Community participation in tourist resort development in Gashaka Gumti National Park, north eastern Nigeria
This paper attempts to evaluate the level of community participation in tourism resort development in Gashaka Gumti National park. Questionnaires were administered in all the officially recognized Communities by the National Park with a view to getting first-hand information from the members of the Communities. Data collected includes socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, as well as tourist attractions and facilities available in the national park. Findings of the study revealed that different forest, animals and birds species attracts tourists to the park. Communities, facilities such as schools, health centres, and television viewing centres, electricity, and public tap water among others were also provided in the communities within and around the National park. However, only about 10% of the respondents have access to tap water because over 50% of the respondents get water from rivers and streams. Most of these facilities were provided by the Adamawa and Taraba States and the Local Government Areas of Toungo, Gashaka and Sardauna. The paper also discovered that tourists were mostly attracted by the presence of standard restaurant and indoor and outdoor sporting facilities in the National Park. Recommendations were also made on how to improve the partnership programmes between the National Park and the Communities.
Keywords: Tourists Resort, Gashaka-Gumti, National Park, Community Participation