Tourism in maasai communities: A chance to improve livelihoods?

Katherine A. Snyder, Emmanuel B. Sulle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


This paper examines community-based tourism among Maasai communities in Tanzania in the context of national policies that have increasingly devolved control over natural resources to local communities. It focuses on economic revenues generated from tourism growth, their distribution to village communities and the constraints and conflicts resulting from attempts to control or access resources. Specific cases illustrate the political and economic complexity of devolved resource management and increased income generation at the community level. Ecotourism and community-based tourism are frequently claimed to be possible remedies for wildlife and natural resources conservation, but research indicates that implementation and revenue-sharing are far from straightforward. The paper uses case studies from communities in northern Tanzania, in Ngorongoro District (Loliondo and Lake Natron), Simanjiro District and Longido District (West Kilimanjaro) to explore issues between pastoralism, cultivation, hunting tourism, photographic tourism, conservation and governance systems. It discusses the implementation of the 1998 National Forestry and Wildlife Policies, the creation of Wildlife Management Areas and the 1999 Land Act and Village Land Act. Data and experiences were gathered over a three-year period working with the Sand County Foundation - Tanzania from 2006 to 2008. The paper contributes to the assessment and discussion of pro-poor tourism and poverty alleviation concepts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-951
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Community tourism
  • Ecotourism
  • Nature-based tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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