CBT may enhance social sustainability by empowering local communities to manage their own resources, provide meaningful employment, and assist with capacity building and cultural preservation. Environmental benefits include income generation for communities to actively protect their land from degradation and could enhance conservation efforts to attract tourists, especially with regard to ecotourism initiatives.
In addition, CBT has the potential to decentralize the tourism industry by transferring decision–making to the community level, which leads to the empowerment of local communities and the development of local institutions, by providing a sense of ownership, strengthening community identity and sense of pride. The key rationale underlying the approach and objectives of CBT for conservation and development is that CBT through increased intensities of participation can provide widespread economic and other benefits and decision-making power to communities. These economic benefits act as incentives for participants and the means to conserve the natural and cultural resources on which income generation depends.
While the focus of CBT is primarily at the community and local level, it is important to build critical linkages with other sectors of operation to gain success. These linkages will need to be improved in order to sustain conservation and development benefits.
Moreover, the ability of CBT to generate benefits is often bound by the key policies that originate from a variety of sectors, e.g. government agencies handling forests, protected areas, tourism, finance, visitor permits and movements, agriculture, commerce and so on coupled with international polices and treaties that influence global currency markets, commodities and borders. Efforts to promote and support CBT will often need to find ways to capitalize on linkages and/or change the policy framework towards more supportive.
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