Ecotourism Feasibility Study - Koh Kong, Cambodia (2010)
As part of The Asia Foundation's Civil Society and Pro-Poor Markets (CSPPM) program, community-based ecotourism was identified as a potential source of alternative income and a stimulus for improved natural resource management in Koh Kong, Cambodia.
An Ecotourism Feasibility Study was conducted to analyze and assess the feasibility of developing community-based and ecotourism activities in six communities. The aim of the study was to:
The Asia Foundation's CSPPM program was coming to a close and there was no funding to carry out these projects. Therefore, our job was to come up with ideas that these communities could realistically afford and be able to implement themselves. The communities were economically challenged, lacked English-speakers, and all suffered from sanitation issues including improper garbage disposal.
My colleague and I worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders including community representatives, local government, private-sector businesses, and local and national NGOs in order to fully analyze the situation. Various forms of research were carried out including:
Community assessments took into consideration each village's potential, interest, capacity, and location. Our analysis determined that four of the six communities had potential for further development and follow-up focus group discussions took place in those four locations.
After all initial research was completed, a Consultative Workshop took place where our findings were presented and local communities were educated as to the opportunities and challenges of developing tourism in their communities. The workshop also enabled community members to meet and interact with local tourism business owners. Linkages were made between handicraft producers and ecolodge owners, raising awareness as to additional opportunities for community-based tourism development in the province.
All research and findings were compiled into a 170-page Ecotourism Feasibility Study report (click here to download). Recommended action steps were also provided for each unique community including:
Click on the image above to Download a copy of the Ecotourism Feasibility Study.