Responsible Tourism Management and Community Orientation
Two years after COVID-19 struck the world, the tourism industry is now in a state of recovery and rebuilding. One key realization that emerged from the pandemic is that tourism development and tourism activities need to be planned and carried out with the local community in the picture, especially those in suburbs and rural areas. Community members are more than just beneficiaries of tourism. Their voice about local issues and knowledge about culture and society can be invaluable to destination management, and thus cannot be dismissed or overlooked. Involving the local community in every stage of tourism planning will ensure that tourism development and rebuilding in the wake of COVID-19 can be administered in a more sustainable manner. This paper offers our views about focusing on the community in managing a tourism-laden destination in the suburbs. We summarize our views in six phases: (1) communication with community leaders and members; (2) alliance with local authorities and relevant agencies; (3) elderly consultation; (4) women empowerment; (5) school engagement; and (6) communal programs and activities. A Community Orientation Framework (COF) is subsequently proposed, highlighting the interplays between partnership, people, platforms, and process to realize responsible tourism in the local context.
Keywords: responsible tourism, community orientation, women empowerment, school engagement, elderly consultation