WIT Press

From Mystification To ‘cultural Openness’: Gearing Local Communities For ’tangible And Intangible’ Rural Tourism Development Among The Bwatiye, North-eastern Nigeria


Free (open access)





Page Range

203 - 214




457 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


W. N. Tagowa, M. Hunohidoshi


Since the pre-colonial era, cultural heritages in many rural communities in Nigeria have been shrouded in a lot of mystifications. These deny such activities of necessary exposures that enhance the development of rural tourism. It also became a major hindrance to the participation of local communities in sustainable tourism development. The Bwatiye peoples of Adamawa North-eastern Nigeria are examples of rural communities that are havens for the cultural heritage of great tourist attractions. But community participation which seeks to promote a ‘bottom-up’ rather than ‘top-down’ approach to rural tourism have become difficult tasks, making people-centred development unachievable due to the over mystification of cultural heritage activities. The study investigates the role of ‘cultural openness’ in the transformation of rural communities to achieve tangible and intangible results, focussing on the growing importance of socio-economic advancement in cultural heritage tourism. Cultural heritages are the hallmarks of rural communities and these have positioned them as powerful stakeholders in tourism development for tangible and intangible benefits. The paper draws case studies from two twin wrestling festivals, Vunon (Farai) and Kwete (Lamurde) in Demsa and Lamurde Local Government Areas of Adamawa State, Nigeria. What participatory roles and management frameworks can enhance the involvement of local communities in rural tourism in Nigeria? The paper concludes that demystification and openness of cultural heritage may prove an effective way for gearing local community participation in rural tourism to enhance socio-cultural and economic development.


wrestling festival, mystification, cultural openness, Vunon, Kwete, community participation, tangible and intangible benefits