When tourism companies incorporate local communities and low-income people in their business as employees and entrepreneurs, they create a more authentic, unique and welcoming experience for guests. While tourism companies can strengthen their business foundations, local people gain access to income and development opportunities.
The Guide to Inclusive Business in Tourism helps tourism companies identify and cultivate the benefits of inclusive business in this sector. The nine case studies presented here highlight innovative business models implemented by successful companies in Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Namibia and South Africa.
The “Destination: Mutual Benefit” guide has been co-developed by the worldwide network of Responsible and Inclusive Business Hubs (RIBHs), currently operating from Cairo, Jakarta and Pretoria. The main idea of the RIBHs is to present a win-win approach by integrating low-income populations, known as the base of the pyramid (BoP), into core activities of enterprises by means of innovative approaches. The RIBHs have been established by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Al Tarfa Desert Sanctuary is one of the first lodges to have introduced the concept of eco-luxury in Egypt. Owned by Camps and Lodges of Egypt, a subsidiary of Orascom Development Holding (ODH), the lodge provides a unique cultural experience for guests while fostering development in the local community. Al Tarfa hires locally, organizes awareness sessions, trains locals on hospitality skills, and exerts considerable effort to preserve the environment and local architectural heritage.
Al Tarfa showcases the positive impact sustainable tourism can have on underprivileged agrarian communities in Egypt. In addition to creating job opportunities by introducing tourism to the area, the lodge has fostered an entrepreneurial culture amongst young locals, several of whom have established their own businesses.
Wilderness Safaris has a joint-venture partnership with the Torra Conservancy, a community in Namibia, to operate Damaraland Camp, a luxury ecotourism enterprise. Wilderness Safaris pays lease fees to the Torra Conservancy, provides jobs for community members, uses local skills and materials in construction, and purchases local products and services.
As implemented, the model demonstrates that a joint-venture partnership can be profitable for both the private-sector operator and the community. Moreover, it illustrates that encouraging communities in remote locations to diversify their income streams can be important in order to reduce dependence on a single tourism operator for employment and business opportunities.
Managed by a local fishermen’s association, Kampoeng Kepiting Ekowisata Bali (Crab Village Ecotourism Bali) is an ecotourism business involving a restaurant that also offers water sports services and educational tours in the mangrove forest of Tuban in Bali, Indonesia. The enterprise purchases seafood directly from local fishermen and hires local community members for its restaurant staff. This close collaboration saves costs and helps control the quality of products and services. It has also helped local fishermen multiply their revenues by nearly fivefold since the launch of the business.
This case study provides insights into how a purely local fishery enterprise can achieve social, environmental and financial returns by managing a restaurant for tourists while providing income sources for local fishermen and conserving the indigenous mangrove forest.
Wild Jordan is the business arm of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), a non-profit organisation with the mandate to protect Jordan’s natural resources, including wildlife and wild areas, through the establishment of reserves.
Wild Jordan manages ecotourism activities in all protected areas. The enterprise currently employs 120 people, providing local residents with employment opportunities that offer an alternative to hunting, which has been restricted for conservation purposes. Wild Jordan
also oversees a range of entrepreneurial opportunities and encourages members of the local community to set up their own businesses.
This case study demonstrates that conservation efforts can be combined with ecotourism and entrepreneurial opportunities for local communities.
As a luxury tour operator active in 19 countries worldwide, andBeyond provides extraordinary experiential tours and operates 33 lodges in six countries across Africa and South Asia. One such destination, the Phinda Private Game Reserve, encompasses six lodges on rehabilitated land in rural South Africa.
Phinda represents a transitional partnership model in which the private-sector partner continues to operate, manage and market the reserve and its lodges, although a portion of the land and asset ownership has been transferred to the community. This case study demonstrates how this kind of partnership, together with philanthropic activities carried out by Phinda’s Africa Foundation, can strengthen an inclusive business approach.
The Rinjani Trek Management Board (RTMB) is a multi-stakeholder partnership that has created a business ecosystem enabling local enterprises and individuals to gain their share of benefits from trekking activities in the Mount Rinjani National Park on the island of Lombok
in Indonesia. The RTMB was established to coordinate two formally registered cooperatives that manage the region’s 18 trek organisers and provide training for porters and trekking guides.
This case study highlights how strong community participation can trigger a series of developments that establish a dynamic business ecosystem able to offer financial, social and environmental returns for entrepreneurs and the community alike.
Semiramis Intercontinental, one of Egypt’s most renowned hotels, demonstrates a commitment to society and the environment. Since the mid-1990s, Semiramis has pursued an initiative to reduce its paper waste by giving it to a local non-governmental organisation that turns it into recycled products. These products are then bought by the hotel to be used as corporate gifts. This process provides underprivileged women and independent artisans with full-time jobs as well as a steady income.
This case study shows how companies can work with local NGOs to empower local communities and achieve sustainability objectives.
Established as a limited partnership in 2005, Papua Expeditions offers professionally guided birding, wildlife, hiking and trekking expeditions that are led by indigenous locals in the wild frontier of western Papua. In order to promote biodiversity protection, Papua Expeditions arranges and signs conservation agreements with landowners covering the areas where tourists are allowed to visit.
The enterprise employs indigenous locals from villages surrounding these protected areas exclusively and guarantees fair remuneration for their services. This case study provides insights into how to include marginalised groups in conservation efforts.
Spier Leisure, part of the Spier Group, is one of the oldest vineyard and farm estates in South Africa, with agricultural activities on the estate dating back to 1692. It operates the mid-priced 155-bed Spier Hotel and conference centre in the winelands of South Africa’s Western Cape. The operation includes accommodations, restaurants, conference facilities, a picnic area and a delicatessen. Spier continuously assesses its supply chains with the aim of sourcing as many of its products locally as possible.
This case study demonstrates how a medium-sized company can restructure its procurement activities to be more inclusive and locally sourced, in the process helping to ensure long-term financial sustainability.
Additional Materials by GIZ
Partner: Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy, Danube Competence Center (DCC), Belgrade
by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Natural resources in protected areas are an important driver of tourism, the world’s largest industry.
Tourism accounts for some 220 million jobs, or 7 % of total employment and for over 9 % of global GDP. It is also a key export for 83 % of developing countries, while for the world’s 40 poorest countries, it is the second most important source of foreign exchange after oil.
by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH