PROTECTED AREAS AND ECOTOURISM DEVELOPMENT
Tourism has been identified as the world's most important civil industry, contributing over $3.5 trillion (US) to the global economy annually (W.T.T.C, 1996). The travel and tourism industry is known to employ more than 200 million workers, i.e. 1 in 15 workers worldwide, while global receipts from international tourism are expected to rise by almost 9% a year and exceed $527 billion (US) in a year (Ceballos-Lascuráin, 1996). This shows that tourists' movements are increasing annually. People travel to other countries for sight seeing, adventure, education, business and relaxation. These tourists travel mostly to natural areas, especially to legally protected areas to enjoy scenes from the landscape, flora, fauna and other cultural as well as historical features.
In countries all over the world, large areas with varying vegetation types are given legal protection, where animals are allowed to roam about for tourists to visit and view them. This is a major aspect of ecotourism. In Ghana, the tourism industry (in which ecotourism plays a major part) generated about (US) $240 million in 1996, thus contributing approximately 3.5% of the GDP and employing 300,000 persons directly and indirectly (Wildlife Div., 1997). Tourists arriving in the country have shown much interest not only
in the country's heritage and cultural tourism, but also in her spectacular wildlife, found in protected areas.
This study is about ecotourism development in one of such protected areas in Ghana—Bia National Park (BNP). Although this park is relatively less known, it has the potential to attract more tourists, if it is well developed. This introductory chapter discusses the background to the study, the study area, and the problem of the study. The objectives, hypotheses to be tested, significance of the study, definition of terms and the structure of the thesis, are also outlined.
Background to the Study... [continues]
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(2012, 05). Bia National Park: a Case for Sustainable Ecotourism Development Through Community Participation. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 05, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Bia-National-Park-A-Case-For-997237.html
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