Community-based Sustainable Tourism

Given its unique and picturesque landscape and associated conservation significance, Phobjikha valley has become a favorable tourist destination. Although, the number of tourists visiting the valley have increased over the years, benefits accrued to the local community have not been significant which in the long run, may lead to disenchantment of the local population towards conservation stewardship.

While the onuses of preserving the ecosystem lie with the local communities, they lack the financial and technical capacity to harness the benefits of tourism. The Community Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) project designed to bridge this gap was initiated by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) an environmental NGO in Bhutan. This project seeks to harness the tourism potential of Phobjikha’s natural and cultural richness for the benefit of local community. Further, the growing preference of tourists in nature and community tourism has made this initiative a viable option.

CBST is a project supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and implemented by Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) and Japan Environment Education Forum (JEEF).

CBST Group

The Community-based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) Group is a small organization of the local tourism service providers in Phobjikha. The group operates under the guidance of the Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC)

The members comprises of homestay operators, local guides, local souvenir producers and representative from the Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC). The main aim of the CBST Group is to contribute to the development of tourism as a means to sustainable livelihood option for the local communities in Phobjikha valley. The management team appointed by the group members is responsible for the management and coordination of CBST programs and services.