How does a community or local government decide if tourism is appropriate for a heritage site? And, how can that site be conserved while benefitting the local community? Focusing on the first step of the tourism planning process, the situation assessment, this research refined a situation assessment framework, applied the framework to a case study, and tested the utility of that framework in determining the potential for sustainable heritage tourism of archaeological sites in Northern Ethiopia. The research found that the heritage sites in question had low to medium potential for tourism development. However, the baseline information was changed when a NGO decided to participate on behalf of the community, increasing the scores to a medium potential for tourism development. Recommendations were made to the community and NGO pursuing tourism, and the framework was analyzed for strengths and weaknesses, concluding that the framework accurately represented the situation assessed.
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