The Tourism Toolbox procedure set down in a graphic flowchart, starting with initial mentoring of island communities, through to the development of tourism assets

The development of tourism assets for communities should ideally make use of local materials and practices, whereby making development economical to communities, while providing authentic elements for experential travellers.

The Fish or the Fishing Rod ?

Providing a poor man a fish will only feed him and his family for a day, but will not help him climb out of poverty.

Tourism Toolbox is the fishing rod by ultimately helping to provide tourism infrastructure along with target tourism to island communities.

When it comes to poverty alleviation, most people have heard of, and agree with, the parable surrounding giving a man afish or a fishing rod, but the implementation of the principle has proved to be difficult. Often overcomplicated, carried out on a too ambitious scale, not monitored sufficiently, not empathetic to local culture, and sometimes subject to abuse, are a few of the reasons that schemes fail. Despite this, the principle is a foundation stone of sustainable poverty alleviation.Tourism Toolbox has many elements that make it an attractive option in reducing poverty in communities.

First and foremost it can be tailored to not only be empathetic with cultural attributes of host communities, but can be used to highlight and promote their customs, traditions and way of life. For schemes to be successful, local populations must "buy-into" the concept and feel that they have some ownership, seeing themselves as stakeholders of projects moving forward. In this way, the empowerment of all levels of society provides community incentive for such schemes to be self-sustaining and progress with time.

Secondly, it can be scaled according to available resources and community needs. Schemes can be initially limited to allow communities to develop tourism and hospitality skills that travellers require and expect. As local knowledge increases, so too does their capability and desire for their people to become more educated and skilled within the industry. Subsequent cycles of Tourism Toolbox implementations can be scaled to accommodate such progressions.

Thirdly, over time communities see the value of education, and this provides an incentive for local young people to enter and complete TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) courses. Over a longer term, this provides ongoing employment for young adults, along with associated opportunities through the growth of the community tourism business.

Ultimately, such community tourism schemes become self-funding and self-perpetuating, with local people skilled in all aspects of financial, social, and cultural decisions regarding their business. At this point, no further resource allocation is necessary and mentoring can also be tapered to suit community needs.

This is about 'Joe' and his community.

The concept of the Tourism Toolbox, came out of being asked to visit Joe’s village, a village that survives in poverty, having lived a strict kastom way of life. Joe and his community recognized that they must take action for the sake of their children, and asked if we could help them set up a tourism operation.

Joe’s village has no money, and little in the way of resources. However, what they do possess are beautiful untouched landscapes, and a rich culture

This is also about travellers seeking Authentic Travel.

Julie is one of the many tourists and travellers that are tired of the ‘fly and flop’ holidays, and seek authentic travel experiences involving unspoilt lands, and cultural adventures. Julie would love to visit Joe’s village.

The problems with the road less travelled

However, Joe’s village doesn’t have any facilities or amenities to provide travellers, and worse the community has no idea what they should provide.

For Julie, she doesn’t even know that Joe’s village exists. Even if she did, she wouldn’t know how to get there, or if there was any accommodation or meals available. Further, she would have no idea about what attractions are around, how she could get there, what cultural events may be on and how she could get to see them.

Facilitating Authentic Tourism for a win-win future.

The Tourism Toolbox is about creating positive outcomes for both Joe and Julie. By facilitating the means by which each can come together, value is created for both. The process can move diverse sections of society forward without impinging or destroying the richness and authenticity that forms the central attraction.

A Tourism Toolbox is a Social Loan Initiative.

  • Communities go through a lengthy mentoring and liaison procedure before any consideration for applicability of a 'Toolbox".
  • 'Toolbox' projects are funded to communities on a social loan basis.
  • 'Tourism Toolbox' provides mentoring to appropriate villages over time.
  • When ready, and funds are available, villages assess their own needs and request funds for a 'Toolbox Implementation'.
  • Provision for 'Robust Bungalows' are one example of a 'Toolbox Implementation'.
  • For their part, the community understands that the 'Social Loan' must be repaid by them.
  • Once operational, a percentage of each booking is applied to repaying the loan, reducing the amount owed.
  • After the loan is fully repaid, the community is re-eligible for consideration of a further 'Toolbox Implementation'
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Social Initiatives : Tourism Toolbox - Vanuatu.

Tourism Toolbox is a social initiative commenced by the authors. We believe that by empowering communities to develop alternative tourism businesses on their own kastom land that opportunities empathetic to their culture and way of life eventuate. In this way local employment is created and the richness of their tribal idenity preserved.

Articles in this section inform readers about our local initiative, how it is developing and the results of the efforts of the people involved.

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Have a look here at our BLOG Articles on Social Initiatives within Tourism and Travel. As travellers who want to experience authentic travel, we seek to get close to the way in which other people and other cultures live. In most cases residing communities, and hosting families are more than welcoming to us "outsiders", and let us into their world. However, when our travel is completed, little thought is given to those that we have visited.

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Tourism Toolbox implementations provides hope for Joe and his community, and a way for them to escape poverty.

Requirements for Tourism to Alleviate Poverty.

....... tourism sector growth does not automatically lead to poverty reduction.In order to more effectively reduce poverty, tourism growth should provide equal opportunities and be inclusive. UNWTO and Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) (2010) advocate seven approaches for poverty reduction through tourism:

  • Employment of the poor in tourism enterprises;
  • Supply of goods and services to tourism enterprises by the poor;
  • Informal selling of goods and services to tourists by the poor;
  • Developing micro, small or community-based tourism enterprises or joint ventures;
  • Tax or charge on tourists or enterprises with proceeds benefiting the poor;
  • Collateral benefits to the poor from tourism investment andactivity.

Article 23,Tourism | Pacific Possible,
The World Bank.

tourism Toolbox implementations provide a means whereby young Ni-Vanuatu can be educated, attend TVET courses , and strengthen their community


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