Sustained economic growth through co-management by SWOT analysis in Zambia : the case of Mukuni village craft market

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 12
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    Tourism is a viable economic sector with potential to improve people’s livelihoods particularly in rural areas of the developing world. However, due to ill management, tourism has in most instances failed to generate the expected gains. With a shift in natural resource management to more inclusive bottom-up approaches, co-management - the mutual sharing of power and responsibility among stakeholders of a resource, has emerged as a panacea to problems raised by unsustainable tourism practice. Co-management is predicated on the idea that empowerment of local communities through their involvement in governance of natural resources not only assures them of social and economic gains, but also fosters favourable attitudes towards protection of the environment. Consequently, co-management is viewed as an avenue through which the threefold goal of ecologic, social and economic sustainability of tourism can be attained. Mukuni village with its rich cultural heritage is adjacent to the Victoria Falls in Zambia and an international tourist destination. Mukuni village established a co-management initiative to manage its tourism resources and this study investigates the collaborative structures and practices for sustainable tourism-related resource management in the village. Qualitative research methods employed 32 semi-structured in-depth interviews with stakeholders involved in the co-management initiative. Analysed data and findings are presented in a SWOT-analysis format. The study concludes that collaborative structures and practices for tourism-related resource management in Mukuni are not sustainable as some stakeholders’ interests were found to favour social and economic goals ahead of environmental ones with unfavourable implications for sustainable tourism. Recommendations are that government policy on tourism be amended towards more stringent enforcement of environmental legislation.