CBT is about visitors having a local experience so it’s important that it fits in with the communities’ preferred method of development. As well as identifying the inward fit, tourism stakeholders need to look externally beyond the community to the broader local and national planning and policy contexts. If planned and managed correctly CBT can serve as a valuable element in diversifying and enhancing existing community, local and regional development
Planning frameworks that potentially impact on the destination may include integrated or rural development plans, conservation or biodiversity plans, regional land use plans, tourism master plans, other livelihoods programs, community-based natural resource management plans, and coastal management plans.
CBT ventures are most likely to be appropriate to the circumstances and succeed where institutional structures provide enabling policies, linkages between organizations, skills, or technical assistance to CBT. Countries with national enabling CBT policy frameworks are more likely to be conducive to supporting effective and appropriate CBT operations.
Identify and assess
The local, national, and international landscapes for enabling policy have to ‘fit’, match, and support CBT. Research for this manual found that some countries actively promote CBT as part of their national development plans for the alleviation of poverty for communities in rural areas. This action of support has led to a higher prevalence of CBT community-private joint venture partnerships than compared to other countries without such a focus. In countries where an enabling environment is not present, CBT has grown out of the collective concern and changing trends toward demand for sustainable and socially and environmentally equitable tourism.
Where policy and planning environments are seen to create obstacles for CBT, tourism stakeholders may have it in their power to support policy development formation that creates an enabling environment for rural and regional CBT.