Determinants of Sustainability of Community Based Ecotourism Development Projects in Kenya. A Case of Northern Rangeland Trust Conservancy, Meru County
Murungi, Titus M
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The primary purpose of the study was to determine the factors influencing sustainability of community based ecotourism development projects in Kenya. Specifically, the study focused on Northern Rangeland Trust Conservancy in Meru County. The study specifically focused on the influence of community participation, stakeholders’ collaborations, project management practices and financial viability on sustainability of Northern Rangeland Trust Conservancy Projects in Meru County. The reviewed theories included agency theory, stakeholder theory and resource based theory. The research used descriptive research design in the collection of data on the factors influencing sustainability of community based ecotourism development projects in Kenya. The target population for this study was 144 respondents comprising of project staff in Northern Rangeland Trust Conservancy in Meru County. Krejcie and Morgan approach was used to determine the sample size of 105 respondents. This study adopted a stratified and simple random sampling technique. Data was acquired both from primary and secondary sources. Structured questionnaires were distributed to the targeted population. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Version 25.0). All the questionnaires received were referenced and items in the questionnaire were coded to facilitate data entry. After data cleaning which entailed checking for errors in entry, descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, mean score and standard deviation were estimated for all the quantitative variables. The qualitative data from the open ended questions was analyzed using conceptual content analysis and presented in prose. Inferential data analysis was done using multiple regression analysis. Information was presented inform of tables. The study found that community participation influences the sustainability of community based ecotourism projects in Meru County very greatly. The study also found that networking with tourism expertise; and facilitating links to market influence sustainability of community based ecotourism projects in Meru County to a great extent. Local innovations were found to influence sustainability of community based ecotourism projects in Meru County to a low extent.. The study also found that transparent management of financial resources affect sustainability of community based ecotourism projects in Meru County to a very great extent. The study concluded that community participation had the greatest influence on sustainability of community based ecotourism development projects in Meru County, followed by financial viability, then stakeholders’ collaborations while project management practices had the least influence on the sustainability of community based ecotourism development projects in Meru county. The study there is need for the government and NGO’s to encourage the local community to diversify their income generating activities and venture into bee keeping and supply of goods and services among others. The Community Based Ecotourism Projects’ stakeholders or partners in Meru should also promote information flow, awareness and communication amongst themselves so as to ensure transparency and accountability which are key to the success of community-based enterprises. County government should adopt a more collaborative approach when dealing with community based county projects.
University of Nairobi
SubjectEcotourism Development Projects
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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