Community Tourism in Tanzania
Tanzania is another country in Africa which starts to experience the benefits of sustainable tourism. Tourism is for this part of the world an importance percentage of counties’ economies and it is worth promoting it while developing alternatives to preserve the wildlife and the communities. Specialists have been first criticizing ecotourism for displacing local communities for the sake of creating national parks or what we know as safaris. Yet, a better solution has been found in terms of community based tourism and nowadays communities are able to contribute to their development and to the preservation of their home environment.
The tourism industry is known to play a very important role in the eastern part of the country, especially in the Ngorongoro district which is extremely rich in its wildlife and which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Community based tourism is based on the idea that tourism can provide communities with an opportunity to exploit the curiosity of the tourists from all over the world why preserving their own culture. Communities are often trained, as they are in the Loliondo and Lake Natron areas of Tanzania, to receive tourists and to handcraft souvenirs that tourists would buy. At the same time, the Maasai community in Tanzania is also preserved and it has become a friendly and welcoming community for all those who are willing to get a grasp of the life in a tribe.
It is important to remember that the Maasai communities were the first to suffer from the development of ecotourism as they were often displaced for the development of safaris. Yet, nowadays these communities rely heavily on community based tourism as an alternative to support their daily livelihood. Community based tourism has proved in the end the right choice for these communities in Tanzania and for many others across Africa.