“Challenges Marketing Community based Ecotourism”
Mr. Peter Richards, Marketing Manager, The Responsible, Ecological, Social Tours Project (REST), Thailand
Thai NGO...Background: Community Development, Volunteerism & Participatory Training...
What is Community based Tourism?
‘CBT’ Markets and Marketing
Challenges Marketing ‘CBT’
Community Based Tourism Development Process
Participatory CBT Marketing
Marketing & Planning
Monitoring & Evaluation
Challenges Marketing CBT
CHALLENGES 4 P’s Product Price Place Promotion
Challenges Marketing CBT - Product
CBT is Dynamic by nature and difficult to standardize
Service Expectations Vs. Local Product
Many of the benefits of CBT are ‘behind the scenes.’
What should come first – product or market?
Low product diversity / off the beaten track?
High demand Vs low volume and ‘carrying capacity’
Challenges Marketing CBT- Price
A ‘fairly priced’ product in a market saturated with cheap competitors
Who pays for training?
Community Commitment to Price Commitment!
Challenges Marketing CBT- Place
Rural tourism products are presented far from the point of sale
Decision to buy is based on quality of marketing rather than of product
Challenges Marketing CBT- Promotion
Challenging issues at the heart of the CBT USP
Selective Marketing Vs. integrating CBT with other destinations which sell well
Inappropriate promotion by marketing intermediaries
With limited, relevant skills, how far can communities participate in marketing?
Challenges Marketing CBT
Thai Tour Operators > Commitment? > Resistance
Independent Travelers > Communication > Price > Forum
Community Participation in CBT Marketing – Why?
The greatest challenge of marketing CBT is who and how many guests should be welcomed
Local communities have a lot to gain from tourism development, but they have even more to loose...resource base, culture, security...
Many key stakeholders are concentrating on $ and volume... “Out of sight is out of mind...”
We must all assist local communities to have more voice and choice in rural village tourism
Recommendations for practitioners
Target the right partners and product lines, and Target the right guests!
Communicate and educate
Be realistic and honest about limitations
Ensure Community Participation in Marketing
Seek out and support genuine community based tourism and offer it to your guests
Train your staff – knowledge, Skills, Attitude
Dedicate a fixed % of your product / advertising budget to sustainable tourism / CBT products
Request your government tourism organizations for assistance to partner with CBT projects
Demand for Community based Tourism
“Homestay is always the highlight for passengers.” Intrepid Travel, Australia
“Experience to enable them to truly appreciate another culture” Go Bush, Australia
“Authenticity. Our clients want to meet local people and learn about their daily life and culture”, Sawadee Reizen, The Netherlands
“A cultural experience, a holiday, and to do something worthwhile so that they [guests] feel that they have left behind something positive during their travels.” The Imaginative Traveler, UK
“To get an impression how village life goes on, and know more about peoples opinions and way of living.” Hauser, Germany
“An experience which goes beyond the average and gives guests a real insight into the culture they are visiting” Go Differently, UK