Evaluating the development of community based tourism in Bugala Island, Kalangala District
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A study was undertaken to evaluate the development of island tourism based on communitybased tourism (CBT) paradigm in Bugala Island, Kalangala District (Lake Victoria) by assessing the islands‟ community strength and opportunities, existing CBT initiatives and benefits of CBT ventures, The perceptions of island residents towards CBT in island tourism development were determined. Household surveys were conducted using key informant interviews and questionnaire. Tourism Penetration Index (TPI) was used to assess the level of island tourism development. A low TPI of 0.457 was established. The study indicated that CBT have largely filled the gap created due to lack of interest by external investors to develop island tourism in Kalangala Island where there are a number of family ventures, community group initiatives and few joint ventures between community and external investors trying to develop island tourism in Bugala Islands. This needs to encourage residents to prioritize tourism development as a major socio-economic component to achieve island development rather than regarding it as a supplementary economic activity. The island community could use the CBT paradigm as a cooperative mechanism for creating and delivering tourism services, offering support to communities and conserving heritage resources. We conclude that CBT approach can play an important role in achieving local economy development where residents can realize benefits of tourism to improve their livelihoods and diversify their economic activities and recommends designing programs to build island community capacity through training as advocated by “Skilling Uganda” program.