Ecotourism potential of sites

Integrating Business Skills into Ecotourism operations
Ecotourism Potential
By Thomas Iten, Managing Director, Private Safaris (E.A.) Ltd.
Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves
the environment and improves the well-being of
local people.
Your product
The host community
Your business plan
The future
Your product
Unique yet responsible
What is your product offering?
What value, benefits & attributes does your
product offer to the customer?
What makes the product unique – What are your
unique selling points? (USP)
Would it be a product sought after?
Does the product leave a lasting effect?
Accessibility & Capacity
What is your product offering? (2)
Is the location accessible? – Infrastructure, map, distances (is this
information available?)
Do you have the capacity to accommodate customer volume?
Facility, Safety & Security, Waste management, water supply,
Pricing: is the price of your product competitive? Will you make
profit at the end?
You and your product
What is your product offering? (3)
• Are you delivering to the promise?
• Does the service delivery meet the expectations?
What skills do you bring?
What skills do you need?
Motivation of staff
Training needs identified
Planning the work flow
The Host Community
View of the host community
Is there established interest for tourism among the host
Have you Initiated high level of participation by
establishing understanding of the project and the benefits?
Are the local non-participants supportive?
Have you Identified community leaders who uphold the
Do you have an established communication platform –
such as regular meetings, clear channels of communication
Benefits for the host community
Does the local community benefit financially and beyond?
How are the benefits shared?
 The split between you and the community
 The split within the community.
Are there possible negative Impacts?
 Cultural pollution
 Culture of dependency
 Diminished income streams rather than increased
Does your project contribute to sustainable tourism?
◦ Bio diversity conservation- Practices, activities, values
◦ Cultural conservation – improved standards of living,
Making it a success
Planning the business
Understand your target market and
establish interest for the product – make
the market want your product.
Conduct research - This will help
understand the market and allow make
informed decisions.
Identify distribution channels and partners
such as tour operators, travel agents e.t.c
Identify all areas of making the business
economically viable
Business planning contd.
Analyze competition to gain a competitive edge – do it
Carry out a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats) analysis
Create a clear organization chart
Check on legal setup, licenses, insurance e.t.c
Rule of thumb
When presenting your product to a potential travel operator or
agency, you need to:
 Be confident about your product
 Know your unique selling points
 Have a clear offer of the itinerary and price as well as pictures
that give an indication of the expectation
The future
The Future
Set clear objectives and goals that are
SMART (specific, measurable, achievable,
realistic and time bound)
Remain relevant to the market by
 Competition
 Market trends,
 Consumer change to tastes and
Remain innovative – Keep trying new things
Q &A