Between September 2012 and June 2013, CBT-IRDC supported a research project on “Exploring possibilities for the development of a community based tourism standard in the ASEAN region and beyond”, a research project implemented by CBT-I, CBT-IRDC and Payap University, funded by the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT). An important part of the research was to stimulate exchange of ideas and experiences between government, the private sector, local communities, and other stakeholders. 


A literature review conducted as part of the research project discovered that the ASEAN region has a wealth of knowledge, and especially field experience which has not been documented or researched. Meanwhile, many interesting research papers have been written in national languages, but not translated into English, which has lead to limited dissemination and sharing of findings. 


The “Innovating CBT in ASEAN” conference was the concluding part of the research project and has been summarized in a conference book: “Innovating CBT in ASEAN: Current directions, new horizons”. The book has two main parts. The first part is the mentioned literature review and situation analysis of CBT in the 10 countries of ASEAN. The second part of the document presents case studies, written by practitioners with direct field experience, from eight ASEAN countries. 


The eight country cases presented provide a quick overview of their national tourism and CBT development, and provide one or several examples of CBT policy or CBT development initiatives in the particular country. In all country cases, a link is made to the development of guidelines or standards. The case studies show promising initiatives are under way headed by Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar. In other countries important steps have been taken as well and these combined experiences provide interesting insights in the challenges, lessons learned and critical success factors when developing and implementing CBT standards in the ASEAN context. 


The conference with over 200 participants from eight ASEAN countries, at the end of the research period, concluded that CBT Standards in ASEAN can work if they based on a multi-stakeholder development protested, and tested with support of local communities. The participants in the conference mentioned that the Standard should be a guideline to diversify and improve the quality of CBT products. The Standard will be a tool to raise awareness among NGO, government, and tour operator staff to develop CBT products in the South East Asian region.


The “innovating CBT in ASEAN: Current Directions and New Horizons” and “CBT Standard Handbook” can be found here.


News about the CBT Standards can be found on the websites of CBT-I, CCBEN, Indecon, and PROCESS

The National Research Council of Thailand funded the entire project.

Contact persons CBT-IRDC: John Hummel and Potjana Suansri