The community-based tourism project emerged in 2017 as an extension to the Artesania para el Bienestar- concept upon the recognition that in order for the concept to generate enough for health emergencies, people must in the first place come to El 20 to buy handcrafts. During that same year, several workshops were organized together with locals, producing encouraging results: the people of El 20 see potential in sharing their way of living with tourists in a way that contributes to the values they deem most important to their lives. Amongst themselves, the locals voted four main values which they see as important to be included in the community tourism strategy: water, children, health and nature. Here, the linkages between all sub-projects started to become clearer.
During 2018, the teams continued the groundwork by diving deeper into the context of El 20 to determine facilitating conditions and challenges to developing community tourism with the support of a literature review of similar case studies. It was learned that there are many qualities of El 20 which support the development of community tourism, these include high motivation, the natural and cultural attractiveness, variety of activities, as well as leadership initiated by the El 20 Tourism Committee. Simultaneously, several challenges were also identified, mainly relating to fragmented participation, limited external communication, variations in individual capacity and incomplete infrastructure.
The next step to this project is tying all of this together by designing a fitting strategy tailored specifically for El 20. The key in developing this strategy is that tourism development will be guided by the needs and values of the community in order to ensure true empowerment, a process which will be a collaboration between El 20, ALM and local partners