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.
- 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.
- 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
- Public parks and other public spaces
Provision of public facilities on private land and building:
- Walking tracks
- Picnic facilities
- Toilet facilities