|Title:||Challenges and Opportunities for the Establishment of Community-based Ecotourism in the Awash National Park Area|
|Keywords:||Development Studies,;Tourism ,Development|
|Abstract:||The main objective of this study was to assess the challenges and opportunities for developing community-based ecotourism in the Awash Park area. To this end, the research has attempted to integrate both qualitative and quantitative approaches and descriptive method was employed. The participants of the study were members of the local community, community leaders, EWCO and Park officials, government officials and lodge owners. They were selected using purposive sampling and random sampling respectively. Questionnaire, interview, Focused group discussion and observation were used as instruments of data collection. The collected data using these instruments were analyzed by frequency and percentage. The findings showed that Awash National Park and the surrounding community have an excellent opportunity to be developed as a CBET destination. From a product perspective, the jagged Fentale mountain scenery, the hot springs, Lake Beseka, the steep Awash river and gorge provide breathtaking , the wildlife viewing opportunities are good , recreational opportunities are diverse, and local cultures are alive and quite interesting. Other opportunities include favorable local institutions and policy. So that, developing CBET can engage a wide cross section of people and it is the most promising strategy to reduce the Sevier livelihood and environmental problems in the area. However, major constraints keep the potential opportunities from being realized. These include: low level involvement and participation in tourism, unsustainable livelihood and resource use patterns , illegal activities in the Park , lack of alternative livelihood options ,lack of initiative determination and collaboration among the stakeholders for developing community-based ecotourism ,Lack of clear and detail guiding policy to address community issues in tourism development particularly, issues related to community-based ecotourism in protected areas, lack of qualified personnel in the areas of ecotourism and community-based ecotourism ,Lack of awareness about tourism, ecotourism and community based ecotourism or tourism and less exposure to CBET appropriate models , infrastructural challenges within the Park and the surrounding community. Currently, more people are discovering the Awash National Park area as important destinations lose their appeal. Thus, it is a crucial time for developing community-based ecotourism to protect the beauty and environmental quality of the area and to keep the benefits in the hands of the local people. In light of those circumstances, I strongly recommend all the concerned bodies to focus on the significance of developing CBET in the Awash National Park and the surrounding area.|
|Appears in Collections:||Center for Environmental Studies|
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