Determinants of Community Support for Wildlife Tourism: Evidence from Udawalawa National Park in Sri Lanka
24 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2020
Date Written: August 14, 2019
The main purpose of this study was to examine local residents' attitudes and participation in tourism, and to explore factors which affect residents' support and participation in tourism in Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka. This study tests the structural equation model between community perceptions and opinions about the impacts of tourism, community participation and further to determine their willingness to support for wildlife tourism. The study is descriptive in nature, and is based on quantitative methodology to investigate the relationships between different constructs. The study site is called the Udawalawe National Park. Therefore population of this study represents the natives who are living in the Udawalawe area. For the sample size of this study was 160 citizens in Udawalawe area. Convenience and quota sampling methods were adapted methods from identified and independent sample frames to collect quantitative data from the respondents the questionnaire included with the community involvement and interest in tourism and community perception on tourism development impacts. It was made up of close-ended questions and five-point Likert scale type questions. The data was analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) with the SPSS. The result reveled that, there is a significant relationship between community participation and community perceived impacts. Hence, there is a significant relationship between community participation and support for wildlife tourism and there is no significant relationship between the perceived impact and wildlife tourism support and it also indicate a negative relationship. The results of factor analyses of tourism impacts identified two factors: Socio and Economic factors .but in the final result there is no statistically significant relationship and it also indicate a negative relationship. It can be conclude that the community participation can be increased by the education level of residents to understand their right and need for greater participation in the decision-making process. Also, outbound parties have greater responsibility make their contribution, to increase the involving the socio and economic factors in wild life tourism.
Keywords: wildlife tourism, community support, elephant safari, residents' attitude, satisfaction, Sri Lanka
JEL Classification: M10, M16, M21, M20, O10
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