Communities and SMEs

Member dialogue
Mary Finn
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 6:39 am
Location: US & Ecuador

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
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:59 pm
Location: Canada

correction plus

Post by Rick MacLeod Farley »

The Cree Village Ecolodge web-site ( 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!

Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:57 pm
Location: MEXICO

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.


Nicole Haeusler
Posts: 9
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
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:31 pm
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!


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,
- 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: