Ecotourism has been reported as a sustainable measure of bridging conservation goals and livelihood sustenance around protected areas, with very little information on the Campo Ma’an National Park (CMNP). This study was initiated to assess the impact of ecotourism activities on the livelihood of the local population living around the CMNP. Data were collected with questionnaires through household surveys and focus group discussions, interviews with key informants and observations in 9 communities. Chi-square test, Spearman’s rank correlation and regressions were used for data analysis. The study revealed that 65% of the local population perceived that ecotourism activities do not contribute to livelihood improvement. Chi-square statistics and Spearman rank correlation coefficients showed that the main factors plausibly affecting the impact of ecotourism activities around the CMNP on the local population’s livelihood were community, gender, main and secondary occupation, level of education, ethnic group, and number of children. Coefficients of the logistic regression model indicated that the main factors influencing the impact of ecotourism around the CMNP on the local population’s livelihood were gender (β = 1.218; p<0.05); and level of education (β = 0.442; p<0.05). It is recommended that decision-makers integrate these factors when formulating policies geared towards ensuring livelihood sustenance through ecotourism around the CMNP.
Key words: Ecotourism, livelihood, local population, Campo Ma’an National Park, South Region of Cameroon.
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