Located in one of the biggest islands in Kratie, Koh Pdao Community-Based Ecotourism has had many years’ experiences in hosting a huge number of tourists since its establishment in 2008. Despite the site potential, the capacity of the CBET on management, hospitality, benefit sharing and waste management needs further improvement. To be specific, the community lack of skills in designing and organizing packaged tour, market linkage and knowledge on how to promote CBET services. There was only one tour agency that organized tour to this community since its establishment. These were some of the problems of community requiring PaFF intervention.
In 2015, PaFF started to support this community by focusing on studying the current situation of this community, including community management, tour organizing, ecotourism services. In 2016 and 2017, the project starting to strengthen group management, tour services, capacity development, promotional materials development, market link with tour agencies/companies and promotions. During the support period, NTFP-EP in cooperation with the Provincial Department of Tourism (PDoT) has provided capacity development on book-keeping, hospitality and on-going coaching on group management. A number of promotional materials has been produced such as leaflet, billboards, CBET information posters, map of the CBET potential site and Facebook page for promoting community services and potential sites. Also, supported the community on renovating community ecotourism center by installing solar panel for serving community services and do market link with tour agencies and companies for organizing tours to visiting the community.
Improvement in tour services including cooking, hospitality, hygiene, and waste management etc. has been witnessed. 17 homestays accommodating about 50 tourists are available throughout the village, with a spacious tour center serving for meals and tour information. The number of business tour agencies has increased from one to four. Internally, CBET management committees are able to have proper record of income and expense, regular meetings with members, and organize tour for tourist after NTFP-EP provided training and coaching. Also, this CBET has good collaboration and receive strong support from commune council and the Provincial Department of Tourism in terms of technical and promotion through the website of Ministry of Tourism.
With regards to benefit sharing, this CBET is playing an important role in contributing to the community development and local natural resource protection. As much as 10% of net profit have been set aside to contribute to conserving fisheries resources, particularly Mekong Irrawaddy Dolphin. Another 15% has been contributed to commune development such as road and bridge reparation.