Community-based ecotourism enterprises (CEEs) are emerging as mechanisms for integrated and sustainable conservation of wildlife in developing countries. As such, they are substantially supported by local and international organizations promoting integrated conservation and development. However, the performance of CEEs remains inadequate. This paper evaluates the influence of quality improvement on the performance of CEEs, from a total quality management (TQM) perspective. Data were collected from three CEEs neighboring Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda. The findings revealed critical TQM practices for CEEs’ performance, including training, benchmarking, employee empowerment, performance measurement and adapting the TQM philosophy in the CEE’s vision. In addition, this study makes a new contribution to the application of TQM in small and medium organizations. It identifies benchmarking and employee empowerment as two new dimensions of TQM practices, which are critical for the performance of small and medium organizations. To improve the performance of CEEs, we call for an integrated approach in the application of the proposed TQM practices at every stage of CEEs’ functioning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management