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Ecotourism and Protected Area Conservation in Bangladesh: a Case Study on Understanding the Visitors Views on Prospects and Development

  • Rahman, Md. Habibur ;
  • Roy, Bishwajit ;
  • Anik, Sawon Istiak ;
  • Fardusi, Most. Jannatul
  • Received : 2012.05.23
  • Accepted : 2012.12.21
  • Published : 2013.02.28

Abstract

Protected area based ecotourism is now the most interesting topic to the nature lover and policy maker throughout the world because of its linkage with economic benefits, protected area management and biodiversity conservation. Based on this premise our study explores the visitors' perception on the recreational potential of Kaptai National park and its potentiality in ecotourism development in Bangladesh. The field survey was carried out both in holidays and non-holidays of the week from the late winter season in 2009 to the spring season in 2010. A total of 118 visitors were interviewed with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire. Study findings revealed that about 62% male constitute the visitors group with the maximum number of visitors in the age of between 15-25 years (35.59%). The tourists were very much attracted by boat riding (93.22%) followed by scenic beauty of Rampahar-Sitapahar (85.59%). A major portion of about 57.14% tourists wished to visit the park within a year because they got a lot of pleasure from Natural and green environment (86.44%) followed by boating on Kaptai Lake (85.59%). Most of the visitors (36%) were happy about existing facilities but defined some problems such as tour guiding facility, food and drinking water supply, etc. About 71% and 66% respondents perceived that Kaptai National Park made them to be concerned and protective of nature and supports and sustains local ecosystem respectively and 43% respondents agreed that Kaptai National Park ensures the social equity and involve local people in ecotourism which are the most important elements of sustainable ecotourism. The present study results also predict that the park might be a good recreational area for enjoying with family members and group of friends through proper management and promoting the relationships among tourism, local people and biodiversity conservation.

Keywords

attractiveness level;kaptai national park;perception;recreation facilities;visitors' satisfaction

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