Effects of drought on cultural tourism: selected cases of Maasai tourism groups surrounding Tarangire National Park in Tanzania

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Taylor & Francis (Routledge), Journal of Tourism & Cultural Change


This study explores the effect of drought on cultural tourism by applying the case study approach using the Maasai women’s groups surrounding Tarangire National Park (TNP) in Tanzania. Semi-structured interviews and observations were used to collect data from 30 purposefully selected Maasai women and 30 tourists. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings show that drought affects tourism both positively and negatively. Positively, drought forges unity among individuals, and creates the community’s external links that are crucial for tourism development. Negatively, drought interferes with the development and delivery of tourist products, thus destroying their quality and service delivery. Despite the challenges tourism faces during times of drought, including the scarcity of raw materials for making cultural products, 50% of the respondents would rather continue with tourism as a strategy to curb the effect of drought than their traditional livelihoods. Theoretically, the study shows the importance of the cultural ecology and livelihood lenses in investigating the effects of drought on tourism in a cultural setting. Practical recommendations for tourism authorities and stakeholders, as well as areas for future research, are provided.


Journal of tourism and cultural change, 2016


Cultural tourism, Climate change, Drought, Culture, Tarangire, Maasai