Assessing Local Community Participaton in Tourism Planning and Development in Erin-Ijesha Waterfall Osun State, Nigeria.

Adeyemo A., Bada, Afolabi O.

Abstract


The basic element of tourism planning and development is to encourage the local communities’ participation as it is central to the sustainability of tourism industry. Many literatures have suggested a number of roles local communities could play in tourism development but failed as to how the locals themselves feel about this. This paper therefore focuses on Erin-Ijesha community participation in tourism development by examining their views on their role in the planning and development of Erin-Ijesha Waterfall resort. Data were gathered by reviewing office records and academic books, administration of 205 questionnaire and field observation. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data collected for the study. Findings revealed that local communities want to be involved when tourism policies are being made to enable policy makers to prepare a policy that meets stakeholders’ needs and addresses  their concerns. The locals also want to be actively involved on decisions bothered on tourism development to ensure their needs are incorporated. Also, they equally want to a voice in development issues generally to enable them protect their community’s norms, values and interests and increase transparency and equity. The findings also revealed that the locals are against the prevailing ‘top-down’ approach in decision making when it comes to tourism development in their areas.


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