Significance of Namugabwe cave in the development of tourism around Sironko district
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This study was carried out to assess significance of Namugabwe cave in the development of tourism in Uganda. The objectives that guided the study were: (i) to assess the potential of Namugabwe cave as a tourism site, (ii) to identity the tourism facilities around the site and (iii) to assess the level of participation of local communities in tourism activities. A sample size of 60 respondents was obtained and included 60 local community members who were selected by use of both simple random and purposive sampling techniques. The data was collected using questionnaires and interviews and data was analyzed quantitatively using SPSS and qualitatively using thematic analysis. Data analyzed revealed that there are different tourism attractions and activities at Namugabwe Cave which includes hills and mountains, caves and stones, local culture, cultural rituals, local crafts, rivers and waterfalls wild animals among others. Caves especially Kintu, Mudde and hills are more important. The findings revealed that such tourism activities and resources at Namugabwe Cave can be developed through renovation of the monument, road construction, proper communication through sign posts, marketing of the area, sensitization of people, fencing of the site, improvement of security and issuing of management plan by district. Field findings further revealed that Namugabwe Cave activities have contributed both socially and economically to the local people through creation of employment opportunities, conservation and the site provides a place for worship and social services. The direct beneficiaries from tourism development were craft producers, guides and committee members who earn a living. The results revealed that there are a challenges facing the promotion of development of tourism at Namugabwe Cave and they included poor roads, lack of tourism training, poor infrastructure, language barrier and poor accommodation. The study recommends that an aggressive marketing campaign should be done by both government and private tourism operators to promote Namugabwe Cave as tourism destination and need to sensitize local people in the area so as to enlighten them about the values/ benefits of tourism and how they can easily tap these benefits for enhancement of their social wellbeing.