A quality CBT operation needs to have a committed and principled management team with skills relevant to the project’s needs. All community stakeholders should jointly agree on sound management practices and principles from the outset. This helps to keep the management team accountable and ensures that there is a stakeholder-ratified process for addressing conflicts or management issues that may arise in the future.
The management team of a CBT venture has enormous influence on all aspects of a project, from how it is planned and developed to how it is operated and expanded. A motivated and experienced management team in the areas of hospitality or tourism will foster a supportive and inclusive environment and drive the development and growth of the CBT venture.
Ensure the management team upholds the principles underlying the CBT project
The management team of a CBT project can take many different forms according to the needs of the venture and the type of ownership arrangement as discussed in the previous section. A management team might be entirely selected from the community or might include members of external partnering organizations such as NGOs or tour companies.
Whatever form it takes, there are a few key leadership skills that should be actively encouraged including teamwork, accountability, professionalism, equity, safety, and transparency (Resilience Alliance 2010).
Maintain effective communication channels
Once a management team has been selected, it is important to keep the channels of communication open between the leadership of the CBT venture and the community it is serving. This will ensure that all community members and CBT stakeholders see themselves as collaborators and participants in decision-making processes and will improve the likelihood of equitable outcomes. This participatory approach can be a time-consuming and challenging process and can incur greater costs, especially at the commencement of a CBT venture. In the long-term this approach pays off by giving stakeholders confidence that the CBT leadership has the community’s best interests in mind.
Assigning roles and responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of the management team should be made very clear from the outset. The way in which community members can participate in and contribute to the direction of the CBT venture must also be made clear. Community involvement can take various forms, including:
• being involved in the visioning and planning stage of a CBT venture
• selecting the management team and deciding on core management principles
• sharing the economic, social, or environmental benefits of the CBT project
• participating in the daily service delivery of the project.