What is Community-Based Tourism
Community-based tourism (CBT) refers to tourism experiences that are hosted, owned and controlled by local communities that provide immediate economic advantages while also being sustainable and responsible.
The goal is for tourists to learn about the culture and way of life in the area. Communities can use this type of tourism to start their own small-scale, self-managed businesses. Community-based tourism aims to accomplish long-term social, cultural, environmental, and economic development in order to improve local people’s living situations while minimizing environmental damage.
CBT aims to encourage locals to participate, develop themselves, and preserve their local cultures and resources according to the following 10 principles:
- The locals are the owner of their own resources
- Participation of the locals in planning and managing their own resources
- Take pride in their accomplishments
- Aim for a better quality of life
- Promote environmental sustainability
- Preserve local identities and cultures
- Create learning experiences in multicultural environment
- Understand and respect different cultures and human dignity
- Fair trade for the locals
- Fair income distribution to the locals (DASTA, 2020)
Arrival of community-based tourism:
A successful form of tourism, in which tourists and local population interact with each other, is “community-based tourism”. This mainly takes place in small villages in rural areas, where tourists stay for a day or several days and experience the life of the local residents. Accommodations for tourists are built in the local style, resembling the houses or huts of local residents as much as possible. Tourists engage in local activities such as preparing food, hiking or fishing. And if there are special occasions, such as a wedding, tourists are also allowed to attend. Because tourists are very close to the local life of the population in this way, there is respect and awe for this way of life. In addition, tourists pay for their trip directly to the local population, who can use this money for social projects, such as a water pump, a hospital or a school. For example, tourism can contribute to poverty reduction.
CBT benefits to communities:
- Facilitating the formation of high-quality jobs (coordinator, local tour guide, – homestay family, cuisine department, craftmanship, and sales) – promoting local economic development
- Assisting in the empowerment of communities
- Maintaining the community’s traditional values