Full Length Research Paper
The purpose of this study is to examine the extent of community participation in the Community-Based Ecotourism Projects in the Brong-Ahafo Region. The sample of the study was 281 respondents and these were randomly selected. Also, opinions of 14 leaders were purposively selected for the in-depth interview. Data were collected using both questionnaires and interviews. The study utilized a multi-stage sampling procedure to select respondents. The findings showed that effects of community participation on tourism development involved environmental protection, conflict resolution, employment and time consuming. Barriers to community participation in the projects were religious beliefs, lack of government support, funds, appropriate knowledge in tourism and lack of co-operation by some residents. In general, there was no significant difference in barriers to community participation among the socio-demographic characteristics of residents in the projects. It was recommended that the government through the rural banks in the area should initiate a special tourism related micro-finance scheme for the communities. Finally, the government should support the local communities by improving infrastructure and providing enough security to the projects in the region.
Key words: Barriers, community participation, tourism development, residents.
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