Lessons in Community Based Ecotourism ( Rural Tourism Project)

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Transcript of Lessons in Community Based Ecotourism ( Rural Tourism Project)

IDIPT-HP, Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Himachal Pradesh

Lessons in Community Based Tourism from the Past

Ankit Sood

HardwareActivities of hardware should start at least 1 year after the software portion has been done so that the need is felt from community & practical experience on ground instead of the existing top down approach.

Home-stays are critical but community managed campsites & ancillary accommodation units ( eg Hoodka, Gujrat) would also be ideal at some project sites. Tourist Reception Centers do not bring money but a small facility with rooms/ tents serving local food does.

The art of building in stone is ideal rather than introducing concrete structures or spoiling vernacular architecture which only specialized architects would know. Unearth what exists should be the mantra !

Site ManagementEnthusiasm, interest & ownership by the DC / Top Management (convergence) & the DTDO is a must in the driving of the project along with the NGO who should demonstrate its full commitment especially to the community. Issue of self Sustenance of the project beyond project period & NGO involvement is critical Sustainability & Exit plan a must.

Capacity Building Process of Selection of NGO/ implementing agency is critical which does not fit present ADB rules.

Two Week orientation program on participatory planning leading to sustainability with an exposure to gender issues is a must for everybody ( IDIPT, NGO ) to come on a common ground.

The rural tourism project is not about how many activities were undertaken , skill programs delivered but about participation , process and the output especially achieving equity.

Emphasis should also be laid on what can go wrong in tourism especially with carrying capacity both environmentally & culturally.

Institution BuildingCDMO promoting business model which is sustainable but the panchayat members should preferably be part of the cooperative. A part of the revenues beyond a ceiling must go to the general welfare of the villagers for even those who are not participating.

Individual entrepreneurs/ SHGs should have their own business plan which require handholding & should be linked to the financial institutions to sustain the project.

Institution Building ( contd. ) Capacities of the institutions not only to handle tourists but to handle the district authorities , tourist service providers etc. Its important the institution has seed money( working capital) of their own as its money from the poor and is big according to them leading to greater interest in the project. Hence the voice will come from within and act as a vigilant body. All villages/ clusters have to be integrated in a circuit to become a part of the network to have an economy of scale & look into wider things like marketing .

Lessons to be learnt ..7Have site and product specific marketing tools.

Word of Mouth Marketing is the most important.

Certification and Standardization is an important part of the project and can be possibly projected as a marketing edge.

THANK-YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND FOR BECOMING A PART OF OUR DREAM TO IMPLIMENT CBT.

IDIPT-HP, Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Himachal Pradesh

Joys of Homestay8IDIPT-HP, Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Himachal Pradesh