COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM TRAINING WORKSHOP I WORLD TOURISM DAY (27)
Community Based Tourism Training Workshop
In the context of this handbook, community based tourism refers to tourism activities and services which have been developed by local community members, working together in a ‘CBT’ club or group, sometimes in partnership with the private sector.
Community members design tourism programs based on special elements of local life, culture and nature which they feel proud and comfortable to share with visitors.
CBT offers visitors a unique opportunity to meet local people, experience and learn about local culture, livelihoods and the natural world - directly from local people. Activities are usually lead by local community tour guides and host family members. Guests could explore a nature trail with a community guide, cast a net with a local fisher family, or learn a local game. Sometimes, a community works and invests with a tour operator to develop a more ambitious program, like a community lodge. Visitors usually stay overnight in a homestay, a community lodge, or campsite. Guests can expect clean, safe, welcoming and comfortable accommodation. However, community members are usually not able to offer a luxury experience. Guests can try typical dishes made from local ingredients, spiced down if necessary! Guests often have the chance to join their host families collecting fresh ingredients from their vegetable plot or orchard, or try their hand cooking a local dish, if they wish. In addition to being a great cultural experience, CBT is designed to support social and environmental work, build local skills and distribute benefits broadly. This is achieved, for example, through training, establishing community funds and queue systems. Some communities also offer the chance to ‘give something back’ through simple volunteer activities. Other communities offer study tour programs for people who wish to learn about community development and conservation initiatives in the field. Because CBT is a community activity, visitors have a unique chance to meet lots of different people and learn how they are harnessing tourism to share their stories with the world, while helping to support local families and community development. CBT also goes beyond just admiring nature, to seeing how nature and people still coexist.