Tourism is certainly an important source of income for a developing economy but this brings along quite some negative effects. The drive to bring in as many tourists as possible often leads to the change of the natural environment and which will in turn cause a reverse effect by driving people away from it. There is an increasing desire among travelers worldwide to get to know an actual culture in its most natural forms. And this is why community-based tourism is increasing in popularity and it is promoted by both governments and tour operators.
Community tourism is the sustainable answer to the need of tourists to experience the most genuine cultures and the need of the environment to be protected against the inflow of tourists as well as the economic chance for communities to develop and improve their life standards. Various countries in the world promote community tourism as a way to increase the number of tourists who love the wilderness and are ready to experience something different than a simple holiday. In most African countries and in particular in South Africa, communities are part of projects sustained and promoted by the government through which individuals living in a certain area provide basic overnight accommodation for their visitors and provide them with a firsthand experience on how life is in such a community. Tour operates also participate in the promotion of community tourism because they understand the need of visitors to experience something different and the need of the environment to remain untouched by the economic development which often brings along negative effects. In the end, community tourism is a form of sustainable tourism that provides visitors with unique firsthand experiences and communities with an opportunity to develop and improve the life standard. Community tourism is a positive type of tourism that benefits all those involved.
Community Tourism And Sustainability
More and more people are nowadays able to gather the money and time needed to go and explore different parts of the world. Tourism is becoming more popular among individuals of different ages and with different incomes. At the same time, tourism is an important source of income for a developing economy and these two facts combine often lead to mistreat the landscape and the environment of a country. Because developing economies are eager to attract as many tourists as they can they will often be tempted to change the environment as to be more welcoming and attractive to tourists. This in turn negatively impacts what a country actually has to offer from a touristic point of view and it negatively impacts the beauty and the environment that one is willing to present to the outsiders. Yet, with the emergence of community-based tourism, tourism does no longer present a threat to the community or to the environment. The whole concept around community-based tourism is that projects are being implemented as a way to provide indigenous communities with the opportunity to attract tourists while maintaining the environment in its natural status. Community-based tourism involves lodging within a community for a rather small amount of money while the community provides the visitor with a unique experience and the opportunity to learn more about the culture of the country or about the lifestyle in that particular area.
Community tourism is an eco friendly type of tourism because it becomes a source of income for the community and this in turn will generate a better incentive to conserve that environment. On the other hand, it provides communities with the opportunity to develop and increase their chances to improve the life standards of those living in that community. Community tourism is the solution to the challenge that tourism poses on the environment.