Nagarjuna G & Joby Thomas
The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism Article 5 states that tourism should be a beneficial activity for host countries and communities (UNWTO). The code also emphasises on equitable distribution (between host countries and communities) of the economic and sociocultural benefits generated by tourism activities. The tourism resorts and accommodation sector have to involve local communities in socio-economic activities and priority should be given to local manpower. A wildlife resort has vast opportunities to involve local communities in their day to day operation by purchasing local products, promoting local festivals, providing employment opportunities to locals, and involving local communities in decision-making. Wildlife resorts can also promote local culture, create environment awareness among local people, provide educational support to the local children, and support development of infrastructure and medical facilities for the locals. Though local communities can be involved in various activities of wildlife resorts, it is essential to address the issues and challenges that hinder wildlife resorts from doing so. This paper attempts to determine the issues and challenges faced by wildlife resorts in involving local communities in their day to day operations and suggests ways and means to overcome those challenges. The scope of the study covered selected wildlife resorts in Karnataka. The targeted respondents of the research survey were resort managers and data were collected using open-ended questions to understand real-time issues and challenges involving local communities in resort activities. The data were then analysed using thematic text analysis. The findings from the study will help explore means of providing a better framework which will help wildlife resorts overcome issues and challenges involving local communities.
Keywords: Wildlife resorts, local community, sociocultural, issues and challenges