Ecotourism Projects and Community Based Tourism (CBT)

Selected ecotourism projects, sustainable tourism, nature based and community tourism developments from around the world.

Tourism and local communities in the Annapurna Region, Nepal.  "This paper examines the role of mountain communities in the promotion of ecotourism in the Annapurna Conservation Area, western Nepal. The term 'tourism' does not exist in the local Nepali language suggesting that the concept is foreign in such cultures. However, in recent years, the herders, shepherds and retired Gurkha soldiers living in the hills and mountain communities of the southern Annapurna region have embraced tourism as a tool for biodiversity conservation, economic development and sustainable community development."  Abstract with cites and full text PDF download available.

See also Community based tourism projects in the Asia-Pacific: Researchgate search index

  • The Abraham Path"..promotes walking in the Middle East as a tool for deepening understanding, experiencing cultures, and fostering friendships across challenging divides."   Fantastic idea, great looking site.
  • Bhutan:"The tourism industry in Bhutan is founded on the principle of sustainability, meaning that tourism must be environmentally and ecologically friendly, socially and culturally acceptable and economically viable. The number of tourists visiting Bhutan is regulated to a manageable level because of the lack of infrastructure." See also Gross National Happiness:
  • Mlup Baitong  "is a Cambodian NGO working to increase environmental awareness and conservation, seeking solutions for sustainable and equitable use of natural resources through education, training, and advocacy and community-based natural resource management and eco-tourism activities."   >> Community Based Ecotourism Projects
  • Chumbe Island Coral Park An outstanding not-for-profit community ecotourism project in Zanzibar, and starting with British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Global Award in 1999, the industry awards and guest kudos have kept stacking up since Chumbe opened in 1998.An impressive project with a pleasing web site clearly showing how ecotourism principles have been implemented in their tourism practice.  At last ... a real ecotourism operation (with not a marina in sight). A pity that more "ecotourism developments" didn't model their efforts on this!
  • Cultural heritage tourism "This electronic clearinghouse includes information provided by many different members of Partners in Tourism, a coalition of the national organizations and agencies with an interest in cultural heritage tourism. ... [The] site has been developed as a resource for organizations and individuals who are developing, marketing or managing cultural heritage tourism attractions or programs."  US based with extensive resources including Cultural Heritage Tourism Resources & Toolkits.
  • Department of the Environment and Energy - International Projects"Australia takes its role as an environmental and heritage advocate seriously - both in Australia and when working in partnership with other nations to share knowledge and experience to improve the protection of exceptional sites in the Asia-Pacific. To date, Australia has assisted over 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific to improve the protection of exceptional cultural, historic and natural sites." 
  • Successful community-based tourism approaches for rural destinations  "The purpose of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the long-term viability of community-based tourism (CBT) as a development tool in rural tourism, and how the best practice from the Asia Pacific region can be used to strategize the nine-stage plan to develop and sustain it in the long term."  Researchgate entry with abstract, cites, references and full text PDF download.
  • Ecotourism: can it save the orangutans?  Inside Indonesia. #51 July- September 1997.  "RACHEL DREWRY investigates ecotourism as a conservation tool. 'We were in the rainforest for fifteen hours and spent eleven of those waist-deep in a swamp looking at orangutans'. Trekking through the swamps and rainforests of Kalimantan may not be everyone's idea of a fun and relaxing holiday, but to an increasing number of ecotourists there is no better way to spend a couple of weeks."

  • The Uakari Lodge & Community-Based Tourism "The Uakari Lodge is an internationally recognized pioneering example of community-based ecotourism. It was developed in the late 1990's to provide visitors to Brazil's Mamirau√° Sustainable Development Reserve with an ecotourism experience demonstrating the value of the local population's involvement in rainforest conservation. The Institute for Sustainable Development Mamirau√° (ISDM), supported by Brazil's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, owns the Uakari Lodge. The Institute, in collaboration with eleven local communities, jointly operated the lodge."   Researchgate entry with abstract, cites, references and "request" (login) for full text download.  And here's their web site
  • Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) "An ecovillage is an intentional, traditional or urban community that is consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes in all 4 dimensions of sustainability (social, culture, ecology, economy into a whole systems design) to regenerate its social and natural environment. [...] sharing best practices and innovative solutions, GEN builds bridges between policy-makers, academics, entrepreneurs and sustainable community networks across the globe in order to develop strategies for a global transition to resilient communities and cultures." 
  • International Institute for Peace through Tourism "The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and through these initiatives, help to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world."
  • Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association (KCBTA)"The association's objective is to improve living conditions in remote mountain regions by developing a sustainable and wholesome ecotourism model that utilizes local natural and recreational resources.  Located in the capital Bishkek, KCBTA is an umbrella association uniting 17 diverse destination communities ("CBT groups") plus a 5-group association of shepherd families offering jailoo (yurt) tourism ("Shepherds' Life")." Useful web site with excellent web resources and PDF Guidebook for visitors, and extensive doumentation for operators including an Ecotourism Organizations' Code of Conduct
  • Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust "The world increasingly relies on many traditional communities like the Maasai to protect the ecological treasures that exist within the land that they own. ... That's what MWCT is all about; "a pioneering partnership between professional conservationists and dynamic young Maasai leaders to show that the Maasai community can thrive, not just survive, by managing their ecosystem wisely."
  • Man and the Biosphere"Biosphere reserves are sites established by countries working with the UNESCO-MAB Programme to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, based on local community efforts and sound science. As places which seek to reconcile economic development, social development and environmental protection, through partnerships between people and nature, they are ideal to test and demonstrate approaches to sustainable development at a regional scale."
  • Mercy Corps "saves and improves lives in the world's toughest places. Since 1979, we have been helping people in the world's toughest places survive the crises they confront and turn them into opportunities to thrive. Our 5,500+ team members work with people in the world's most vulnerable communities across 40+ countries. 87 percent of our team is from the countries where they work." 
  • Northwest Yunnan Ecotourism Association -Strategies The web site appears to have not been updated since 2002, but still provides lots of info for would-be visitors to this Chinese province.  The Earth Island article about the project. Ecotourism in Yunnan.  It would be interesting to find a follow up to this project.
  • Snail Farming - Mount Kupe "The people of Mount Kupe area in Southwest Cameroon depend on the forest for their food and livelihood. Despite the demands of increasing population pressure, the conservation organization WWF, through its small grants initiative, is helping them to provide for a sustainable future." While the creation of sustainable protein sources might seem to be an "odd man out" here; to me, it's appropriate as an example of lateral thinking by project managers who considered the impact on local village people when resources that they previously relied on, get locked up for conservation measures. (See also Inside Indonesia - Ecotourism is not the answer.)
  • Community participation in wildlife management: the Mount Cameroon experience.  "The Mount Cameroon Project (MCP) Limbe, a project funded by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, working in the area from 1994 to 2002 facilitated the development of a participatory wildlife management strategy for the Mount Cameroon region. This is still being tested and will be replicated in other regions of the country if it works." An archive article documenting community participation in wildlife management.
  • The Texas Heritage Trails Program (THTP) "is the Texas Historical Commission's (THC) award-winning heritage tourism initiative. This economic development initiative encourages communities, heritage regions, and the state to partner and promote Texas' historic and cultural resources. These successful local preservation efforts, combined with statewide marketing of heritage regions as tourism destinations, increase visitation to cultural and historic sites and bring more dollars to Texas communities. This in turn supports the THC's mission to protect and preserve the state's historic and prehistoric resources for the use, education economic benefit, and enjoyment of present and future generations."
  • Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation "...we link tourism to conservation, cultural heritage, and sustainable rural development to enhance livelihoods and enrich Uganda's tourism product. We work directly with communities to understand the obstacles they face and provide solutions specific to their needs. These solutions provide jobs, conservation training, educational opportunities, and, ultimately, the ability for people to better their own lives." 

See also Australian Government Agencies, Ecotourism Papers & Articles, Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Activities, Sustainability, and Sustainable Design & Management

Grass Trees, Tweed Valley, NSW

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