GIZ building capacities of CBTEs

In May and June 2022, GIZ organized roll out training sessions on CBTE management in Nyanza and Karongi Districts (destinations). In this light, participants acquired knowledge and skills about 9 steps for establishing and managing a professional CBTE such as: assess Community needs and readiness for Tourism, educate and Prepare the Community for Tourism, identify and establish leadership / Local Champion, prepare and develop community organisation, develop partnerships, adopt an Integrated Approach, plan, design and package quality community based tours, Identify market demand and develop marketing strategy, implement and monitor performance. A part from class sessions, participantswith their trainersalso visited both the Environment Museum andone of the CBTE known as COTRALAKI inorder to complement the acquired theories with the field experiences on CBTE managementand correct mistakes that they were committingbeforethe trainings.

Therefore, for practice, after completing the above 9 steps,participants were able to form 4 CBTEs where each CBTE developed a business plan, packaged its tours and made a marketing strategy.

Thereafter, participants also acquired both knowledge and skills in CBTE guiding, customer care and personal hygiene and grooming.

During the training, trainers and all participants realised that before establishing any CBTE, the exercise of identifying the community similarities and differences is both key and foundation for the CBTE business choice and management. It was also learned that some points such as: CBTE establishment, Business planning, Products costing and packaging and guiding have to be given much emphasis and time. On the top of this, it was understood that the best methodology was to work in groups and engage plenary discussions where CBTE models are provided with time to talk about the best practices from their respective CBTEs.

It was finally realized that a sustainable tourism and development can only be achieved when the creation of CBTEs are inclusive. N.B.The Master Trainer was a National Expert from Kivu Belt Village Tours.

Lesson learnt and impacts

After the training sessions, so many CBTEs improved their CBTES structures, marketing strategies and build partnerships with various people and institutions. As results, each CBTE has seen positive changes in its management and has also increase its number of clients and volume of sales.

The strategies that GIZ used to first empower the national tourism expert by helping them to form tour companies, helped also the CBTEs to easily put in place the acquired knowledge. For instance, Kivu Belt Village Tours which is one of the beneficiary of this GIZ empowerment, Has started helping the community based tourism enterprises (CBTEs) specifically located in the Kivu Belt destination Product and Service Development and Management through products designing, packaging and posting them on its website and social networks; and has made it its utmost priority as a community based tour company. In addition, Kivu Belt Village Tours empowers the CBTEs through training them in management, marketing, guiding and interpretation, customer care, etc. at regular basis. As a result, through its tour packages including mostly the CBTEs activities, Kivu Belt Village Tours has brought a lot of clients to these CBTEs and is contributing much to the livelihoods of the community living around the CBTEs. 

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