A Toolkit for

Monitoring and Managing

Community-Based Tourism

A Toolkit for Monitoring and Managing Community-Based Tourism.

A collaborative publishing and distribution project by:

SNV Asia Pro-Poor Sustainable Tourism Network

SNV Vietnam


Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus

Queensland, Australia

SNV is a Netherlands-based international development organisation that provides advisory services to nearly 1800 local organisations in over 30 developing countries to support their fight against poverty. SNV is dedicated to a society where all people enjoy the freedom to pursue their own sustainable development. Our advisors contribute to this by strengthening the capacity of local organisations.

The Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) is the world’s leading scientific institution delivering research to support the sustainability of travel and tourism. It is a not-for-profit company owned by a consortium including Australian based Universities and Vocational & Educational Training institutions. Please note that the preceeding paragraph will be changed.

Copies of this report are available to purchase from the ……….. online bookshop.

Go to …………. simply search for the title to order.

Edited on behalf of SNV:

Douglas Hainsworth SNV, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Edited on behalf of Griffith University:

Steve Noakes Griffith University, Australia

Sheena Day Griffith University, Australia

Copyright © SNV and Griffith University

All rights reserved. Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act of Australia, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the publisher. Any enquiries should be directed to Steve Noakes,

Photos courtesy of SNV, Sheena Day and Suzanne Noakes




Acknowledgements vii



Aims 1

Key Concepts 1

Key Themes in Community-Based Tourism 3

THEME 1: Monitoring Gender Equity and Social Inclusion 3

THEME 2: Poverty Reduction 4

THEME 3: Business Enterprise Sustainability 5

THEME 4: Local Capacity Development 6

Key Monitoring Considerations 8

Examining the rationale for monitoring 8

Deciding who should monitor 8

Discussing what to monitor 9

Thinking about the type of indicators to be used 10

Reviewing the human and financial resources available 10

The Process of Developing a Monitoring Programme 11


STEP 1: Planning and Monitoring 13

Getting Community Support 13

Setting Objectives 14

Involving the Community 16

Monitoring Boundaries 16

Project Timing 16

Availability of Resources 16

STEP 2: Scoping Key Issues 18

Key Issue Research 18

Hold a Community Meeting 18

Working Group Meeting 19

STEP 3: Developing Indicators 21

Review Existing Indicators 21

Brainstorm New Indicators 21

Screening Indicators 22

Indicator Fine-Tuning 24

STEP 4: Collecting Data 26

Data requirements 26

Data sources 26

Data collectors 27

Designing Data Collection Methods 28

Observation 30

Data management 30

STEP 5: Evaluating Results 32

Benchmarking 32

Thresholds 32

STEP 6: Planning the Response 35

Identify Poor Performers 35

Research Possible Causes for Poor Performance 35

Decide on Response 36

Draw up an Action Plan 36

STEP 7: Communicating Results 38

Community Meeting 38

Newsletter/Flyer 38

Website 39

STEP 8: Reviewing and Adapting 39

Review of Objectives and Key Issues 39

Review of Indicators and Data Collection 40

Review of Management Responses 40

Re-Monitor Process 40

Conclusion 42

Post Script 42


Case Study Instructions 44

CASE STUDY 1: Philippines 44

CASE STUDY 2: Vietnam 46

CASE STUDY 3: Thailand 48

CASE STUDY 4: Nepal 49

CASE STUDY 5: Laos 51

CASE STUDY 6: Indonesia 53


Introduction to Additional Resources 55

List of Indicators 55

Environmental Indicators 55

Economic Indicators 59

Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Indicators 60

Poverty Indicators 61

Social and Cultural Indicators 61

Tourism Management Indicators 63

Tourism Business Indicators 64

Monitoring Scheme Performance Indicators 64


Useful Websites 72


Figure 1: Steps in the development of a monitoring programme 11

Figure 2: Step 1 – planning activities 13

Figure 3: Step 2 – the scoping process 18

Figure 4: Step 3 – indicator development process 21

Figure 5: Indicator screening considerations 22

Figure 6: Step 4 – data collection 26

Figure 7: Step 5 – evaluating results 32

Figure 8: Step 6 – implementation plan 35

Figure 9: Step 7 – communicating results 38

Figure 10: Step 8 – reviewing and adapting 39

Figure 11: Ongoing monitoring cycle 40


Table 1: Eight steps for monitoring community-based tourism projects 11

Table 2: Example of project goals and objectives 15

Table 3: Example of monitoring goals and objectives 15

Table 4: Examples of key issues 19

Table 5: Examples of key issues and potential indicators 23

Table 6: Overview sheet of environmental indicator data collection techniques 27

Table 7: Example of indicator sheet 31

Table 8: Interpreting Samoa sustainable tourism indicators 33

Table 9: Example of management responses 37


Box 1: What is monitoring? 1

Box 2: What are indicators? 2

Box 3: What is poverty? 2

Box 4: What is pro-poor tourism? 2

Box 5: What is community-based tourism? 2

Box 6: UNWTO Recommendations for pro-poor tourism 4

Box 7: Monitoring stakeholders 9

Box 8: UNWTO indicator types 10

Box 9: Business and sustainable tourism 14

Box 10: Goals and objectives 14

Box 11: Sample project overview 17

Box 12: How many indicators? 22

Box 13: Example of survey plan 28

Box 14: Types of questions for use in questionnaires 29

Box 15: Advice on setting thresholds 33

Box 16: Example of research into causes of poor performance 36

Box 17: Factors influencing the success of a monitoring programme 42


ADB / Asian Development Bank
APEC / Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
CBT / Community-based tourism
DIFD / UK Department for International Development
GDP / Gross Domestic Product
GTZ / German Aid Agency
IUCN / International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
NGO / Non Government Organisation
OECD / Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
PPST / Pro-Poor Sustainable Tourism
SMART / Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound
SNV / a Netherlands-based, international development organisation
TOMM / Tourism Optimisation Management Model
UN / United Nations
UNDP / United Nations Development Program
UNEP / United Nations Environment Program
UNESCAP / United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
UNESCO / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
WCPA / World Commission on Protected Areas
VDC / Village Development Committee


SNV Netherlands Development Organisation has been actively involved in supporting sustainable tourism development since the mid 1990s and is now a leading development organisation in the field of utilising tourism as a tool for sustainable development and poverty reduction. SNV is committed to Pro-Poor Sustainable Tourism (PPST) as a key corporate practice area and supports tourism projects in 25 of 33 countries where they work. In Asia, SNV has tourism programmes in Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and has formed the Pro-Poor Sustainable Tourism network for the purposes of providing knowledge development to serve this practice area. The network has selected the production of a Community Tourism Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit as an important knowledge product to be developed.

In July of 2004, the PPST network commissioned a consultant to produce a preliminary report on the development of the Community-Based Tourism Monitoring and Managing Toolkit. While this preliminary study provided a practical methodology for evaluating monitoring and management tools and approaches, the scope of the study was not sufficient to develop into an effective toolkit. More research and knowledge development was required.

In February 2005, the PPST network commissioned the School of Travel Industry Management (University of Hawaii) to co-produce a “Community-Based Tourism Monitoring and Managing Toolkit” (CBT-MMT). This partnership builds on the work already completed by SNV’s PPST network and the School of Travel Industry Management (University of Hawaii). A draft version of the toolkit was produced in December 2005 and distributed for review to SNV Tourism Advisors and clients.

The review process indicated the need for further refinement and development. It was seen as necessary to contract an expert with specific expertise in this subject matter to refine and finalise the document. The third version of the toolkit was prepared by Dr Louise Twining-Ward and the final version received input and editing from Steve Noakes and Sheena Day from the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre based at Griffith University, Australia.

Andy Wehkamp June 2007


The editor would like to acknowledge the contribution of many SNV advisors to the third draft of this toolkit:

Douglas Hainsworth, SNV – Vietnam

Paul Rodgers, SNV – Lao PRD

John Hummel, SNV - Asia

Louise Twining Ward – New York

Walter Jameson, School of Travel Industry Management at University of Hawaii

Steve Noakes, Griffith University – Australia

Sheena Day, Griffith University – Australia


Nothing stays the same. Tourism markets and destinations are in a state of constant change. Monitoring from project level to country level is a vital tool for evaluating and managing change.

For community-based tourism, monitoring helps to improve understanding of the effects of tourism on the community, and of the contribution tourism makes to the community’s sustainability goals. Monitoring also helps identify areas where improvement is needed and where change is occurring. In this way, monitoring and management are presented as both interrelated and interdependent.

Tourism is a highly competitive industry. Community-based tourism (CBT) projects, like other small businesses, need to keep careful tabs on their performance in all aspects – understanding and reacting to meet customer needs and management of their finances, internal operations, human resources and relations with various external suppliers and stakeholders. Where poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability are key concerns, monitoring can help project managers find out if the project is living up to expectations and help them make adjustments to improve performance where necessary.

Monitoring involves carefully selecting and piloting indicators, collecting and evaluating data, and presenting and acting on the results. Developing a monitoring framework can take some time, but is likely to result in a more responsive and successful CBT project. The main benefits of monitoring CBT are:

·  Evaluating project performance over time;

·  Adapting project activities in light of the lessons learned from monitoring;

·  Prioritising future projects based on areas of greatest need;

·  Improving project planning, development, and management;

·  Ensuring all social categories, (including ethnic minorities, youth and women) can benefit from CBT;

·  Improving policymaking;

·  Increasing donor confidence;

·  Improving the focus of intervention; and

·  Increasing understanding of sustainable tourism amongst stakeholders.

This toolkit is designed to provide readers with the know-how to set up and run a monitoring programme for a community-based tourism project. It gives step-by-step guidelines, supported by a wide range of case studies, to enable readers to embark on their own monitoring project.

In developing the toolkit we have drawn on experience from managing tourism monitoring projects worldwide, as well as up-to-date sources of information on the subject. Whilst many of these are technical documents, we have attempted to make the process as simple, practical, and user-friendly as possible. There are four main sections to the toolkit:

1.  Chapter 1: Introduction;

2.  Chapter 2: Step-by-Step Monitoring;

3.  Chapter 3: Case Studies; and

4.  Chapter 4: Additional Resources.

This toolkit is recommended for anyone involved in the funding, planning or managing of a community-based tourism project: local officials, tourism planners, development consultants, donor agencies and community groups. It provides an introduction to monitoring and a solid foundation for further practice-based learning. It aims to break down the knowledge barriers to active public participation in tourism monitoring to enable communities to design and run their own tourism monitoring programmes.

Chapter 1



The objective of this toolkit is to provide the tools and information necessary to enable readers to establish a monitoring programme for community-based tourism (CBT). The toolkit provides an adaptive approach to monitoring and managing community-based tourism, with special emphasis on how to monitor the effectiveness of CBT projects in reducing poverty.

The toolkit provides step-by-step instructions, examples and worksheets for indicator development and shows how to move from the development of indicators to the implementation of an effective monitoring programme. The toolkit is intended to help local officials and communities to:

·  Develop new or clarify existing CBT project and monitoring objectives;

·  Identify user-friendly indicators for monitoring a CBT project;

·  Ensure CBT projects contribute to poverty reduction, especially for the poor;

·  Gather monitoring information with an appropriate degree of scientific accuracy;

·  Use results of monitoring to improve project performance;

·  Share the results from monitoring in a participatory and transparent manner; and

·  Manage and implement a monitoring programme on an ongoing basis.

The purpose of this first section is to introduce readers to some key concepts and monitoring considerations required in planning a CBT monitoring framework.

Key Concepts

Key concepts referred to in this toolkit include: monitoring, indicators, poverty, pro-poor strategies, gender equity and community-based tourism. These are explained in Boxes 1-5 in non-technical terms. For more technical explanations, follow the internet links provided.

Box 1: What is monitoring?

Monitoring is the process of taking regular measurements of something, normally using indicators, to provide a better understanding of the current situation, as well as some idea of the trends in performance.

For example, monitoring water consumption on a monthly basis provides us with an idea about current usage and how it compares with previous months’ usage. On their own, indicators give us only partial information, but when combined into groups, indicators can provide us with a great deal of information about the various environmental and social effects of tourism as well as the overall performance of a community-based tourism project.