Effective management is needed to ensure that the socio-economic benefits of tourism are spread equitably throughout the community. Equity and transparency are particularly important when it comes to deciding how the profits from the tourism venture will be shared.

If the financial equity is not carefully planned and managed, it may end up only benefitting the elite in a community. It is common for limited resources to be a challenge for CBT ventures especially while it is getting established. The community needs to understand benefits might take a long time to accrue. Accordingly, the community members need to jointly decide on the level of growth and development they are comfortable with, and how best to achieve it. Basic training and education on cash flow, budget surplus/deficits, and retaining part of the profits to reinvest in growing the organization should be provided to appropriate CBT staff and their families so that everybody understands why the benefits may not be immediately apparent. A stakeholder analysis is also useful to understand what tourism stakeholders (from the public, private, and non-profit sectors) expect from the CBT project and what they can contribute to help it start to become profitable.

Monitoring the flow of benefits
Good practice involves selecting specific target groups or beneficiaries from the most vulnerable sectors of the community to make sure any benefits flow across all community groups (not just to the elite). Also, putting in place management mechanisms to ensure benefits are distributed equitably and in a gender-sensitive way, developing conflict mitigation and management strategies, and emphasizing transparency and accountability in all aspects of financial management.

Focus on quality over quantity
A CBT venture needs to balance involving all parts of the community and still operating as effectively as possible to create a positive visitor experience. Trying to directly involve the poorest groups in a community could make the overall operation less effective or efficient due to the high levels of training that need to be provided. If this is the case, it might make more sense to involve the poorest groups indirectly, i.e. through providing agricultural supplies (Caribbean Tourism Organisation 2006). It is also important to remember that sometimes the quality of jobs is more important than the quantity of jobs provided (profits will not be generated and reinvested in the community if all financial surpluses are converted into jobs).


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