Have you ever heard of Community Based Tourism (TBC)? It is a model that brings in its proposal the development of local tourism, based on the cultural and traditional resources of the communities in which they belong. In other words, it is a tourism structure with the potential to promote environmental conservation, the appreciation of cultural identity and the generation of benefits for the localities that develop this practice.
Its structure basically consists of an initiative of the community itself, in which the local population, in an associative and solidary way, has the effective control of the economic activities associated with the exploitation of tourism. That is, the community is directly responsible for the planning of activities and everything is guided by principles that seek to ensure social, economic and environmental sustainability through the management of infrastructure and tourism services.
How does Community Based Tourism work?
In this model, each member and resident has the power to collaborate and define the direction of local tourism, enabling the development of a fairer, more balanced and sustainable activity.
Those who operate and practice Community Based Tourism must be truly committed to sustainability in all its dimensions: economic, social and environmental. Establishing a clear and transparent policy that contemplates the community’s view on the issue, what are the premises in its action, how it addresses the issue in its daily life, etc. Having the clarity of how it can favor its development and value what is genuine and precious there.
Collaboration between communities, public, private initiative and local organizations is an important and essential tool in the development of Community Based Tourism strategies. One of the goals of the Purunã Institute is to work in partnership with the community, fostering the entrepreneurial spirit and a belonging relationship between the inhabitants of the region, regarding our district and its tourist potential.
Places where this model already works
Chapada Diamantina – Brazil
Being a region of mountains, Chapada Diamantina is protected in the category of national park. This locality has several attractions that exemplify the immensity of Brazilian natural beauty. It is there that almost all the rivers of the Paraguaçu, Jacuípe and Contas River basins are born.
Due to this potential, this is a region that also receives a large flow of visitors. Thanks to this, local residents develop activities aimed at sustainable tourism, which – in line with the conservation of the local environment – offer accommodation and tours options to tourists.
Nuquí – Colômbia
It is a Colombian municipality located in the region of Chocó. It lies between the Baldó Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and has one of the largest ethnic and cultural diversity. It has an average of 8,000 inhabitants, of which 3,000 live in the municipal capital, made up mostly of Afro-Colombian and the remainder by indigenous tribes.
Due to the beauties and cultural riches of Nuquí, this region is very popular among tourists. And it is in this sense that the local community has discovered the potential to explore community based tourism alternatives to offer visitors attractions and hospitality, in the same proportion that they act for the growth and development of the municipality.
2 essential points for the development of Community Based Tourism
In Community Based Tourism you have to like people, because people are the main attraction of this type of tourism. New sensations, tastes and new smells. Many of the communities are set in paradisiacal environments, which makes the trip very rich and enriching. And to inspire you to dive into the possibilities of this model, we listed 2 tips, take a look:
1. Be close to tourist routes
This is a key factor for the successful development of this tourism structure. As the model itself defends the valorization of the region, natural beauty and local culture, the proximity to spaces recognized as tourist points contributes to the attraction of people and, therefore, the strengthening of Community Based Tourism activities carried out in the locality.
In São Luiz do Purunã, for example, our tourist options that are in tune with nature are vast. From the Alemão Waterfall and the Recanto dos Papagaios, to the routes for cycling, climbing, abseiling and horseback riding. They are options for all tastes and all of them have the possibility to count on the hospitality of innumerable inns of the region, as well as the options of restaurants that rescue in the meals the flavor of the traditions of the district.
Learn more at Visit Purunã.
2. Collaboration between communities, public and private initiative and local organizations
In São Luiz do Purunã, each corner is an invitation to let time pass slowly, feel the hospitality, enjoy the natural beauty and incredible horseback riding trails. And this is a shared thinking among the local community, public agencies and institutions that believe and act to promote the region’s progress.
The first stage was the structuring and approval of the Master Plan, through a partnership between the Purunã Institute, Jaime Lerner Associate Architects office, Balsa Nova Town Hall and City Hall, forming a solid base for the expansion of the municipality in the coming years.
And so together, we started the Participatory Tourism Plan with the goal of defining guidelines for strengthening the tourism and rural development of the district, making it a source of income for the community and the municipality, organizing the productive and entrepreneurial system without giving up the quality of life of the population.
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