Local Communities’ Participations and Involvements in the Tourism Sector: Practices and Challenges in Major Tourist Destinations of Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia

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Emwodew Melkegnaw Demeke


Local people’s participations and involvements are the key path to sustainable tourism development when they are treated as the basic inputs and products in the decision-making processes of tourism activities. Though several studies attempted to study local people’s participations in tourism develop- ment, they overlooked the challenges that hinder local people’s participations in the stated sector. Thus, this study investigated the participations and involvements of local people in the tourism sector with particular emphasis on practices, and challenges in major tourist destinations of the Amhara region. In order to achieve the objective of the study, critical ethnographic design with qualitative research approach was employed. Based on this, four tourist destinations namely, Gondar city, Lalibela and its surroundings, Simien Mountains National Park, and Tana Monasteries and Tis Abay falls were included using purposive sampling technique. In-depth interview, key informant interview, and focus group discussions (FGDs) were used to collect the data. Finally, the collected data were analyzed the- matically. The findings indicate that many challenges destruct the participations of local communities in tourism activities such as institutional barriers, political affiliations, the reluctance of local officials in disseminating tourist information, lack of strong coordination among stakeholders, power disparities, political unrest (state of emergency declared for a year in the year 2017), and mistrust of authorities on the participations of local people. It can be, as a result, deduced that the local communities are mostly excluded from the decision-making processes of tourism development. Thus, the paper tries to show possible implications if there will be no involvements of local people in development inducing tourism sector

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