
  • Appointed as a sub-consultant by the Development Facilitation Training Institute of the University of Limpopo to prepare a report for Fair Trade South Africa on the Agri-tourism development opportunities in Limpopo Province (2008);
  • Appointment by Lorton Consulting to undertake an evaluation of the situation in South Africa regarding the growth and development of Eco-villages and Eco-estates. A sub-contract from the Amathola Local Economic Development Agency (2008);
  • Research assistance to the Village Tourism Trust in compiling visitor data and profiles for the Mopani District (2008);
  • Appointed by Glen Steyn & Associates to contribute towards the Economic Analysis of the Tourism Sector in Limpopo and its contribution towards GGP (2008);
  • Appointed by Aganang Local Municipality to prepare detailed Business Plans for two tourism and two agricultural projects (2007/8);
  • Facilitating workshops to introduce the Tourism Education Trust’s Tourism Programme for Schools within the Mopani District (2008)
  • Appointed by Limpopo Tourism and Parks to assist with the development of tourism packages between Limpopo, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia;
  • Appointed by Glen Steyn & Associates to undertake a Business Plan for the Bollanoto Tourism Centre in Phalaborwa. Joint project of Palabora Foundation and Ba-Phalaborwa Local Municipality (2007/8);
  • Development Planning for Greater Tzaneen Municipality’s Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (2007);
  • Involvement with Centre for Economic Cooperatives in planning a heritage and tourism project in Thabina Nature Reserve (2007);
  • Appointed by Lephalale Local Municipality to conduct research amongst schools and rural communities to assess their awareness of the tourism industry (2007);
  • Appointed by Lephalale Local Municipality to undertake research aimed at evaluating the impact of their tourism marketing strategy (2007);
  • Tourism Development Strategy for Aganang Local Municipality (2007);
  • Sub-consultant to Grant Thornton Consulting in compiling a tourism development plan for the SAFCOL Forests in the Soutpansberg and Magoebaskloof areas (2006/7);
  • Implementation plan for three projects for the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (Ntubu Camp, Baleni Camp and the Escarpment Adventure Zone) (2006/7);
  • Appointment as the Research Services provider to the Limpopo Tourism & Parks Board (2007/09);
  • Appointment to the Technical Assistance Team providing various support services to the Limpopo LED Programme. (Preparing applications and providing technical assistance to applicants for EU Funding) (2006/7);
  • Business Plan for the development of the ‘Footsteps of the Ancestors’ historical route for Vhembe District Municipality (2007);
  • Tourism component of the LED Strategy for the Greater Letaba Local Municipality (2007);
  • Tourism component of the LED Strategy for the Vhembe District Municipality (2007);
  • Preparation of a Tourism Framework for Maruleng Local Municipality (2006);
  • Compilation of tourism component for the IDP of Greater Giyani Local Municipality (2006);
  • Assessment of the potential to develop package tours between Limpopo and SADC Countries. Prepared for Limpopo Tourism & Parks Board (2006);
  • Implementation of Provincial Tourism Growth Strategy – Business Opportunities for the Special Interest Cluster. Commissioned by Limpopo Department of Economic Development. Environment and Tourism. Project completed April 2006;
  • Tourism Marketing and Development Strategy for the Mopani District Municipality. Project completed October 2005;
  • Pre-feasibility studies for five tourism clusters within the Greater Tzaneen Municipality. Lead in to the implementation phase of the Tourism Development Plan produced by STRISA for Greater Tzaneen in 2002 and funded with aid from the Irish Government. (Sub-contract from Glen Steyn & Associates);
  • Assessment of the tourism potential of Mokolo Dam in the Lephalale Municipal area. Project completed in March 2005. (Sub-contract from Glen Steyn & Associates);
  • Feasibility Studies for ten community-based tourism projects on behalf of the Poverty Alleviation Programme of the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism – Completed February 2005;
  • Tourism Product Audit for the Namibian Tourism Board – Completed November 2004;
  • Tourism and Investment Marketing Plan for the Lephalale Municipality, Limpopo Province – Completed November 2004;
  • Tourism Development and Marketing Plan for Makhado Local Municipality – Completed October 2004;
  • Communications Strategy for the Lake Fundudzi Community Project – Undertaken in association with Rambauli Consulting, the lead consultant in the project. STRISA’s main role was to evaluate awareness amongst the local communities of the conservation measures being taken to prevent siltation of the Lake and the extent to which they are prepared to accept increased tourism in the area;
  • Market research component for the Giyani Tourism Development Plan (2003/4) – Overall project headed by Dr. Peter Norton of Peter Norton & Associates and funded by NORAID. STRISA undertook field research to evaluate tourism profiles and flows into and through the study area;
  • Compilation of the Limpopo Province’s Tourism Growth Strategy (2003/4) – Project headed by Glen Steyn & Associates and funded by the Provincial Department of Finance and Economic Affairs. STRISA undertook research to evaluate the potential of various development ‘hot-spots’ and authored a major section on each proposed development node;
  • Tourism Development Plan for the Capricorn District Municipality (2003) – Project undertaken on behalf of the Capricorn District Municipality and funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa;
  • Market Research for the Limpopo Spatial Development Initiative (2003) – A sub-contract from Lorton Consulting who undertook the overall development plan for the Limpopo Valley in Mozambique on behalf of the Mozambique Ministry of Transport;
  • Tourism Development Plan for the community lands lying adjacent to the Kruger National Park, northeast of Giyani (2003) – STRISA Directors handled this project on behalf of Trade and Industry Limpopo who were keen to support the Gazan Trust in its quest to develop new tourism products in this area;
  • Tourism Development Framework for Greater Tzaneen Municipality – Project completed in 2002;
  • Tourism Performance Monitoring System for the Hibiscus Coast Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal (2002/2003) – This project was designed to provide the Hibiscus Coast Municipality and its Tourism Association with a mechanism to measure performance of the five key factors that are required to be in a state of ‘well-being’ and ‘in balance’ with each other if the industry is to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable;
  • Tourism component of the Modimolle Municipality Local Economic Development Strategy (2002) – STRISA undertook the sector dealing with the potential for tourism within the Modimolle Municipality. (Sub-contract from Glen Steyn & Associates);
  • Limpopo Province Tourism Growth Plan (2001) – Detailed assessment of the six Districts in Limpopo Province and an evaluation of the tourism potential in relation to a variety of key market segments. Undertaken by STRISA on behalf of Glen Steyn & Associates who was commissioned to undertake this project by the Provincial Department of Finance and Economic Development;
  • Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs, Gauteng Provincial Government (2001) – STRISA led the Tourism Marketing and Development Consulting Team that produced the Tourism Master Plan in 2001 for Dinokeng (north east Gauteng). This included extensive trade, consumer and desk research; long range demand forecasting; the physical tourism development plan based on the concept of “Windows into All of Africa”; a community involvement plan; a code of ethics; a data-base and performance monitoring system; a detailed destination marketing strategy, and a financial and implementation plan. (Note: This project received a Merit Award from the Institute of Landscape Architects of South Africa [ILASA] in 2003);
  • ESKOM – Environmental Impact Assessments (2001 & 2002) – STRISA compiled the preliminary and the final Tourism and Aesthetics Impact Assessments for a proposed new power-line from Witbank to two points north and south of Pretoria;
  • Kingdom of the Zulu Multi-cultural Village (2000) – STRISA undertook the official review of the Business Plan for this multi million rand project situated near Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal;
  • Market research and market segmentation for the proposed Bushman’s River [Gongola] Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal (2001) – STRISA undertook extensive consumer research and contributed towards the final development and marketing plan for this project. (Note: This project received a Merit Award from the Institute of Landscape Architects of South Africa [ILASA] in 2003);
  • Evaluation of South Africa’s International Marketing Strategies on behalf of the International Marketing Council and the GCIS (Government’s Communications and Information Service) – undertaken by the STRISA Directors and Gill Millar Associates;
  • Mapungubwe Heritage Site Tourism Development Plan – STRISA compiled the section on the heritage market potential for the Mapungubwe Heritage Site in conjunction with Dr. Peter Norton & Associates;
  • Pietersburg Local Economic Development Strategy – STRISA compiled the chapter on the tourism potential of Pietersburg and environs on behalf of Glen Steyn & Associates;
  • Development of social outreach and environment-friendly management systems for the Coach House and Magoebaskloof Hotels – undertaken by STRISA Directors. (The Coach House was voted the national winner of the Best Overall Hotel in the Imvelo Awards in 2004 for its social, economic and environmental management systems and outreach programmes).