Tourism is a highly competitive and demanding industry in which skills and experience are needed to deliver a high quality visitor experience to ensure the sustained viability of the CBT venture. For a community to develop an appropriate CBT venture, it is first necessary to ensure the community is prepared to manage the delivery of tourism. Local staff will require several steps of tourism capacity building and training across a range of areas. In CBT ventures where there are partnerships involved in the delivery of the tourist product, partners are likely to need some form of capacity building too.
Key areas for community and staff capacity building are: understanding the tourism industry (supply and demand side), asset and financial management (appropriate protocols and procedures), knowing how to interact with external tourism stakeholders (government, partners, supporters, and funders), and understanding the CBT marketing ‘mix’ (to be able to get the message ‘out there’ in the right way).
Conduct a skill inventory and gap analysis
Undertaken in the assessment phase, a skills inventory and gap analysis will highlight the areas in which capacity building is needed. This task is made possible by developing a basic matrix of required skills and then checking off the available skills. It is then possible to identify where skill gaps lie. It is important to identify the various different levels of management needs and capacity for different people with different responsibilities at different levels.