The attitudes of tourists towards the environmental, social and managerial attributes of Serengeti national park, Tanzania

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Serengeti National Park is a world class icon for wildlife tourism attracting a diverse group of tourists from all over the world. The park has played a pivotal role in protecting large populations of wildlife species of the Eastern African savannah and the globally outstanding biological phenomena such as the annual migration of wildebeest. However, the history of the park is also characterised by resource use conflicts and pressures that could threaten the current quality of the visitor environment. In this paper we examine the attitudes of international visitors toward the management and attributes of the park. Overall, the tourists report a high degree of satisfaction with most aspects of their trip. Yet, the current tourists are concerned about possible future changes that could alter the visitor environment and idealized images of the African wild lands. Basic environmental attitudes (degrees of ecocentrism) have effects on attitudes toward management of the park. Tourists expressing a high degree of ecocentrism are more likely to support management actions aimed at controlling tourism activities, access and impacts. They also express a stronger interest in experiencing nature, wilderness and local culture. The results are discussed in light of the major impact factors and conservation issues facing the management of Serengeti National Park; poaching, poverty in surrounding communities, increasing population pressure, habitat degradation, and wildlife diseases.


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Serengeti National Park, Tourism, Attitudes, Ecocentrism, Management