The role of tourism on local community development in Tanzania

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Kampala International University
Tourism is the act of travelling from one destination to another by both foreigners and locals. One pays a visit to preserved game parks and other historical sites in a country at their own expense as part of relaxation, enjoyment and fulfilment of a dream or for business purposes. As a result they contribute to the government revenue. In Tanzania, tourism accounts for 25 percent of total export revenue and is increasing at the rate of 8 percent per year. The main objective of this study was to establish the role of tourism in local community development and understand the constraints to community members’ participation in local communities adjacent and within the tourism sites. The study used mixed research method where both primary and secondary data were used in analyzing the linkage between tourism activities and their impact on the local communities adjacent to and within tourism sites in Arusha region. The study areas were the villages around Arusha National Park, Manyara, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Olduvai Gorge and Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Primary data was collected through interviews, structured questionnaires, and focus group discussions. The secondary data was gathered through a literature survey of relevant textbooks, reports, legislations and journals. The findings of the study show that tourism resources contribute to local community development specifically on the educational and infrastructural development. Furthermore, the findings revealed that while a relationship which shows positive perceptions of increased tourism resources contributing to poverty reduction and local community development is strong, the local communities are not accessing the tourism market to increase their earning. Since fiscal decentralization practices in Tanzania was instituted to bring about decision-making process at the grassroots level and activate economic development, it also unfolds new challenges and contradictions, specifically to local communities within and around the tourism sites in Arusha region. These need to be addressed effectively. It was recommended that the government of Tanzania should take a leading role to encourage performance of tourism resources on local communities’ development process within and around the national parks in Arusha region through an emphasis on economic fiscal decentralization policy implementation.
Presented to the Directorate of Postgraduate Studies and Research Kampala International University-Tanzania in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of a Doctoral Degree in Public Administration and Management
Tourism, Local community development, Tanzania