Community Based Responsible Tourism
A community by definition implies individuals with some kind of collective responsibility, and the ability to make decisions by representative bodies. Community based tourism is tourism in which local residents (often rural, poor and economically marginalised) invite tourists to visit their communities with the provision of overnight accommodation. The residents earn income as land managers, entrepreneurs, service and produce providers, and employees. At least part of the tourist income is set aside for projects which provide benefits to the community as a whole.
ERA has recently completed two projects on the Community Based Tourism theme in Naina Devi and Pong Dam (Dhameta Cluster) respectively supported by the Asian Development Bank and Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation, GoHP.
As the outcomes of this initiative, women folks have been linked through skill development (Ancillary Services) and promoting indigenous products and services and thus promoting and conserving local culture. A number of youth has been skilled in services such as Cultural Interpretation Guides, Camp Site Management, Water Sports and most importantly Home Stays etc.
ERA Team has been sincerely working closely to promote the home stay concept by means of online and offline promotion of the existing ones which have a good business model. Efforts are being made to start a common portal for homestays in Himachal Pradesh which will showcase homestays serving as a benchmark for upcoming and existing ones.