Sustaining Ecotourism in Tanzania through Community Empowerment

This study explores the contribution of community empowerment to the sustainability of ecotourism in Tanzania using education programmes, access to information and language. Through the survey approach data was collected from Tanzania’s ecotourism stakeholders (N=250) in the eight  selected regions of Dar es Salaam, Pwani, Morogoro, Tanga and Zanzibar (for the eastern tourism circuit) and  Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Manyara (for the northern circuit) and thereafter a qualitative analysis was employed complemented by estimation of the multinomial logistic regression model. The findings show that tourism stakeholders lack sufficient knowledge on ecotourism conservation and preservation. Likewise community members have poor access to information due to insufficient ecotourism publications, tourist information centres, a reliable mechanism for communicating with stakeholders and the use of foreign languages in most of the publications.  It is therefore the study’s recommendation that community members be empowered through being provided with adequate education programmes and access to relevant information and the use of a language that is understood by them in order to broaden their level of understanding, enhance their management skills and contribute significantly to ecotourism-related activities.