14 May 2019
Please join us at the SRC at 12pm on Tuesday 14 May when Professor Bill Carter will give a talk on a Community Based Tourism (CBT) Project in Ternate, North Maluku, Indonesia.
Community-based tourism (CBT) is promulgated in the grey literature as a panacea for community development and poverty alleviation, but often challenged by peer-reviewed evaluations. Around three-quarters of CBT initiatives fail, and average occupancy of homestays is estimated to be as low as five per cent. Reported success factors are not surprising: participatory planning, community empowerment, shared vision, targeted and timely assistance, and a focus on supplemental income. Working against these precursors for success are a lack of financial capital, poor marketing, non-ready products, and governmental interference. A highly successful (in two years) CBT initiative in North Maluku, Indonesia seems to both support and belie these tenets for sustainable tourism development. This case study suggests the more important ingredients for success are the presence of a facilitating champion, the empowerment of women, collective imagination, the galvanizing of social capital, a focus on product development, responsiveness to serendipitous opportunities, and community celebration of success. These factors remain untested, but opportunities exist to work with the local community and university to clarify why the Cengkeh Afo and Gamalama Spices CBT initiative has beaten the odds as well as contribute to its sustainability.
Bill is Professor for Heritage Resources Management and Director of the Sustainability Research Centre. While his early learning was in the ecological and marine disciplines, a career in protected area management led him to sequentially shift focus towards managing people, tourism and cultural change. He has worked in Southeast Asia for more than 15 years and facilitated the preparation of the ASEAN Community-Based Tourism Standard. His work in Cambodia has been recognised by the Royal Government of Cambodia with three medals for contribution to sustainable development. His presentation stems from a collaboration with an Australia Awards Indonesia Fellow (Mr Kris Syamsudin), who is but one of the heroes of the Cengkeh Afo and Gamalama Spices CBT story.