Benefits of community- based tourism

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Our country is rich in beautiful landscapes, including rivers, lakes, beaches, islands and forests. These are gifts from nature. Sustainable management of natural environment is necessary to develop ecotourism in resource-rich areas.
We need to create opportunities for visitors where they should go depending on their interests.
We need to think of what arrangements should be done for tourists.
Some visitors seek adventure such as climbing a mountain or trekking. Some want to sleep in tents they themselves erected. We need to think for such visitors, too. Where can they climb a mountain? Where can they trek? Where can they erect their tent? We need to think for them, too.
To satisfy the visitors, we should promote community-based tourism, in which local residents (often rural, poor) invite tourists to visit their communities with the provision of overnight accommodation.
The community-based tourism enables tourists to discover local habitats and wildlife, celebrates and respects traditional cultures, rituals and wisdom.
In community-based tourism, residents earn income as land managers, entrepreneurs, service and product providers and employees, because visitors want to stay in a clean place that would be safe for their health.
This is most important. If a visitor can afford it, a lodging can be as grand as they want, but the basic is to have a clean place. We need to create opportunities for emerging small- and medium- businesses which can provide safe and healthy services for community-based tourism.
We need to train local communities how to run a small guest house or bed and breakfast motels providing clean and safe food and accommodation services.
They could collaborate to create a social food farm (agritourism) that tourists could visit. This allows for earning more money within the domestic tourism value chain.
The UN Environment Programme cites that in most all-inclusive mass tourism package tours, about 80 per cent of traveller’s expenditures go to airlines, hotels and other international companies, and not to local businesses or workers. For each $100 spent on a holiday tour by a tourist from a developed country, only about $5 actually stays in a developing-country destination’s economy.
Hence, we need to encourage tourism professionals to procure goods and services from locally-owned enterprises that meet acceptable quality standards. By sourcing locally, communities benefit directly from the tourism value chain.

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