EuroEconomica, Vol 37, No 2 (2018)

Ecotourism and Alternative Livelihood Strategies in Cameroon’s Protected Areas

Vyasha Harilal, Tembi M. Tichaawa


The aim of this study was to investigate the alternative livelihood strategies that local community members utilise to insulate themselves against the fragmented nature of the tourism industry. The study employed a mixed method research approach, based on two case study areas (the Mount Cameroon National Park and the Douala Edéa Wildlife Reserve) in Cameroon. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 383 households, collectively, in the two study areas, and in-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with key informants. Key findings of the study suggest that many locals engage primarily in various agricultural activities as a livelihood strategy. Although the ecotourism activities present an opportunity in which the locals can engage, it is necessary to secure alternate forms of generating income, due to the seasonality and resultant instability of the industry. The extent to which the communities are impacted upon by ecotourism differs in each case study area. The study advises destination managers to devise plans, policy and strategies that will valorise the sector and facilitate participative management, including the local communities in decision-making processes and in the implementation of ecotourism in their communities.


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