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Open AccessArticle

Households’ Assets Dynamics and Ecotourism Choices in the Western Highlands of Cameroon

1
Institute for Tropical Forestry and Forest Products, Technische Universitat Dresden, 01737 Tharandt, Germany
2
Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, Catholic University of Cameroon (CATUC), Bamenda P. O. Box 782, Cameroon
3
Department of Economics, University of Namibia, Windhoek 13301, Namibia
4
Carnegie Fellow, School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
5
College of Technology, University of Bamenda, Bambili 39, Cameroon
6
Department of Geography and Planning, University of Bamenda, Bambili 39, Cameroon
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1844; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071844
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 24 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotourism for Sustainability)
Ecotourism is increasingly accepted as a suitable alternative for sustaining rural livelihoods. In spite of this trend, quantitative assessments of relationships between household assets and ecotourism choices, and the policy implications thereof, currently account for only a negligible number of studies in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper contributes to this evidence gap by analyzing the extent to which households’ assets drive ecotourism choices on a representative sample of 200 households in Cameroon. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the Human Development Index (HDI) were used to construct indices for ecotourism choices. The ordinary least square and logit models were also employed to estimate the effect of various household assets on ecotourism choices. A high preference was observed for the production and sale of arts and crafts items and the promotion of cultural heritage sites as key ecotourism choices. More women are found to participate in conservation education, as opposed to culture-related activities such as arts and crafts. Access to education and training were inversely related to cultural festival promotion. The results suggest the need to: (i) stem the overdependence on conservation sites for wood supply to the arts and crafts sector, (ii) enforce endogenous cultural institutional regulations, including those that increase female participation in guiding future ecotourism choices. This paper contributes to ecotourism development and conservation theory, with regards to unbundling household level predictors of ecotourism choices, and has implications on the design of policies to implement environmentally less-demanding ecotourism activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecotourism choices; livelihoods assets; PCA; OLS; conservation; sustainable development; Cameroon ecotourism choices; livelihoods assets; PCA; OLS; conservation; sustainable development; Cameroon
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Kimengsi, J.N.; Kechia, M.A.; Azibo, B.R.; Pretzsch, J.; Kwei, J. Households’ Assets Dynamics and Ecotourism Choices in the Western Highlands of Cameroon. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1844.

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