For community based ecotourism (CBET) development, we provide technical assistance in facilitating the community’s design and planning process, deciding on roles and responsibilities of management committee and service groups, agreeing on decision-making procedures, how income will be allocated, and so on. Families have stopped 100% forest slash-and-burn practices and are now earning sustainable income from international tourism. Visitors come from all over the world to go on three day treks in the Cardamom rainforest, enjoy river kayaking or mountain biking, and stay at community guesthouses. The people of Chi Phat have received several international awards for their CBET project.
We provide start-up funds for development of needed infrastructure (community visitor center, upgrading of family homes to create homestays and guesthouses, initial purchases of mountain bikes and kayaks).
Within our model there are several types of services to visitors and every service requires capacity building. Therefore an important component is working hand-in-hand with the community members to teach them hospitality skills, housekeeping, cooking, nature guiding, English, and financial and computer literacy.