Socio-economic effects of ecotourism on the communities living around Budongo forest reserve
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Community involvement and benefits are key elements of nature conservation and ecotourism and is largely perceived to include public participation in decision making and communities’ receipt of benefits from ecotourism. The aim of this study was to access the socio-economic effects of ecotourism on local community living around Budongo forest reserve. Data were collected using a questionnaire and purposive sampling technique. Responses filled in the questionnaire were edited, coded and entered in SPSS to create a data file and were later subjected to analysis to generate summaries. It was found that the local communities around Budongo forest reserve receive financial benefits from ecotourism and are also involved in the development initiatives around the forest. It is concluded that the local community around Budongo forest reserve are benefiting from ecotourism activities in their area in terms of employment, developments and services. It is recommended that the government should provide alternatives sources of energy to reduce forest exploitation and supportive development plan for people living around protected area to improve their livelihood.