Tourism Potentials of Wof-washa National Priority Forest Area, Ethiopia: Its Significance to Community-Based Ecotourism Development

Endalkachew Teshome


In Ethiopia, protected areas cover 14% of the country, and they play a significant role in conservation, community-based ecotourism, recreation, and employment. This study was intended to assess the potential of Wof-washa National Priority Forest Area for conservation- and community-based ecotourism development. Cross-sectional study design combining both quantitative and qualitative methods was used to describe the existing potential in Wof-washa. A total of 211 participants completed a questionnaire, and the data received were analyzed by using SPSS Version 20. Two tourism potentials were identified. The first were physical aspects such as the spectacular beauty of landscape, caves, holy water, rivers, and exceptional views of remarkable land forms. The second was biological potentials, such as two endemic flagship species, Menelick’s bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki) and Gelada baboon (Theropithecus gelada), and 33 other mammal species. The Wof-washa National Priority Forest Area also contains over 252 plant species, among which 29 are endemic and 7 are nearly endemic. Communities who live in the forest area are charming and willing to participate in tourism activities and offer another aspect attracting tourists. The Wof-washa National Priority Forest Area has a rich cultural heritage that includes styles of music, manuscripts, dress, crafts, and architecture which could be potential tourism resources. In general the area has exciting potential to develop community-based ecotourism, but infrastructure and facilities are either poorly developed or nonexistent. Therefore, infrastructure, accessibility and amenities such as security, promotional materials, and information centers should be developed based on community-based ecotourism standards.

Keyword: Potentials, Community Based Ecotourism and Wof-washa National Forest Priority Area

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ISSN (Paper) 2312-5187   ISSN (Online) 2312-5179

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