Community based tourism (CBT) is a new form of tourism that is managed by the local communities.
Everything from decision making, planning, and evaluation is managed by the local communities, who are fully responsible for every aspect of tourism management.
The main objective of CBT is to empower the local communities while emphasising environmental, social and cultural sustainability.
CBT also benefits tourists, who can learn about the community lifestyle, local culture and customs.
The tourists are given the opportunity to interact with local communities about cultural heritage and their natural environment.
Apart from improving the living standards of local communities, CBT also works to preserve their socio-cultural status and environment.
The development of CBT is well under way, as more tourists come to visit Sarawak and admire its natural beauty.
Homestays are the primary source of sustainable tourism in the state, and CBT is well established because of its strong focus on benefiting the local communities.
The local community earns income as land managers, entrepreneurs, service and produce providers, and employees.
In order to ensure the sustainability of CBT through homestays, training and support facilities should be given to the homestay entrepreneurs, as basic training will help them start and effectively maintain a business.
Management and marketing training is necessary to help grow the business as well. Financial assistance should also be provided to the local communities to encourage them to start a homestay.
With financial assistance, homestay standards can be increased for better accommodation and facilities for the convenience of the guests.
Hygiene standards can also be improved for general well-being. The active participation of homestay operators must be encouraged, as their level of readiness will determine their success in the business in the long term.