A study to assess the contribution of tourist hotels in socio-economic development was carried out in Mto wa Mbu Ward in Monduli District. Survey data were collected using household questionnaire survey, focus group discussion, semi-structured interviews, and by physical visits. The study revealed that tourist hotels and/or lodges realized TZS 665, 496,000 (US $ 443,664) per annum and offered employment to 143 people, out of which 19% were females. In addition, hotels and/or lodges investors helped village governments in implementing different socio-economic development projects such as schools, dispensaries, and provision of clean water. Despite these livelihood achievements, only 9.3% of the local communities had the opinion that these investments were of beneficial to them. The study concludes that these investments have the potential of improving local communities’ livelihood. To achieve this, the study recommends active local participation in the tourism development process by involving government and other tourist stakeholders such as tour companies and travel agencies.
Key words: Conservation, governance, development, livelihood, Monduli, tourism.
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