Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management


Backman, Kenneth

Committee Member

Baldwin , Elizabeth

Committee Member

Powell , Robert

Committee Member

Burns , James


This dissertation's objective is to understand the constraints to economic participation by indigenous Tanzanians living in and around current and/or future tourism destinations. Using qualitative methods, this study investigated local perceptions and involvement in tourism economies by comparing independent case studies in three destinations differing in land tenure. Fifteen village-based focus groups were employed in villages around Pangani District (Tanga Region), Amani Nature Reserve (Tanga Region), and Arumeru District (Arusha Region). The purpose of the village-based focus groups was to evaluate local access to physical, financial, human, social, and natural capital as a means to encourage economic participation in the areas. The findings indicate that while positive perceptions of increased tourism as a means to reduce poverty are strong, local communities are not currently accessing the tourism market to increase their earnings. Moreover, limited access to physical, financial, and human capital are key concerns that need to be addressed especially in rural areas. In contrast, social capital and natural capital are found to be less of a constraint as Tanzanians believe that local decision making is participatory and conservations efforts across the country have improved farming yields and increased the quality of life.