Supporting community based tourism

responsibletravel.com is working in partnership with Conservation International on a programme to promote community based tourism projects across the globe.

Take a look at our community based tourism holidays

What is community based tourism? Read our working definition of community based tourism
the current situation
Many local communities are aware of the power of responsible tourism in supporting conservation and local economic development.  Based in areas of outstanding, and often vulnerable, natural and cultural heritage, they take on the challenge of setting up community based tourism enterprises, usually in partnership with local and/or international NGOs.

The jury is still out on whether community based tourism can actually be profitable enough to create sustainable lifestyles, and so support conservation and local economic development. 

The big problem for these small scale and often remote community tourism ventures is marketing.  Too often it is simply the case that they are so small and so remote that nobody knows about them. 

This means that booking levels and occupancy are low and they have to rely on support from donors or go out of business.

the challenge
responsibletravel.com and Conservation International have begun to create marketing networks to help raise the profile of these community based tourism projects and open them up to tourists all over the world.

what next?
We have built a community based tourism project database which is organised and searchable by country and by holiday activities.  Community based tourism holidays have a dedicated section on responsibletravel.com which is completely free for the selected community based tourism ventures.

We plan to work with well-known guide books who will feature these holidays and bring them into the public eye, and with tour operators, who we will match with suitable community based tourism ventures.

Community based tourism enterprises find out how to sign up to our Community Based Tourism database.

Sign up

community based tourism on responsibletravel.com
responsibletravel.com is already working with a number of community based tourism enterprises; among them are past winners of Responsible Tourism Awards.  Read about examples of community based tourism projects in Ethiopia and Thailand.


We gained recognition for our Community Based Tourism project with Conservation International when we were placed runners up in Travel & Leisure’s Global Vision Awards, Innovation category.
useful resources
Community Based Tourism Programme progress report September 2006
Community Based Tourism Programme progress report December 2006
Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa
Tourism Concern - International Network on Fair Trade in Tourism
ODI Tourism Programme
Convert currencies