Importance Of Community-Based Ecotourism

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Participation in Community-Based Ecotourism
Local community participation in all endeavors of ecotourism is not a new concept. The word participation implies how and to what extent people are able to share their views, take part in an activity, programme, project, decision–making, profit sharing and other issues related to the tourism development process. The most important reason for the inclusion of local inhabitants in ecotourism is equity, taking into consideration the conservation of the area through ecotourism development which inevitably entails restrictions in the traditional usage of local resources by the residents (Eagles et al., 1992 cited in Lindberg, 1998).
In fact, numerous studies indicate the importance of incorporating the perceptions, values and interest of the local people in the very region where the ecotourism resource/destination is found (Vincent and Thomson, 2002). Taking part of local people should be encouraged from the very beginning by promoting public dialogue and by enabling them to participate in the process of decision making and profit sharing (Diamantis, 2004). The primary concept for the development of community-based ecotourism is the empowerment of local people. This is only possible when ecotourism planning takes into consideration the views, the perceptions and preferences of the local wellbeing (WWF-International, 2001). Community participation in community-based ecotourism makes the project sustainable and attains the objective in
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