One of the most important aspects of daily business in Totonal is to make sure every one of our business relationships is win-win. Our partners in rural communities are no exception. We work with many community based eco-touristic projects, linking them with tourists eager for a closer encounter with local culture. The importance of these projects goes beyond client satisfaction. The development of tourism in rural areas and the involvement of local people in tourism can promote several important objectives for developing countries.
Community Based Tourism is by definition a job source for locals and it fulfills 3 criteria:
1. It should have the support and participation of local people.
2. As much of its economic benefit as possible should go to people living at or near the destination
3. The act of tourism must protect local people’s cultural identity and natural environment.
By fulfilling these criteria, the locality can then have faster economic growth and improved welfare & equity. Yet not all the benefits are economic, community-based tourism is one way of delivering economic and social regeneration, while protecting local cultures against the rising tide of globalization. If you give the locals control of the development of tourism in their area and the terms of their interaction with tourists, then they will be empowered to protect their culture from being abused by uncontrolled mass tourism, and therefore creating real sustainable tourism.
For community based tourism to develop local communities need to have a bigger say in the development of tourism in their regions, increase the number of tourism companies that involve, rather than exclude local people in all regions, and in the regions where tourism is already developed, increase the degree of benefit (financial and social) the communities receive from these companies.
The development of community based tourism is ever more important, giving tourists the opportunity to really experience another culture, all the while protecting it