Balanced site ecology and favorable socio-economic environment are germane to sustainable ecotourism development. Oba Hill Forest Reserve is of immense importance both nationally and internationally with tremendous potentials for eco-tourism development. This study investigated the ecotourism potentials, local community participation in the management and constraints of Oba Hills Forest Reserve in Iwo Local Government Area of Osun State. Data for the study were collected through structured questionnaires and focus group discussion (FGD) from 100 respondents randomly selected from the six villages around the reserve. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and Chi-square analyses. The result shows that 74% of the respondents are illiterate, middle-aged, married, males, Christians, with an average of 4 people per household. Majority (99%) of the respondents agreed that the study area has a potential for eco-tourism development. The study shows that community people are not willing to participate in the management and protection of the proposed eco-tourist center. In addition, constraints that are hindering the smooth running of the proposed national park for eco-tourism were revealed by the study. The study concluded that designating the reserve to operate as a National Park managed by the Federal Government will enhance potentials of sustainable tourism and provide sustainable livelihood to the support zone community.
Keywords: Optimum utilization, Community-based Forest management, Eco-tourism, Conservation.