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Journal of Tourism & Hospitality

Journal of Tourism & Hospitality
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0269

+44 1300 500008

Abstract

Potentials and Opportunities of Community Tourism Venture in the Wof- Washa Dry Afromontane Hotspot Forest, North Shewa Administrative Zone, Ethiopia

Birhan Ali Woldie and Solomon Ayele Tadesse

The Wof-Washa Dry Afromontane Hotspot Forest is one of the oldest proclaimed state forests in the central highlands of Ethiopia. The forest is endowed with mosaic of landscapes, natural and plantation forests, mosaic of cultures and traditions, the presence of historical site in the vicinity, variety of bird species, and the presence of different wild mammal species including the large body-sizedendemic gelada and Menelik’s bushbuck. All of these are top tourist attractions in the area. However, the forest is under serious human-and livestock-induced pressure that threatens the status of the natural biodiversity. The objective of this paper was to explore potentials and opportunities of community tourism venture in the Wof-Washa Dry Afromontane Hotspot Forest.To introduce and promote community-based ecotourism in the Wof-Washa Dry Afromontane Hotspot Forest, SUNARMA (i.e. Sustianable Natural Resources Management Association) has built tourist campsites at four different sites (namely: Kundi, Goshu-Meda, Mescha, and Liq-Marefya). Since Septermber 2017, domestic and foreign (i.e. international) tourists have started visiting the forest. For example, a total of 243 tourists so far visited the forest and about 97,386 ETB (i.e. equivalent to $ 3,536.91) was collected as a revenue from the visitng tourists. As per the agreement, the revenue was equally distributed to all members who belonged to the four community-based ecotourism cooperatives found around the forest. This suggests that introducing and promoting community-based conservation efforts that allow communities to derive economic benefits from ecotourism enhance forest conservation while at the same time providing an optimal solution to resource use conflicts. Ecotourism activity can also improve and diversify the incomes of the local people through creating job opportunities, such as tourist guiding services, souvenir selling, and horse renting all of which can help make community-based ecotourism economically viable in the Wof-Washa Dry Afromontane Hotspot Fores

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