Role of tour guides in promoting ecotourism in lake mburo national park, western Uganda
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The study was conducted to examine the role of tour guides in promoting ecotourism in Lake Mburo National Park, western Uganda. The study was conducted using questionnaire and interview methods. A total of forty five respondents were interviewed. It was found out that the roles of tour guides include interpreting ecotourism products, giving information and education to travelers, mediation of tourist trips and presenting of ecotourim tourist groups play a leading role in development of tourist activities. The eco-tourists participate in activities like wildlife viewing, environmental conservation, cultural ecotourism activities, boat cruise, birding and sport hunting. The results also showed that tour guides encounter a lot of challenges while promoting ecotourism and these included lack of ecotourism trained tour guides, difficulty in managing tourist experiences, conservatism, seasonality of tourism, bad practices by fellow tour guides and lack of categorization of tour guides. Despite all the above listed challenges Lake Mburo National Park has got a variety of animal species and these include, impalas, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, waterbucks, warthogs, kobs, zebras and many more. The study established that there are remedies which need to be put in action to further promote ecotourism. These remedies include introducing a specialized training for tour guides, a good presentation of their grievances and complaints to relevant authorities and a need to register tour guides and issue them with certificates or licenses.