Residents' Perceptions of and Participation in Rural Tourism Development: Acumens From Karimenga Community in Ghana

Residents' Perceptions of and Participation in Rural Tourism Development: Acumens From Karimenga Community in Ghana

Conrad-Joseph Wuleka Kuuder (University for Development Studies, Ghana), Sadia Shine Sulemana (University of Macau, China) and Evelyn Kuusozume Yirbekyaa (University for Development Studies, Ghana)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1302-6.ch009

Abstract

Rural tourism development in contemporary times is viewed with a participatory approach lens thus allowing local residents to benefit. This study assessed tourism development in Karimenga, a community in the West Mamprusi District with a facility dubbed the “Greenhouse Tourism Project”. It also assessed the perception of residents on their participation in tourism and equally explored the impact of tourism development in the community. Employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches, data were sourced from a sample of 112 residents through questionnaire administration and In-depth Interview (IDI) schedules. The study revealed that the majority of the residents (67%) were involved in tourism decision making. It is recommended that benefits from tourism be made to ‘spiral' the community to reach most households through loans granted by the assembly for handicraft work to enhance souvenir trade.
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Geotourism Vis-À-Vis Rural Tourism

In tourism development literature, the emergence of geotourism employs similar tenets which is akin to rural tourism. Geotourism is a phenomenon that offers a more sustainable tourism which is more holistic (Dowling and Newsome, 2017). It enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place—its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents (National Geographic, 2019). Features of geotourism serving as “pull factors” to the geotraveller are: Integrity of a place, community involvement, community benefit, tourist satisfaction, conservation of resources, planning, land use and market diversity. Geotourism is therefore not a niche in the tourism market but an emerging phenomenon that helps local businesses develop approaches to tourism drawing on the area’s nature, history and culture, including food and drink, artisanship, performance and arts (National Geographic, 2019). Indeed, Jaafar, et. al., (2015) and Marfo (2014) noted in the literature that tourism often created new business opportunities in rural destinations thus offering employment to rural folks. It is a kind of travel that makes visitors aware of and to gain some understanding of the geological features that surround them. In geotourism, residents discover their own heritage by learning that things they take for granted may be interesting to outsiders and as local people develop pride and skills in showing their locale, tourists get more out of their visit. Geotourism will not lure a tourist to an exotic destination only to later put him/her in Hilton or Marriot and in addition give him coupons to feed from Taco Bell or McDonald’s but instead lay the platform for the tourist to appreciate everything local (Kardaman, 2019).

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