Ecotourism Development Potential and challenges in Jibat forest & its environs in West Shewa Zone of Oromia Regional State

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Addis Ababa University


This study was conducted to assess the ecotourism development potentials and challenges in Jibat forest and its environs, West Shewa Zone of Oromia. Data was generated through discussion with local community, interviews with relevant stakeholders and field observation. A perception of the local community towards ecotourism development was measured using likert scale measurement. The target populations included for this study were experts from Jibat district culture and tourism office and Jibat Gedo district forest and wildlife management enterprise, key informants from community representatives as well as the local community living around the ecotourism site to be studied. The sample was selected purposively and randomly based on the nature of research questions. The data collected was analyzed and summarized using frequency tables, percentage and narration. The study found that the Jibat forest possesses huge ecotourism resources includingendemic floras and faunas, bird cliff, mountaineering, trekking, waterfalls, pleasant weather conditions, and cultural values such as irrecha festival, horse riding and racing, kocho processing, hospitality of the local community. The development of ecotourism in the study area was, owing to be limited by lack of infrastructure facilities and services, poor marketing and promotion, and poor linkage among tourism stakeholders. The local community has positive attitude towards ecotourism development assuming that it will benefit them economically, socially and environmentally. The study concludes that there is a high potential for ecotourism development in the study area. Therefore, in order to alleviate the challenges the existing resources should be protected, basic infrastructures should be developed, local community training and promotion of the resources should be made.



Ecotourism, Development, potential, challenges, willingness, Jibat forest