Influence of Traditional Medicine as Initiative for Rural Tourism and Poverty Reduction Strategy Tanzania: A Case of Kisarawe District
Keywords:Rural tourism, poverty reduction, perception, traditional medicine, Tanzania
AbstractDespite recent scientific advancement and globalization, traditional medicines and complementary/alternative medicine are still primary sources of health care, livelihoods and income generation among local communities falling under Rural Tourism (RT). This study assessed the influence of traditional medicine initiative as a rural tourism strategy inter alia for poverty reduction in Kisarawe district in Tanzania. The main objective was to examine the local community perception on traditional medicine administered by traditional healers whether it has impact in promoting community health compared to modern medicines; but also, as eco-tourism strategy for poverty reduction; while sustaining environmental protection and conservation of various bio-diversities. The study employed mixed methods included structured questionnaires, key informants’ interviews, application of Likert scale range from 1 to 7 in data collection from a sample size of 100 respondents. Other methods entailed direct field observation and reviews of relevant literature. SPSS software version 20 was used to analyze multivariate analysis. Results showed willingness of community members to undergo training on improvement of knowledge on traditional medicines supported by tourism programmes, government policies and regulations for sustainable RT, poverty reduction, environmental protection and conservation. The study concluded that, community perception on traditional medicine positively moderates the relationship between rural tourism development and poverty reduction; however, there was limited co-ordination of tourism activities; and insufficient collaboration between the public and private sector. It recommended that; future research should network with traditional healers in order to know more indigenous medicinal plant species in order to formalize their application in public health while promoting eco-tourism for social economic development of local communities in Kisarawe district.