Community participation in tourism development : a case study of Ada
This paper examines the effectiveness of community participation in tourism development and introduces the community based-tourism relationship model as applied to a case in Ada, Ghana. The application demonstrates that the model is a tool for successful development of sustainable tourism. It focuses on the “circulation mechanism” that connects community resources and extra-community stakeholders through community-based intermediaries, and a “balancing mechanism” that considers the existence value and economic value, supplemented by the community-based intermediary‟s functions to transfer financial and technology capital from tourist sources. Other researchers including Butler, 1998, suggest that community-based tourism development may provide an opportunity for a sustainable tourism industry. An empirical study was conducted with descriptive and exploratory survey adopted for this study. Primary data for the study was obtained through structured and unstructured interviews with locals, tourists, traditional council and district officials. 65% of the respondent indicated that tourism development in the area has a positive impact on job creation and it should be inclusive of the area inhabitants. Community-based tourism is seen as an all-inclusive bottom-up approach to tourism planning and development that incorporates local entrepreneurs in the planning process, in a meaningful way. Collaboration amongst all key stakeholders is imperative for creating a sustainable enabling environment for all inclusive participation in community based tourism.