Voices of local communities regarding their involvement and roles in the tourism development process in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: In less developed destinations, rapid commercial tourism development has gradually suppressed local communities’ central participation in tourist activities. While the literature suggests a number of roles that local residents can play in tourism development, to date very little emphasis has been placed on how the locals themselves feel about the issue, despite it being explained in tourist destinations’ policy configurations. Based on the case of Victoria Falls, this paper’s aim was to understand the degree of community involvement in tourism development, with the intention of finding a way to advance host community stimuli in terms of policy formulation and implementation. Through the series of 270 household surveys and interviews with resource persons conducted, the findings revealed that the local community’s involvement and participation was mainly linked to economic activities and employment. Furthermore, the local communities wanted to be involved, and incorporated in, the prevailing systems when tourism policies are being made to influence policymakers in preparing a policy that meets their needs and protects their interests.