Tourism Revenue Sharing and Community Participation in Tourism and Conservation around Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Nyaga, Njoka John
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The study assessed Tourism Revenue Sharing (TRS) and its impact on community participation in conservation and tourism around Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Further the study objectives were to analyze implementation of TRS and its impact on community participation in conservation and tourism around Volcanoes National Parks (VNP). In addition, the Local communities’ attitude towards tourism revenue sharing around VNP was assessed and how it impacted on their participation in conservation and tourism, to identify the constraints to revenue sharing around VNP. To achieve the above objectives the researcher used a descriptive research design utilizing both quantitative and qualitative techniques. A sample of five Rwanda Development Board (RDB) staff, eight local leaders and one hundred and seventy eight local communities was used. Also the researcher used simple random sampling to select local communities’ respondents and purposive sampling technique to select Rwanda Development Board staff and Local leaders. The results indicate that TRS implementation is not clear to many as there were contradictions in how the Officials of RDB say as compared to responses from the locals. However there was a general appreciation from a majority of the respondents (70%) in the TRS program. In spite of the dissatisfaction among majority of the respondents on the way TRS was being implemented, the majority of the respondents (90%) stated that they would readily participate in conservation and tourism activities if they were more involved in TRS process. From these inferences the researcher concluded that the participation of local communities in conservation and tourism activities was not influenced by the way TRS was being implemented or by the benefits accrued from it. However TRS could act as an inducement to improve local community participation. The findings however indicated that there was weak relationship between TRS implementation and community participation in conservation and tourism around Volcanoes national park (P<0.05) From the conclusions, the researcher thus recommended that RDB to take a leading role in enhancing local residents representation in the TRS implementation process as well as involving them in decision making process on projects to be funded. Also consider rewarding those close to the parks with more direct benefits as well as reducing the time taken to disburse the funds. Key word: Tourism revenue sharing, local community, community participation, conservation, tourism