Harshavardhan Reddy Kummitha
The aim of this paper is to examine ecopreneurial initiatives and strategies for ecotourism development through the perception of local communities for two time periods: before and after the establishment of an ecopreneur organisation. A total of 296 survey questionnaires were administered and collected from community members involved in Kabani’s ecopreneurship activities, to assess their perception of destination development, economic development, infrastructural development, environmental conservation and sociocultural preservation before and after Kabani was established. Empirical results establish that destination development, economic development, infrastructural development, environmental conservation and sociocultural preservation were found not correlated before the establishment of Kabani. That suggests that there were not many tourism activities before Kabani was established. However, the same factors demonstrated correlation for the period after Kabani was established which demonstrates that ecopreneurial strategies do contribute to ecotourism development. This study concludes that since local communities’ perception is favourable for ecotourism after the establishment of ecopreneur organisations such as Kabani, ecopreneurs should adopt additional appropriate strategies towards the sustainable development of ecotourism destinations.
Keywords: Ecotourism, destination development, ecopreneurship, community development