Demand for authentic, local experiences which benefit communities and the environment continues to grow. Across the Greater Mekong Sub-region, several hundred Community Based Tourism (CBT) programs now offer tourists new opportunities to experience local life, culture and nature, welcomed by community tour guides and local host families.
Successful CBT can inspire tourists, celebrate local ways of life, create useful income for local people, build local skills and fund environmental and social initiatives.
Close, responsive partnerships between communities and tour operators are keys to successful CBT. CBT is more likely to succeed if partners make the effort to work together, step by step, through the cycle of product development, marketing, operating, evaluating and improving the CBT experience. However, working with communities to develop an authentic, safe, fun experience is not simple. Effective cooperation requires thorough preparation and specific skills and knowledge.
Thailand offers many internationally recognised examples of best practice CBT. For over 15 years, The Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I) team have provided hands-on support to community organisations, the private sector, government and NGO staff to work in partnership and realise successful CBT.
In cooperation with the Mekong Tourism Forum (MFT), to be held in Chiang Rai, June 2012, CBT-I are organising a special Community Based Tourism Partnerships Training Workshop for senior product and operations staff in Thailand and across the GMS. The training workshop will share lessons learned, tools and best practices, enabling product and operations staff to work more effectively with community members.
The course will combine classroom and field activities, lectures, case studies, and small group assignments. Content will be tailored to participants' roles and needs. A final Market Access session will support participants to discuss and plan how to apply lessons learned during the training, and include more CBT in their offer.
The workshop will be held from 8th to 12th June, following the Thailand Travel Mart and prior to the Mekong Tourism Forum, to be held in Chiang Rai,13th to 14th June.
Friday 8th June: Participants arrive in Chiang Mai. Welcome dinner / orientation.
Saturday 9th June: Best practices from product development to market (classroom)
Step by step tools for CBT product development and value-added marketing;
Sunday 10th June: Successful partnerships: lessons from the field (in CBT community)
Field assignments will give you a unique opportunity to better understand common bottlenecks in effective cooperation and how to overcome them;
Monday 11th June: Conclude field activities and return to Chiang Mai
Focus interviews with senior community leaders and local resource people;
Return to Chiang Mai. Presentations on outcomes of small group assignments.
Tuesday 12th June: Planning and transfer to the Mekong Tourism Forum
Consider how to apply lessons learned and include more CBT in your offer;
Transfer to Chiang Rai (site visit en route) for MTF Welcome Reception (6 pm).
Price: 19,500 THB / $650 USD / 490 EUR per person. Includes 3 nights twin share, hotel accommodation / 1 night homestay; all meals from dinner on the 8th June to lunch on the 12th June; transport inside Chiang Mai and transfer to Chiang Rai for the MTF 2012; professional trainers, training manual and a certificate on completion of the course. Please note that transport to Chiang Mai is not included in this price.
Sponsored participation (80% discount) is being offered by CBI, Netherlands for companies which seriously intend to include more CBT in their 2013 programming.
A fantastic discount on registration at the Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF) is being offered to all participants at the workshop – only $150 USD (reduced from $375 USD).
Open to senior product / operations staff with good English. Spaces strictly limited.
For more information, please contact Peter Richards - peter[at]cbt-i.org by 15th May 2012
The workshop website is http://communitybasedtourism.wordpress.com/media/mtf/