Operational Guidelines for Community-Based Tourism in South Africa

Authors: Anna Spenceley, Andrew Rylance, Sadia Nanabhay and Heidi van der Watt
Developers: EDGE Tourism Solutions
Publisher: Department of Tourism, Republic of South Africa

The role of communities in tourism in South Africa is strongly emphasised in a series of national policies and instruments that were established over the past two decades. For example, the 1996 White Paper on the Development and Promotion of Tourism Development in South Africa stressed that communities were expected to play a vital role in tourism development. The ground-breaking policy called on communities to identify potential tourism resources and attractions, to use them as a basis for exploring tourism development opportunities, and to seek partnership opportunities with the private sector, while supporting and promoting responsible tourism and sustainable development. In 2002, the National Responsible Tourism Development Guidelines for South Africa re-affirmed the White Paper’s call, and further stressed that communities should establish new and complementary products for the formal tourism sector, and that visitors should be encouraged to spend more money in the local economy. However, the guidelines stress that potential adverse social impacts from tourism should be monitored and minimised, and that local cultures should be protected from over-commercialisation and over-exploitation.

CBT Guidelines SA coverThese guidelines are the product of collaboration between the NDT and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to develop Operational Guidelines for Community-based Tourism (CBT),.

What are the guidelines?

The guidelines describe a step-by-step approach to developing a community-based tourism venture. They cover all stages of the process, from venture design to operation. The precise approach taken in any individual case, will of course, vary. However, following these guidelines will maximise the chances of success in your chosen CBT venture.

What is the purpose of the guide?

The guide is not a technical manual or a detailed toolkit and reading it will not make you an expert in community- based tourism. However, the guide does help create an understanding of community-based tourism and provides basic guidance to help establish and operate commercially viable community-based tourism ventures in South Africa, in both urban and rural areas. The guide also provides examples of good practice; highlights the challenges to community-based tourism and provides links to more detailed resources.

Who should use the guide?

The guide is intended to be used by organisations that develop community-based tourism ventures, but can also be used by individuals and groups that have an interest in community-based tourism or are already involved in community development. It is aimed at:

  • Government departments and support agencies that implement community-based tourism
  • Private sector operators interested in partnering with communities or adjusting their operations to the community- based model
  • Investors looking to invest in community-based tourism
  • Development nance institutions involved in nancing community-based tourism
  • Traditional authorities at all levels
  • Provincial heritage agencies
  • Organisations that work within communities

How to use the guide

The guide has three parts:
PART a: What is community-based tourism and what community-based tourism models are covered in this guide?
PART b: A step-by-step process to develop a successful community-based tourism venture
PART c: Additional resources and links to useful websites

Click here for the guide

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s