Find a community homestay where you can stay with a local host who will introduce you to their community and their culture.
Find a community homestay that offers skills development through volunteering and interactive learning, skills development, and environment awareness.
Find a community homestay that promotes active participation in community development such as in house building, teaching and livelihood.
There has been an increasing demand for tourism practices that focus on Maximizing benefits while minimizing the negative effects of tourism; yet, there is little evidence that benefits have actually reached the locals. So, what does it really take to become a kind of tourist that ensures wider participation among locals and provides them with greater benefits?
While some hosts welcome tourists as visitors, others find tourism as a form of intrusion – even if tourists are accompanied by local guides. Good tourists allow locals to build their capacity to manage their own people and resources. By organizing accommodations directly with a host community rather than through a tourist agency, tourists not only provide direct economic benefits, they also instil pride and dignity of the people they visit.
Good tourists maintain a teachable attitude before, during and after each trip. Before you go, get as much information as you can about the people and their culture – how they look after themselves and their environment. Once you arrive, allow the locals to show you the ways of thinking and behaving that works for them and what doesn’t. And when you leave the place, reflect upon our experience and how it can affect your everyday life.
Don’t just be a spectator, be a participant. The concepts of homestay, service learning and volunteer tourism provide a range of opportunities for tourists to directly participate in the local’s daily life. Although you would certainly enjoy their beautiful natural scenery and built landscape, it is in living with, learning from, and caring for the people who live within these destination that truly provide meaningful and enriching experiences.