Without confidence, community members will struggle to deliver the CBT product. Local capacity building should not only raise participants’ knowledge and skills to perform a function but also raise their confidence and motivation to do so. This is important in order to build a sense of empowerment, passion and belief that they can run their own tourism business. High levels of confidence and motivation are likely to increase self-esteem and strengthen cooperation between community members and other tourism stakeholders, which enhances community governance. A focus on building confidence is supported by SNV in their toolkit for Monitoring and Managing CBT, ‘one of the key differences between CBT and other forms of tourism are the focus on empowering the local community to run their own tourism businesses.
Provide regular staff development opportunities
Regular staff capacity, training and development opportunities have been shown to be both a strategic investment decision through linkages to increased profits as well as a strategic investment in increasing staff levels of happiness and confidence.
Implement staff retention strategies
Tourism as an industry has high rates of staff turnover. In a community context staff often move onwards when an opportunity or threat arises (e.g. once skilled, good staff may start looking for other opportunities within the tourism sector that offer higher individual benefit rather than CBT collective benefit or e.g. in smaller rural communities, dispute between staff and management could see all staff threaten to leave their jobs even if the dispute is not related to the CBT but another community issue). In order to retain staff, CBT ventures need to ensure they provide an attractive work environment and appealing benefits and conditions to ensure loyal effective staff. Successful CBT ventures talk with staff to work out the conditions they want to work in and build in strong incentives into HR policies to encourage loyalty (e.g. staff award systems and celebration of collaborative achievements).
Create opportunities to build women’s confidence
Experience has found women are well positioned to take on key roles in CBT ventures. By providing women with employment opportunities and key decision-making roles, income derived from tourism can directly increase their family’s quality of life in a more beneficial manner than when men are in control of the benefits from tourism. Women’s gender roles across many APEC societies place women as primary caregivers and women are predisposed to looking after their children’s wellbeing before their own. Gender equity in tourism can provide women and men with equal opportunities for employment and well as employment advancement at all levels. Tourism affects the lives of women and men (and their subgroups) differently and this needs to be taken into account when recruiting specifically if community development or gender equity is a primary driver for initiating CBT.
Identify ‘look and learn’ opportunities
Creating support networks with other CBT ventures in the region increases potential exchanges including ‘look and learn’ visits, which may serve to increase staff confidence and motivation. Such networks can also provide collaborative marketing opportunities and other benefits from collaboration (e.g. setting standards and making a particular CBT product stand out in a specific region).
Strategies are needed for overcoming seasonality challenges
All staff will want to have confidence in the knowledge that their job is secure. A recurrent issue in CBT human resources is the need for strategies in overcoming seasonality challenges in staffing. CBT jobs can be seasonal as there may be a distinct ‘off season’ linked to the availability of the tourism product (e.g. a season when a waterfall is not flowing, a season when it’s too warm for people to be enticed by a hot spring). It may be possible to develop a secondary product to cope with seasonality and ensure job security.