Communities and SMEs

Member dialogue
Tropic
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Location: Ecuador
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An example

Post by Tropic »

Greetings, all

Tropic - Journeys in Nature, has worked with a wide variety of community projects in the Amazon and elsewhere in Ecuador, offering technical assistance as well as marketing support.

In the Amazon, Tropic has successfully marketed programmes run by the Siecoya, Cofan, and the Quichua community tourism networks of RICANCIE and Union Huacamayos and established its own exclusive community programme by developing a long term working partnership with the Huaorani.

Our initiatives include: co-developing community based ecotourism operations with indigenous communities, promoting and marketing independent community-based ecotourism operations, creating business alliances with other responsible private companies in areas where Tropic and communities have no product, playing an active role in industry associations to promote policy change, providing financial support for the Acci

Aivar_Ruukel
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Location: Estonia
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Post by Aivar_Ruukel »

We speak about communities and ask "do they prefer own business, a joint venture with an outside business or would rather to just have a job.."

My experience is that it depends on existance of potential entrepreneurs in the area. Estonia is a small country, but even here one can find so many different scenarios and different levels of local involvment. In many areas local business-minded people had taken initiative , developed own products and have control over their resource base. In other areas product is owned by companies from capital city Tallinn. Joint ventures with foreign partners are not very common.

A believe that community tourism depends on the "best members" of community. It is normal that not all people are involved...
Even more, is not it dangerous to wish that ALL members should directly benefit of CBT?
Would it mean the "monoculture" of tourism? Should not be healty tourism in a good balance with other, traditional livelihoods.

Aivar Ruukel
www.soomaa.com

Nicole Haeusler
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Post by Nicole Haeusler »

COMMUNITIES AND SMEs - SUMMARY OF THE SECOND WEEK

Mike Robbins, a tourism consultant from Toronto, gave us an impressive best practise example of a CBT-Project in Canada

Nicole Haeusler
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Post by Nicole Haeusler »

Dear All,

Congratulations for all the contributions! It was really not easy for me to summarize all the important aspects you have mentioned last week, and as I did not want to leave out essential notes, my summary is a bit longer than it should be (in total 2 pages).

From my point of view Oliver

Miker
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Post by Miker »

I agree wholeheartedly with the numerous comments that have been made about ensuring participation of the broader community when initiating community based tourism planning. When we get involved in a project such as the one in Pangnirtung mentioned in a previous posting, we see ourselves, the consultants, as simply facilitators in the community-based tourism planning process. The community must make a decision to pursue tourism based on an informed understanding of the pros and cons. Any successful community-based tourism plan must have broad support and buy-in. Too often government agencies and NGO

Mary Finn
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Location: US & Ecuador
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On guerrilla marketing, backpackers and volunteers for CBEs

Post by Mary Finn »

Hello Everone,

My apologies for late (cross) posting on this very important topic. I just wanted to share some experiences and thoughts on possible

febo
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Location: MEXICO
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communities, consultants and Internet

Post by febo »

Now that some CBE sites are coming out I would like to make a review about how many of this sites are really updated by community members, what kind of autonomy do these communities have in terms of communication when we talk not only about marketing but just simple information, this will show a real measure of where communities are in relation to the internet and where consultants are, in many cases we primarily find the consultant working mainly on the internet marketing and shortly we find a sites where we can have marketing, communication from the base an a local guy behind these whole process.

Over 13 years of CBE we have only gotten one community in to the internet world, they started with it and it seems that they see it as a

Mary Finn
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Communities, the internet and multilingual communications

Post by Mary Finn »

A couple of comments regarding community empowerment in the internet and other areas, including basic communication issues. For example learning to speak English, which can be another major hurdle for communities wanted to receive a wide range of visitors, not just those who have learned to speak the local language.

First, Antonio, I agree completely that the Santa Lucia site should be in Spanish. Even on the original site which I developed (back in 2000 actually, not 2001 as I said earlier), I

Rick MacLeod Farley
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:59 pm
Location: Canada

correction plus

Post by Rick MacLeod Farley »

The Cree Village Ecolodge web-site (creevillage.com) is in english only, though a multiple language approach is in the plans. The Cree language in the community is strong, particularly spoken among the elders, but hte working language in offices is English. I would expect that the web site may be in Cree some day.

For small community ecotourism projects, web site development and management is an important and challenging issue. It is an issue that will become even more important over time. The dual challenge is to develop local web capacity and have a professional web presense that effectively generates sales.

Does anyone have other examples of well-run web sites for small community ecotourism projects??

Also - a quick correction: Miker is Mike Robbins with the Tourism Company in Toronto (my entry yesterday said Mike Robinson in error!) - sorry Mike!

febo
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About Sites and languages

Post by febo »

I am sure that every site must be in the home language FIRST, otherwise is clear that locals are not taken as principals of their own project they must see the way they are seen, specially if we talk about ecotourism as a way to reach many other social and environmental post material values as ecotourism is being sold.

In the case of San Nicolas most of the visitors are Mexicans and the web site has helped a lot to link rural and urban communities in to a common field in which community reaches not only technology but social recognition and visitors as well find a common ground to have some of the lost solidarity with rural people. (exchange ideas, experiences, and social encounters)

Again, in CBE money is important but not only money, it is a about recognition, most of the communities around ecotourism still doing many other agricultural, forestry and collecting activities, Ecotourism still not the unique priority even for the most successful CBE projects.

Might be a good time to think about how do we create community sites where we do not only pretend to sell ecotourism, it is also important how do we ensure active communication from base through internet.

Antonio

www.balam.org.mx

Nicole Haeusler
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:08 am

Post by Nicole Haeusler »

Dear All,

I was following with great interest the very much practise-orientated discussion about Webpages in the past days.
Tomorrow will be our last and final day :-(

Once again I would like to ask you to send us specific suggestions you would offer to development agencies and other donors regarding communities and SMEs in developing countries!

I am attending in these days the World Travel Market in London. Yesterday was the @Responsible Tourism Day@ which offered interesting seminars and public events on this issue. The workshops and discussion groups were overcrowded with interested people, coming from the public and private sector.

And the resumen of the discussions were more or less: There is a great interest in responsible tourism and integration of communities in tourism development- and the interest is growing - but still there is a lot to do in this regard.

But I feel that discussion forums like this one could be a great help to understand better the problems we face in each corner of the world - and that will hopefully lead us to better solutions! :-)

Thanks again to all of you who gave its contribution to this forum. But we have still between 12 and 36 hours (depends where you are based) to get you comments!

Best wishes, Nicole (Moderator)

Toot Oostveen
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Location: Honduras

Post by Toot Oostveen »

[quote="Meganew"]I would just like to post an inquiry in this section. Last year at the World Tourism Policy Forum, the World Tourism Organization launched a very ambitious project ST-EP that is designed to encourage community-based pro-poor tourism through private donations and investment, I believe.

I checked their website on the WTO site and it has not been updated at all for one year - the last I looked.

Could Nicole or someone else update us on this effort, let us know how it might be rolling out, and how it might direct investment in community based projects in future? Will there be an effort to partner with the private sector for example?

I would also greatly appreciate a similar kind of update from our friends at SNV on how SNV is approaching its mandate to work with tourism and poverty alleviation, and what types of methodologies are presently in favor there. Thanks!

Megan[/quote]

With Megan and Toby I am stucked at the moment in La Ceiba, Honduras due to the torments and floods, so we had very nice meetings and plenty of oportunnities to discuss tourism, STEP and SNV and at the same time trying to escape from the city and being our selves distar tourists.

For all the other participants of this discussion I add some bulletpoints from Marcel Leijzer, the SNV tourism officer in La Haya, who is coordinating STEP and the contacts with WTO.

The current state of affairs of the STEP program:

- WTO STEP coordinators: 3 (4th being recruited)
- Regional STEP seminars: 8 (Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Benin, Mali, Ecuador, Nicaragua).
- STEP programme implementation: 2 (Cameroon, Ethiopia - Responsible Tourism Award)
- STEP programme identification: 4 (Mali, Zambia, Vietnam, Laos)
- Planned STEP identification missions: 3 (Tanzania, Rwanda,
Mozambique)
- Joint policy/law formulation: 3 (Vietnam, Bhutan, Ecuador)
- Planned policy/law formulation: 2 (Albania, Ghana)
- Joint Regional Programme: 1 (Coastal Tourism Africa - 8 countries)
- Ideas for Regional Programmes: 4 (support to community based tourism enterprises in Southern Africa; action-research on government incentives for pro-poor tourism in Sub Sahara Africa; multi destination marketing program in West Africa; STEP award + training seminars for tourism enterprises in Central America).

- SNV tourism advisors: 20 (2004) to >40 (2005). SNV has an information leaflet about its clients and approaches in tourism. Anyone interested can ask me a copy because it is a bit to complicated to describe our activities and approaches in a nutchell.

Looking forward to your emails: Toot Oostveen, tourism advisor for SNV in Honduras and tourism subnetwork coordinator for SNV Latinamerica: toostveen@snvworld.org

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