Abstract: A study to investigate the effectiveness of eco-tourism in achieving the goal of environmental conservation and improved community livelihoods was conducted from January to May 2007 in Busingiro eco-tourism site, South Western part of Budongo Forest Reserve. Questionnaires and direct interviews were administered to 60 households and 10 key informants from the parishes of Biiso, Kihungia, Nyantonzi and Nyabyeya. The results show that the majority of the respondents are aware and benefit from the eco-tourism activities at Busingiro eco-tourism site. The benefits are in form of employment opportunities, local tourist guidance, income generation from handcraft and entertainment industry and social corporate financial support to rural development programes. The local community (82%) indicated that the sensitisation process in promoting eco-tourism in Budongo forest reserve has been effective and has reduced the incidences of illegal activities in the forest reserve. The findings of this study have revealed that there is an urgent need to increase local people participation in eco-tourism projects by emphasising education in hotel, tour operation and management skills and provision of training in artisan industry. Private sector investment in eco-tourism should be encouraged to operate with concessions from the government of Uganda.
Mukadasi Buyinza and J. Titita Acobo, 2009. Eco-Tourism for Environmental Conservation and Community Livelihoods Around Budongo Forest in Masindi District, Western Uganda. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, 4: 160-165.