Local Residents’ Attitudes and Perceptions Towards Tourism Development: A Study of Lake Nakuru National Park and Its Environs, Kenya.
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AuthorKariuki, Phoebe N.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractLocal residents‟ attitudes and perceptions are critical in determining tourism development in host destinations and cannot be overemphasized. This study was conducted within and around Lake Nakuru National Park (LNNP) between May and July 2011. The study sought to assess the attitudes and perceptions of local residents towards tourism development within LNNP and its environs. Specific objectives of the study were: to determine the local residents‟ involvement in tourism development in LNNP; to determine factors that influence the attitudes and perceptions of local people towards tourism development in LNNP; to determine the attitudes and perceptions of the local people towards tourism development in LNNP; and to determine the benefits derived and cost incurred from tourism development within and around LNNP. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect primary data while secondary data was sourced from published and unpublished sources like books and journals. The target population consisted of local residents living adjacent to the park and KWS management staff of LNNP. A sample of 300 respondents was randomly selected from the local community while 12 respondents were purposively chosen from among LNNP staff. Data was analyzed descriptively using frequencies and percentages, while inferential statistical analysis was done using the chi-square test. There was a significant difference (χ2 =105.92, df=2, p<0.001) among respondents who agreed, were undecided and those who disagreed that local people are involved in tourism development. There was a significant difference between the respondents belief about local residents‟ involvement in tourism development and occupation of the respondents (χ2 =157.32, df=8, p< 0.0001). KWS management staff interviewed singled out lack of proper and clearly laid down policy on how to involve local people in tourism development in LNNP as a major obstacle. It is concluded that local residents have negative attitudes and perceptions towards tourism development since the revenue generated does not help them. Local residents also incur a lot of losses in repairing damaged properties, and the level of their involvement is very minimal as it was through self-help groups and conservation clubs. It is therefore recommended that provision of tangible benefits and alternative livelihoods for residents at the grassroots level should be considered as a central philosophy of park planning. LNNP and other PAs should not only aim at changing attitudes and perceptions of local residents towards tourism development but also their behaviour in relation to the benefits accrued to them from tourism development. There is also the need to review the Wildlife Act and provide compensation for all losses incurred from wildlife.
Publisher or UniversityMoi University, Eldoret, Kenya