Sustainable Community-Based Tourism in Cambodia and Tourists’ Willingness to Pay
Keywords:Cambodia, Community-Based Tourism, SDGs, Sustainable Tourism, Willingness to Pay
Community-Based Tourism (CBT) sites are often seen as a tool for poverty alleviation and eradication, especially in Least Developed Countries like Cambodia. CBT as a development tool has been critically examined in recent years in a development cooperation context, but also in academic literature. Two of the major discussion points are the approaches used both to establish, and ensure the financial sustainability CBT sites. This paper seeks to contribute to these discussions by examining the viability of the classical top-down CBT model in comparison to the bottom up approach to promote sustainable tourism development in Cambodia in consideration of the Sustainable Development Goals. The often-missing financial sustainability frequently happens due to a lack of management skills and a lack of knowledge of pricing in the communities. Based on this notion, this paper also contributes to the discussion by examining the willingness to pay of different target groups (i.e., locals, expatriates, and international tourists), and presents two argu- ments in support of a stronger emphasis of the local and, especially, the expatriate mar- ket. Firstly, expatriates display significantly higher willingness to pay than international tourists, and, secondly, expatriate support allows CBT sites to build an understanding of potential customers’ needs, thereby supporting a more organic and sustainable growth.
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