Community Participation In Tourism Development In Tigray: The Case Of Axum
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This thesis discusses the participation of local communities in tourism development using a case study of local communities in Axum. The thesis focuses on three key concepts: community participation in the decision making process; community participation in the sharing of tourism benefits; and the contribution of tourism development to generate income. To achieve this, the research is guided by five interrelated research questions: (1) what are the views of local people towards community participation in tourism development? (2) What are appropriate roles of local people in tourism development? (3) To what extent do local communities participate in the tourism decision making process? (4) To what extent have the tourism businesses developed benefit sharing schemes? And what are the views of the local people on contribution of tourism as a means of income generating. For a better understanding of the context of the research, the thesis employs a case study approach, which enables investigation at the community level to bring together perspectives from the grass –root level and participation of various stakeholders that explores views from a range of stakeholders such as ordinary members of the community, government agencies tourism professionals, tourism businesses and tourism projects. The researcher used household survey, interview and document analysis methods in order to gather the necessary data for the study. The quantitative and qualitative data gathered from these techniques are analyzed and interpreted. According to the results obtained, this research concludes that local communities want to take part in the decision making process of tourism in their local area. In general local people want to see decisions about tourism development in their area made by consulting local people. Local communities acknowledge that tourism provides employment opportunities, encourages a variety of cultural activities and meeting tourists promotes cross cultural exchange. In addition to the decision making process, local communities also want to participate in the sharing of tourism benefits. Tourism businesses have not developed specific mechanisms of sharing tourism benefits. But the tourism businesses create employment opportunities for local people and sponsor different community development activities when they consider it important. The government organizations provide trainings, advice and loans so that local communities can participate in tourism development.