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

Big Volcano Ecotourism Resource Centre

Ecotourism Projects and Community Based Tourism (CBT)

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Ecotourism Projects and Community Based Tourism (CBT)

  • Big Volcano Vistor Guide: Real Estate, tourism businesses for sale and properties for sale by owners. Seachange, treechange, private sales in Northern NSW (Byron Bay, Tweed Valley) and Gold Coast hinterland region, Australia. Australian hospitality and tourist accommodation for sale and lease. Bed and Breakfast, B&B for sale, ecotourism and rainforest retreats for sale, guest inns for sale. Australian tourist businesses for sale.
  • The Abraham Path" a route of cultural tourism that retraces the journey made by Abraham (Ibrahim) through the heart of the Middle East some four thousand years ago. Three and a half billion people — over half the human family — trace their history or faith back to Abraham, considered the father of monotheism. The Abraham Path honors this shared cultural heritage by linking together into a single itinerary of outstanding interest and beauty the ancient sites associated with Abraham and his family."  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."
  • Chumbe Island Coral Park An outstanding not-for-profit ecotourism project in Zanzibar, winner of the 2001 Green Hotelier of the Year Independent Environmental Award, 2000 UNEP Global 500 Award, 2000 EXPO 2000 World-wide. project, 1999 British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Global Award and more. 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!
  • Community based tourism in the Asia-Pacific region: Introduction by Michael J Hatton.  (APEC, CIDA project).Originally published in 1999, this is an excellent introduction > "Community-based tourism typically subscribes to a number of broadly defined goals. Perhaps most important, community-based tourism is socially sustainable.This means the tourism activities are developed and operated, for the most part, by local community members, and certainly with their consent and support. This is not to suggest that there aren’t dissenting views on tourism development when carried out at the local level, but it does imply that there is a forum for debate, and that the community encourages participation."
  • 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 Toolkits.
  • Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - Heritage - "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." 
  • Eco + Culture NGO,  "... are to foster sustainable economic development in Zanzibar, to this regards the organization runs micro enterprises community based organizations, by organizing your holiday in Zanzibar with Eco & Culture Tours, you are contributing to these Community Based Organizations (CBO). Eco + Culture NGO, the company's social development partner, has raised and committed funds to community development projects in Zanzibar rural areas, built classrooms and kindergarten, and trained teachers and pupils in environmental awareness.
  • 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."
  • Field Trip Earth "focuses on field-based wildlife conservation research projects ongoing around the world. Some of the projects are "live," meaning that research activities, and one or more research scientists, are currently active in the field. These projects are featured prominently on the site. Projects that are not "live" are archived so that students can continue to access the relevant articles, photos, videos, and other materials. All of the projects, though, are similar in that they provide classrooms and others around the world the opportunity to interact meaningfully with wildlife researchers and other conservation experts."
  • Green Living Project  "In this era of global environmental and social awareness, one of the best things citizens can do is live and support a more sustainable lifestyle. Green Living Project is focused on documenting, promoting, and supporting successful and unique models of sustainability from around the world. In 2008, Green Living Project highlights Africa". Great example of blog based site with excellent projects.
  • Global Ecovillage Network Eco-villages are attempts to create complete, working communities in which people can live sustainably, in harmony with each other and nature. There is a concise history of GEN for those who are new to the concept of eco-villages.
  • 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 staff — 93 percent of whom are local — work in failing states like Somalia and Zimbabwe. Conflict zones like Afghanistan, Congo and Iraq. And countries that have endured natural disasters like Indonesia, Pakistan and Haiti."
  • Northwest Yunnan Ecotourism Association -Strategies An effective English language web site showing how employee and community-owned co-operatives can benefit nature conservation, community development and cultural heritage, with the assistance of local, regional and international partners.  Plus lots of info for would-be visitors to this Chinese province.
  • Snail Farming - Mount Cameroon "Promoting sustainable protein sources in communities around Mount Cameroon National Park."  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.)
  • Piedra Blanca Community Ecotourism Project - Ecuador.  "The community of Piedra Blanca consists of some 20 families scattered throughout a forested valley at the western foot of the Andes in Ecuador.  [our] Ecotourism Project Mission Statement: "To provide the community of Piedra Blanca with a non-destructive, economically beneficial and sustainable use for its rainforest".  Simple, fast loading, comprehensive site.  If you want to visit a genuine community ecotourism project in the rainforests of South America, this could be it! Español
  • 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."
  • Rainforest Expeditions (RFE) - Tambopata region, Peruvian Amazon "Rainforest Expedition is a Peruvian Ecotourism company. Since 1989 our guests and lodges, have added value to standing tropical rain forest turning it into a competitive alternative to unsustainable economic uses."  Local community co-owned (60%) and operated accommodation located in jungle adjacent to a national park, offering package tours covering a range of nature based and conservation options, along with short and long term volunteer postions at a macaw research project.
  • The Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA)  It's their 15th birthday and the site still retails the unique look and ease of use.  It'll get your travel bug itching!  "UCOTA was established in July 1998, to empower local communities in sustainable development through small-scale tourism and handcraft enterprises, also known as Community Tourism. Community Tourism aims at involving the local people in the planning, decision-making and implementation of tourism development activities. This form of tourism assures that the benefits stay as much as possible in the local community."
    • Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation ".. (ASTCF) is a civil society organization that has been established in 2014. Founded with enormous support from the tourism industry in Uganda, it plays a key role in ensuring that Uganda's tourism is sustainable, both in terms of concern for the environment and for the welfare of local communities." A Ugandan based travel company is the contact for this ambitious plan.  It will be interesting to see how it develops.

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