Impact of cultural tourism on poverty alleviation The Case of Kilimanjaro Rural Communities in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The overall objective of this study was to investigate the impact of cultural tourism on poverty reduction, the case of Kilimanjaro rural communities in northern Tanzania. More specifically the study intended to: (i) assess the local community’s access to basic needs after the introduction of cultural tourism, (ii) identify barriers to the participation of the local people in tourism and how to overcome them, and (iii) investigate the contribution of cultural tourism to family income and wealth in terms of savings and investments. The study involved 80 respondents from Vunjo and Rombo rural communities where cultural tourism sites are located and 5 respondents who are site officials were interviewed as representatives in this study. Primary data were collected from key players of Tanzania Cultural Tourism Program (TCTP) especially officers of the TCTP coordination office, Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT). The methodology allowed respondents to provide enough and accurate data since room to elaborate on some questions was guaranteed since data were obtained through questionnaires. Statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS) Version 15 where completed questionnaires were coded and the quantitative data was analysed. The results were presented using frequencies and charts to supplement and support explanations. The results from the analysis indicated that cultural tourism has been demonstrated to have the potential of directly contributing to poverty reduction through (i) employment and job creation for local people (ii) generating markets for locally made products as well as (iii) exposing the community to knowledge and increased confidence in local people to undertake relevant activities. It also has the potential of opening up tourism opportunities in rural areas as promising tourist destinations. The research findings confirmed that cultural tourism had contributed a lot to improve the livelihood of the poor people in rural Kilimanjaro. Its impact differed from one village to another but what all shared in common was the ability to get a reliable source of income in rural areas unlike in the past where they solely depended on selling their livestock or crops. After the introduction of cultural tourism for at least the past ten years, , local people had noticed significant social progress ranging from rise of household income, access to education and health facilities in Kilimanjaro. One of the more important recommendations arising from the study involves the need to institute training programmes at the community level that will ultimately provide opportunities for the local people to be employed in various tourism businesses.
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Tourism, Heritage tourism, Poverty alleviation, Kilimanjaro rural communities, Tanzania
Makundi, F.S.(2013). Impact of cultural tourism on poverty alleviation The Case of Kilimanjaro Rural Communities in Tanzania. Master dissertation, university of Dar es Salaam. Available at (