Rationale and Options for Community Participation in Ecotourism Development in South East Nigeria

Edwin Njoba Onyeabor


The paper reviewed the rationale and options for local community participation in ecotourism development in South East Nigeria.  The concepts of ecotourism, community and participation were analyzed. The objectives and conditions of community-based ecotourism development were considered against the background of South East Nigeria socio-cultural and environmental situation. Then the rationale and options for community-based ecotourism development were reviewed along with the opportunities and threats to the communities. The conclusion was that tourism as a component force of globalization and ecotourism as a sustainable development paradigm, present vast opportunities for rural community development and poverty reduction in the South East Nigeria that can be maximized by assisting communities to get directly involved. The paper recommends that local and State Government agencies and NGOs should partner with communities in planning, implanting and monitoring of viable community-based ecotourism projects to enhance environmental conservation and economic welfare of communities in the zone.

Key word: Ecotourism, Community Participation, Rationale, Options, South East Nigeria

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