Agnes Sirima & Mathew Ladslaus
This paper emanates from the research on the Usangu Plains in Tanzania to
illustrate community benefits from nature-based tourism enterprises as a link between income generation and conservation. Following park expansions which left the majority of communities landless and short of livelihood activities, communities are now seeking new avenues for sustaining their lives. We seek to enrich our understanding on the impacts of protected area creation on displaced communities by looking at alternatives that would help to offset the negative impact brought about by these management operations. This research identified several investment opportunities for tourism business in the area to include boat safaris, eco-tourism activities, fresh water sport fishing activities, and home stays which can be developed and managed in collaboration with local communities. However, the majority of communities in the area rely heavily on agricultural activities and do not see benefits that can be obtained from other land uses. Since the park expansion, agriculture and livestock activities have been reduced and there is no tourism activities in the extended area so far. Hence, it is the right timing for interested actors to capitalise on the tourism potential that the area possesses to educate these communities and let them benefit from tourism activities.
Keywords: Tourism enterprises, income generation, protected areas, local communities, Tanzani