by Ben Heron
Community-based tourism is perhaps a more sustainable approach
than eco-tourism, for it specifically "involves and benefits
local communities". If community tourism is designed and
operated properly, it can act as a mutually beneficial exchange
in which the hosts, the guests and the natural environment benefit
from their encounter.
The following guidelines are the "ten principles for community
tourism" set out by Mark Mann for Tourism Concern, the UK's
leading ethical tourism organization.
Ten Principles for Community Tourism
- Community tourism should involve local people. That means
they should participate in decision-making and ownership, not
just be paid a fee
- The local community should receive a fair share of the profits
from any tourism venture.
- Tour operators should try to work with communities rather
than individuals. Working with individuals can create divisions
within a community. Where communities have representative organization
these should be consulted and their decisions respected
- Tourism should be environmentally sustainable. Local people
must benefit and be consulted if conservation projects are to
work. Tourism should not put extra pressure on scarce resources.
- Tourism should support traditional cultures by showing respect
for indigenous knowledge. Tourism can encourage people to value
their own cultural heritage.
- Operators should work with local people to minimize the harmful
impacts of tourism.
- Where appropriate, tour operators should keep groups small
to minimize their cultural and environmental impact.
- Tour operators or guides should brief tourists on what to
expect and on appropriate behavior before they arrive in a community.
That should include how to dress, taking photos, respecting
- Local people should be allowed to participate in tourism with
dignity and self-respect. They should not be coerced into performing
inappropriate ceremonies for tourists, etc.
- People should have the right to say no to tourism; Communities
who reject tourism should be left alone.
Source: The Community Tourism Guide