Participation by local people and communities in tourism assessment and planning is usually very limited. Effective CBT requires extensive community participation in assessment and planning as well as in implementation/delivery. Community participation in CBT participatory assessment and planning processes has the potential to empower local community members by building the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to direct tourism development in their communities.
CBT is a long-term commitment that relies on a strong foundation of participatory assessment, and planning as both are essential components of tourism development. Participatory tourism assessment and planning are critical but time-consuming processes that require commitment by all tourism stakeholders involved. The process for assessing and planning for CBT will vary between APEC economies depending on the socio-cultural, economic, and environmental context of each community and its surrounding area/region.
In rural areas of Thailand, an assessment of environmental impacts will be very different from the type of environmental assessment carried out in a township in Canada. Similarly in Papua New Guinea the process used to assess socio-cultural impacts will differ from the methods used in Chinese Taipei.
An in-depth situation analysis (enabling stakeholders to see the bigger picture like the view from a helicopter), during the assessment phase, should be carried out to assess the: social context, environmental context, socio-economic context and tourism industry context.