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Residents Views on Benefits and Costs of Ecotourism Projects: A Study of Bobiri Forest and Butterfly Sanctuary in Ghana

International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Systems

Volume 11 Issue 1

Published: 2018
Author(s) Name: Gloria Owusu Sarpong, Baaba Blankson, Collins Tuffour Britwum | Author(s) Affiliation: Dept. of Hotel, Catering and Institutional Mgt., Faculty of Applied Scie., Kumasi Tech. Univ., Ghana
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Abstract

Sustainability of ecotourism projects has been a subject of interest to researchers around the world. Whilst tourism researchers advocate the need for constant monitoring and evaluation of tourism impacts, studies on residents perceptions on benefits and costs of ecotourism projects, especially in developing countries, remains under researched. This paper brings to the fore issues on residents views on the benefits and costs of ecotourism projects at Bobiri Forest and Butterfly Sanctuary in Ghana. Residents acknowledged the presence of both benefits and costs of ecotourism development. However, it was revealed that residents were much interested in the socio-economic and socio-cultural benefits of tourism. The study suggests that socio-demographic characteristics, native status, place of residence and length of stay influence residents’ perceptions of tourism. Statistically a significant difference was found between place of residence and economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts of tourism. It was concluded that for the goal of ecotourism development to be achieved, there is the need for residents views on the project to be considered and thereby involving residents in ecotourism development. The study recommends that a longitudinal study should be conducted on the impacts of tourism in the area and community participation must be wholly encouraged.

Keywords: Ecotourism, Impacts of Tourism, Community Involvement, Sustainability, Residents

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