The term community-based tourism (CBT) has been used by governments, researchers, and private enterprises to describe various alternative forms of tourism development. When local communities and tourists began to feel disappointed and disillusioned by mainstream tourism, people began to look for alternate forms of tourism. Alternative development pays close attention to ecological soundness of projects, small scale production, community-based initiatives, self-reliance, empowerment, sustainability and political involvement from the local level.
Over the past decades, alternative forms/models of tourism have emerged in various guises in different parts of the world, such as community-based tourism, ecotourism, community-based ecotourism, sustainable tourism, rural tourism, endogenous tourism, and village tourism.
CBT can provide an equitable flow of benefits to all affected by tourism through consensus based decision-making and local control of development. The International Labour Organisation (2005) defines CBT as ‘any business organisational form grounded on the property and self-management of the community’s patrimonial assets, according to democratic and solidarity practices; and on the distribution of the benefits generated by the supply of tourist services, with the aim at supporting intercultural quality meetings with the visitors’.
We believe that participation of local communities in tourism is a matter of right rather than an act of benevolence on the part of the industry. We work towards increasing progressive community engagement in tourism, inspired by people's participation, and helping build and study community-based tourism initiatives.
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