Community Based Tourism (CBT) – The new buzz word around!!
“Community Based Tourism is tourism in which local residents invite tourists to visit their communities.” This Community-based tourism idea aims to increase local peoples’ involvement in tourism through the development of small guesthouses and restaurants, craft markets, and the promotion of community excursions. It empowers villagers all over the island to “have a slice of the tourism pie” so to speak.
Over the years, family run establishments such as the Anchorage Hotel, Castle Comfort Guest House/Lodge and Dive Centre, and Evergreen Hotel served Dominica well by providing accommodation to the many visitors who broached our shores, and for a number of persons from the Newtown, Castle Comfort and Loubiere communities, offered what could be considered tantalizing Hors d’oeuvres of the ownership of a tourism product. Though their appetites would have been wetted, circumstances as they were would have hindered their desire for the full course meal.
Today, no longer do young men have to be contented with battling each other to secure the line of a yacht and cater to the needs to the yachtsmen for a mere pittance; they can, instead, establish in their communities “structures” which would provide these services in a professional manner and benefit in the same way that these family owned establishments have benefitted in the past from the tourism product.
“Tourism is every body’s business” a newly developed chant which captures the mind of many and stays lingering on one’s tongue, long after the advertisement is over. The thrust placed on Community based Tourism ensures that tourism is everybody’s business.
Tourism has always been everybody’s business as merely ensuring that the country’s best face is put forward to attract tourist has always been at the forefront of the tourism drive. Yet, the decline of the banana industry, once the mainstay of the island, has necessitated a paradigm shift by the powers that be and the importance of the statement ‘Tourism is everyone’s business’ has been realized and may have played a part in the advent of Community tourism.
Have you thought of how your community can partake of the tourism pie?
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