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Making Community Engagement Work

Working with local communities does not necessitate complex and costly activities. Practical examples of everyday activities that build win-win partnerships with local communities include:

Supporting the local community

  • Purchase locally whenever possible - food, fuel, equipment, souvenirs and services.
  • Employ local residents.
  • Host community functions.
  • Sponsor local events, sporting teams, etc.
  • Sponsor local charities or community based organisations.
  • Support community group through the provision of clerical and business service support.

Educational partnerships

  • Provide work experience opportunities for local residents, particularly students.
  • Make specialist equipment or staff expertise available to local groups.
  • Speak at local functions and educational institutions.
  • Hold ‘open days’ for the community.

Responsible product development and marketing

  • Incorporate opportunities for tourists to support local businesses, events or organisations into your products.
  • Provide a positive profile of the local community in your interpretive programs and promotional materials.
  • Provide locals with regular information updates on your business, photo opportunities and media opportunities.

Best practice

  • Lobby for things that will benefit the local community as well as the local tourism industry.
  • Use environmentally friendly products or systems to conserve precious local resources.
  • Educate your clients on how they can also conserve local resources.
  • Incorporate interpretive material on tourism industry ‘best practice’ to encourage visitors to make informed decisions and to purchase accredited tourism products.
  • Mentor new entrants to the local tourism industry.

Collaboration and communication

  • Undertake direct consultation with the community, especially during planning stages of your business if possible.
  • Cooperate with local Protected Area Managers in upgrading visitor facilities used by your clients and the broader community.
  • Work with your neighbours (adjoining property landholders) and encourage them to adopt and extend your conservation initiatives on their own properties.
  • Provide information on the results of your monitoring systems to other operators and Protected Area Managers.
  • If your business refers to an advisory board, ensure the local community is represented.


Provision of maintenance of:

  • Public toilets
  • Visitor information centre
  • Tourist information
  • Maps
  • Signage
  • Roads
  • Public parks and other public spaces

Provision of public facilities on private land and building:

  • Walking tracks
  • Picnic facilities
  • Toilet facilities

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