Main Article Content
It is believed that for tourism industry to become successful, domestic, and international tourism should complement each other. But domestic tourism in many developing countries is nearly non-existent, with local residents mainly visiting friends and relatives. The study to examine characteristics and factors affecting domestic tourism was carried out in northern Tanzania tourist circuit. Specifically the study sought to determine the characteristics of Tanzanians who mostly visit the protected areas; to identify and assess factors affecting domestic tourism; and different factors that hinder growth of domestic tourism. A sample of 322 respondents was interviewed. Primary data was collected through questionnaires, focus group discussions, informal discussion; and secondary data was obtained from tourists visiting reports, and statistics. Data was analysed for descriptive statistics. The results obtained revealed that: More men visited wildlife protected areas than women. The age group of 26 – 37 was the most active group in visiting protected areas. Low financial income was indicated as the main constraint (77.0%) affecting the growth of domestic tourism, followed by means of communication and inadequate information (71.8%). It is recommended that, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism need more plans, efforts, and combination of approaches in promoting and marketing domestic tourism.
Key words: Domestic tourism, local communities, northern circuit, Tanzania, wildlife protected areas