Socio-Economic Impacts and Community Engagement in Cross River State National Park: Implications for Tourism in Nigeria


Abstract:  This study investigates the socio-economic impacts and community engagement in Cross River State National Park, with a focus on their implications for tourism in Nigeria. Using a qualitative approach, data were collected through periodicals, archives, museums and published journals and observations from local communities and park visitors. The findings revealed that the national park has significant positive socio-economic effects on the surrounding communities, including employment opportunities and income generation through ecotourism activities. However, challenges such as limited community engagement and unequal distribution of benefits were identified. The study highlights the need for improved community participation and empowerment in decision-making processes, as well as the development of sustainable tourism practices that prioritize local communities’ well-being. Recommendations are provided for enhancing community engagement, fostering equitable distribution of benefits, and promoting responsible tourism practices to ensure the long-term sustainability of Cross River State National Park and its tourism industry in Nigeria.

       Keywords: Socio-economic impacts, Community Engagement, Cross River State National Park, Tourism, Ecotourism, Sustainable Development

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