Community –based eco-tour workshops
By: L.N. Reklai
December 13, 2016 (Airai) “We want to build our tourism base on our own culture and history and environment, stated Obak ra Debkar Clarence Kitalong during a workshop with members of Airai community.
Relating his experience from his training in Japan, Mr. Kitalong explained how understanding better our own culture, unique stories as well as things like fish spawning can be part of building community based eco-tourism.
“We are now conducting a study and introducing the phenology calendar as a tool to use to build a community-based eco-tourism,” reported Sasakawa Peace Foundation Mr. Hideyuki Shizowa, working with State tourism coordinators in partnership with Bureau of Tourism of the Ministry of Natural Resource, Tourism and Environment (MNRET).
By identifying certain recurring natural events such as spawning of certain fish or flowering of certain important plants in each State, these can be place in a calendar of events and can be basis of activities for tourists to come and see and participate.
“We want to work with each State to build a calendar of activities, sites and natural calendar that we can use to build a larger calendar for tourism based activities,” added Shizowa.
“This will continue through each of the participating States. We were in Aimeliik on the 8th and now Airai and will continue.”
The work to build local eco-tourism capacities and activities is a partnership program between Bureau of Tourism, State governments, Palau Visitors Authority, Belau Tourism Association and Sasakawa Foundation. [/restrict]