Community based tourism is not a new concept; it is most likely the oldest way of conduction tourism.
Community: Community can be defined as a group of people living together in a particular area and has common culture, traditions, fairs and festivals etc. The community is also a social group of people that shares common values.
“A community by definition implies people with some type of collective responsibility and the ability to make decisions by consultant our bodies. A bunch or community of individuals who’re related ( objectively ) to one another by comparatively sturdy social relations that stretch past rapid genealogical ties , and who mutually outline that relationship subjectively ) as essential to their social identification and social follow”. In varied instances they’re farmers, artisans, fisherman and different tribes dwelling in distant and effectively conserved natural area.
Community based tourism is not a type of tourism that put emphasis on increasing profits for the stakeholders but also more concerned about the various negative impacts of tourism activity on the local communities and natural resources available at the destination.
“Community based tourism is tourism that takes environmental, social and cultural sustainability into consideration. It’s owned and managed by the neighborhood, for the neighborhood, with the aim of enabling visitors to extend their awareness and learn in regards to the community and native ways of life”
Community based Tourism emerges from the community development strategies and utilizing tourism as a tool to strengthen and Community based tourism is defined as a tourism in which local people invites the tourists to visit their communities and exhibits the unique culture, traditions, dances and art and crafts to the tourists and offers a facility of overnight stay with the local residents.
Encourage the ability of local residents’ organizations that manages available tourism resources at a particular destination. Community based tourism is defined as an activity in which local people offers the opportunities to the tourists to visit their communities and offers a facility of overnight stay along with local residents.
“Community based mostly tourism (CBT) is a community improvement tool that strengthens the ability of rural communities to manage tourism assets whereas ensuring the local community’s participation. Community based tourism is socially sustainable tourism which is initiated and nearly all the time operated exclusively by local people.
Shared leadership emphasizing community well being over an individual profit, balances power within local communities and encourages traditional culture, conservation and responsible stewardship of the land. Community Based Tourism (CBT) is tourism activity, community owned and operated, and managed or coordinated at the community level that contributes to the well-being of communities through supporting sustainable livelihoods and protecting valued socio-cultural traditions and natural and cultural heritage resources.”
Local people earn income as an entrepreneur, service providers and employees and also by working as land managers. The small share of income of tourist is to keep aside for the projects which provide benefits to the local communities.
Community based tourism helps and provides an opportunity to experience and discover local wildlife and habitats and respects local culture and traditions and celebrate the local fairs and festivals along with the local communities.
The local community will be aware about the positive and negative impacts of tourism on the cultural heritage and natural resources of the destination and this will encourage the local communities to conserve the available resources at the destination.
ELEMENTS OF COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM
Various elements of Community based Tourism are as following:
a. Natural and Cultural Resources
Conservation of available natural resources
Local resident’s economy and production should be on sustainable principles and
Every destination has its own unique culture and traditions.
b. Local Community Organizations
The Elders of the community hold the knowledge of traditional values and practices.
The community itself wanted to participate in the development process and they also have the knowledge about the right and wrong.
c. Management of Tourism Business
• There are well set rules by the community for management of cultural, environmental and social tourism.
• Fairly distributed the benefits to locals as well as stakeholders.
• A percentage of profits from tourism are used for the economic and social development of the community.
• Encouraging shared learning process between local residents and tourists.
• Understanding of various cultures and their life styles.
• Tourist and the local community must be aware about the importance of conservation of cultural and nature based resources.
OBJECTIVES OF COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM
There are various principles listed below presents the concept of Community Based Tourism and the way in which the local residents can use tourism for the development of community.
Community Based Tourism Should:
• Promote Community Pride.
• Identify and encourage most of ownership of tourism business by community.
• Involvement of local residents from the beginning.
• Enhance the life style and quality of life.
• Encourage ecological sustainability.
• Conserve the local area culture and traditions.
• Encourage Cross-cultural learning.
• Respect the other cultures and traditions and human dignity.
• Fair distribution of benefits among the local residents.
CHARACTERISTICS OF COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM
Some characteristics of community based tourism highlighted by UNWTO and UNEP are as following:
• Involving the appreciation of nature and cultures existing in the local natural areas as a part of the tourist experience.
• Minimizing the impacts which results in degradations of natural and socio- cultural environment of the area.
• Encouraging the preservation of social, cultural and natural attractions and also at the same time making economic benefits.
• Increased employment opportunities to local residents.
• Tourist and locals are more aware and focused about the sustainable development.
• To strengthens local organizations by local initiatives and local people.
• Promotes land ownership by the local population.
• Hosting tourist in local community
• Managing the tourism scheme communally.
IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM
Community based tourism put emphasis on active participation of local community in tourism planning, management and empowerment of local people in the tourism opportunity.
Need of Community Based Tourism
The need to Community based tourism is as following:
• To minimize the negative impacts of tourism activity at the local destination.
• To educate and aware about the sustainability.
• To encourage the interest in Sustainable development.
• To provide employment opportunities to the local residents.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM
Various advantages of community based tourism are as following:
- Creating Jobs opportunities
The community based tourism helps to generate the no. of jobs opportunities for the local residents.
- Opportunity for the local residents to sell their Arts and Crafts
Another advantage of Community Based Tourism is to give an opportunity to the local resident to sell their local arts and crafts to the tourist.
- Avoiding Emigration
The major advantage of Community Based Tourism is to avoid Emigration of local residents by providing them job opportunities at the local destination.
- Preserving Culture
Another major advantage of the Community Based Tourism is that it helps to preserve the local culture of the destination.
- Honoring Traditional Knowledge
The advantage of Community based tourism is to honor the traditional knowledge of the local communities through demonstrations, classes, walks and presentations.
- Mitigation Environmental Impact
To mitigate the environmental impact at the local destination is an advantage of community based tourism.
- Learning about local culture during talks with the locals
Community based tourism gives an opportunity to learn about the local culture during talks with the locals.
- Learning to cook local style
Community based tourism provides an opportunity to learn about the techniques to cook food local style at the particular destination.
- Encourage demonstration of traditional Arts
Community based tourism helps to encourage the demonstration of traditional Arts at the local destination.
- Sustaining the livelihood of the local residents
Sustaining the livelihood of the local residents is the advantage of community based tourism.
- Building strong and vibrant communities
Another advantage of the community based tourism is to build strong and vibrant communities at the tourist destination.
- Delivering the authentic experience to the visitors
Delivering the authentic and unique experience to the visitor at the destination is one of the major advantages of community based tourism
- Create an understanding between tourists and local residents
Community based tourism is to create an understanding between tourists and local residents.
- Create long term opportunities and Economic prosperity
The advantage of community based tourism is to create long term opportunities and economic prosperity.
- Income generation by Employment
The advantage is generation of income by employment.
B. Disadvantages of Community Based Tourism
These are few disadvantages of Community Based Tourism are as following:
- Adds greatly to the cost of tourism planning and development:
The major disadvantage of community based tourism is that it adds upon the cost of tourism planning and development.
- Lengthens the period needed to develop tourism plans:
The disadvantage of community based tourism is that it lengthens the period needed to develop the tourism plans at the particular destination.
- Majority local community can discriminate against local ethnic minority groups: Majority local community can discriminate against local ethnic minority groups is another major disadvantage of community based tourism.