International Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research
Vol.6 (7), pp. 111-121, July 2018
Available online at https://www.journalissues.org/IJAPR/
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.
Original Research Article
Assessment of community-based ecotourism prospects in southern Nigeria: Case study of Iko Esai Community
*1Asuk Sijeh Agbor, 1Ebu Vincent Tawo and 1Ifebueme Nzube Michael
1Department of Forestry and Wildlife Resources Management, University of Calabar, PMB 1115 Calabar, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Authors Email: sijehasuk(at)gmail.com; sijehasuk(at)unical.edu.ng
Cross River State is endowed with natural and cultural resources. Most of these resources are yet to be developed for tourist appreciation. The study aimed to assess the prospects of community-based ecotourism (CBE) and stakeholder’s involvement in ecotourism development in Iko Esai Community, Cross River State, Nigeria. Multistage sampling method was adopted for the study. Using 5.57% sampling intensity, 150 structured questionnaires were administered to two randomly sampled wards for data collection. Data were analyzed using frequency tables and charts, while t-test and Fisher’s exact analysis in STATVIEW version 5.0.1 was employed to test for significance at 5% probability level. Results from the study revealed significant (P < 0.05) presence of harnessed ecotourism assets developed with the assistance of some organizations. Furthermore, there was significant (P < 0.05) presence of unharnessed ecotourism assets in the area. The level of education and significant (P < 0.05) participation of both male and female indigenes in local organization further highlighted potential success of CBE development in the area. Therefore, proper documentation, development and marketing of ecotourism assets should be conducted. Stakeholders should increase their commitment towards CBE development in the area while encouraging the continued protection of these assets.
Key words: Community-based ecotourism, ecotourism assets, community participation, harness.