Corazon P. Rodriguez, Dean of the UP Asian Institute of Tourism (AIT), is only one of the emerging models of community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) in the country.
Pundits are looking into these alternative models because recent experiences show that problems brought about by mass tourism are not worth the economic gains.In the Philippines, notes Dean Rodriguez, a few of the concerns associated with mass tourism include displacement of natives, pollution, and commodification of culture.
paper titled "Community-based Sustainable Tourism: Opportunities for Diversifying AIT's Contribution to the Industry," Rodriguez points out that CBST involves the locals in gearing tourism development toward results that they desire for their communities.She
paper on Feb. 24, 2006 during the 30th anniversary of the AIT
In fact, Rodriguez
says that during the 7th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development
in April, 1999, the German Ad Hoc Working Group on Tourism said that sustainable tourism "should be based on the decisions made by the village community with emphasis given to traditional knowledge and reinforcement of cultural values."The key is for tourists to do what the locals are doing.
To identify the components of CBST as an alternative model of development, Rodriguez
analyzed the proceedings of the focused group discussions organized by the AIT
in certain provinces of the Cordillera
Autonomous Region and in certain municipalities of Quezon Province, Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Sur, Cebu, Laguna, and Negros Occidental.
But while CBST seems to be a promising alternative for tourism development, Rodriguez
says it also has its downside.
The challenge for the AIT
, says Rodriguez
, is to help address these issues and perfect the mechanisms of CBST.