Socio-economic effects of tourism on local communities living around Bwindi impenetrable national park: A case study Ruhija section in Rubanda district.
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ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine the socio-economic impact of tourism on communities around the tourist destinations and tourist attractions, with specific reference to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the specific impact it has on the communities around it.Qualitative research methods were used and 91 respondents responded positively by filling in questionnaires. Interviews were conducted with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park management. The research findings reveal that the communities around the National Park are benefiting from the National Park through employment. Findings also indicate that the National Park is contributing positively towards the local economy of the area and the development of the communities. At the same time, however, the research findings indicate that the national park is impacting negatively on the local communities by contributing to the increasing cost of services. The major conclusion is that, Tourism is positively contributing to the economic growth of area. This is in terms of contribution to jobs, growth of businesses though it has increased the costs of living and there has been no much contribution towards improvement of services.From the research done there is indication of consciousness to peoples culture and appreciation of local culture by both the tourists and locals. There are The research also demonstrated that host communities are changing ways to accommodate tourist needs of which is a negative impact. Locals also socially benefit from the tourism through friends and those who donate to social causes like education of the community. The key recommendation is that the locals should be educated about the importance of preserving their culture to reduces the negative impacts like demonstration effect and train them to make them qualified for the bigger posts in the employment benefit of tourism to the community.