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Sustainable travel & learning from each other through community-based tourism.

Community-Based Tourism in Latin America

Everyone should benefit from tourism - travellers, travel companies and the local population.


Community-Based Tourism is a concept for (especially) rural regions that offers travellers opportunities to get in touch with the local population at eye level and to experience authentic insights into life, country, tradition and culture. At the same time, new income opportunities are to be created, local development promoted and nature conservation contributed towards.

The Andean countries Ecuador, Peru and Colombia exhibit stark inequalities. Poverty still prevails, especially in rural areas. Despite this, rural regions and communities in particular offer outstanding tourism potential due to their cultural diversity and multi-faceted biodiversity. More than 20 years ago, the first initiatives for community-based tourism - the 'Turismo Comunitario' - were developed, often in cooperation with sponsored development projects.

These experiences motivate the communities experienced in tourism to look for new ways. The dialogue between tourism communities in the Andes countries, local development organisations and our partners VSocial and TourCert led to a strategic cooperation in this pilot programme.

Central aspects are:

  • Strengthening of organisational structures

  • Certification of a qualitatively sustainable community-based tourism

  • Effective marketing

Guidelines for Community-Based Tourism

Tabak Farmer

Strengthening self-governance through tourism

Strengthening the democratic self-governance of the municipalities through the development of the tourism business owned by the municipality.

Solidarity in economic management & promotion of the common good

Promotion of local development and diversification of sources of income through income from tourism and creation of jobs with fair working conditions.

AG-Canaima Kinder Venezuela.JPG
Prüfungs Crops

Appreciation of the value of the natural environment & biodiversity as basic principles

Preservation and care of natural and cultural heritage as an elementary life strategy.

Cultural revitalisation and intercultural exchange

Promotion of social identity through appreciation of local culture.


Quality orientation and innovative product development

Promotion of service quality, guest satisfaction and business development.

Empowerment of the community organisation & certification of Community-Based Tourism

As part of a pilot programme, selected tourism communities in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia are being supported in their organisational development. For this purpose, local community consultants are trained, who in turn conduct training in the communities and accompany the communities in an inventory, strengths/weaknesses analysis and development of mission statements.

Based on this stocktaking, the communities develop an action plan with improvement measures, taking into account the best practice standards for certification. The certification is a milestone in a self-responsible development process of the communities and provides a framework for continuous further development. 

Networking & Marketing


The pilot programme promotes organisational and quality development in the communities so they become sustainable and reliable business partners in tourism, and are certified by their own efforts and development processes; additionally, the further development and self-help of the communities is promoted through the exchange of experience and networking between the communities of the three countries, and the political power and marketing is promoted through the establishment of a network for joint positioning and marketing, e.g. via social media and booking platforms.

Nachhaltiger Gemeindetourismus in Ecuador, Peru & Kolumbien

Nachhaltiger Gemeindetourismus in Ecuador, Peru & Kolumbien

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Together for Community-Based Tourism - Participating Actors & Local Partners

The activities of the projects are co-ordinated by KATE and the VSocial Foundation.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports the commitment financially.

Our local partners Yunguilla, VSocial and CBC are the central organisations responsible for the implementation of the initiative. The project revolves around indigenous communities from Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, whom TourCert supports as an expert on sustainability in the field of community-based tourism.


Your contact persons for community-based tourism

Günter Koschwitz

Project coordinator

+49 711 248397 - 10


Janina Rapp

Project manager

+49 711 248397 - 19


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