Community-Based Ecotourism Expert (2010 - 2011)
I was the Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET) Expert for the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) developing a management plan for a national park in Da Lat, Vietnam. I investigated all options and potential for developing ecotourism within the national park and in surrounding target villages.
I conducted community assessments and focus group discussions with five indigenous communities and investigated training options to involve them in CBET opportunities. I worked closely with infrastructure architects to design eco-friendly trails, bungalows, longhouses, campsites and other necessary facilities in order to minimize impacts on the natural environment.
I developed innovative ideas for agro-tours to coffee plantations. I interviewed and fostered close relationships with local responsible tour operators to engage them in the early stages of planning and implementation as primary stakeholders. I designed tourist demand surveys and fine-tuned work plans based on results.
My research and activities culminated into a comprehensive management plan for implementation of community-based ecotourism.
Park staff and indigenous community work together to map ecotrails within the national park.