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.
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