Community Based Tourism
Community based tourism (CBT) has existed in some form or another for a long time, but it is receiving increasing attention as many travellers attempt to become more ethical and responsible. In development circles, it is often heralded as an attractive alternative economic income generator, which can supplement a community’s traditional activities. However, others are sceptical, viewing it as a potential destructive force which can cause the degeneration of traditional ways of life and the materialisation of culture, or in poorly administered cases, the ‘prostitution’ of culture. Community tourism is a highly complex issue, and it is often difficult to separate the good operations, which directly benefit communities, from the bad, which tend to take advantage of the local population.
Grassroots Journeys will help you make informed decisions about your travel destinations, which will allow you to positively contribute to a community’s economy, environment and culture, whilst minimising your impact.
What type of initiatives are on the site?
- Grassroots Journeys features communities, small companies entirely owned by communities, non-profit organisations that support CBT, as well as responsible travel companies which work with CBT.
- All initiatives must directly benefit communities, either through the distribution of income to stakeholders, or through the establishment of development trusts or funds, with money spent on development projects throughout the community.
- All initiatives should demonstrate an active or future plan for operating in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
Things to consider
It’s important to remember that the impact (positive or negative) of community tourism depends as much on the visitor, as it does on the community itself. As a ‘community tourist’ you should do your best to minimise your impact:
- Respect local customs and traditions
- Limit the amount of foreign objects and accessories you bring with you
- Leave nothing behind (especially non-biodegradable items such as batteries, plastic bottles & bags etc)
- Last but not least, enter communities with an open mind!
As a traveller, if you do your utmost to be responsible, inquisitive and aware, you will help groups maximise the benefits of community tourism while minimising the potential ‘damage.’