Why promote Community-Based Tourism?
March 4, 2019
I was fortunate to spend seven days in the Dominican Republic with my eleven classmates and two of my professors on a project. This project was sponsored by Centennial College which is located in Toronto, Canada. The course is Community Economic Development, located within the Community Development Program). We travelled to the Dominican Republic to study what is Community-Based Tourism. While we were there, we did lots of projects and touring, we learned about Community-based tourism from a community point of view. However, what stood out to me was the water situation I experienced while being at the Ecolodge where we stayed and how we take water consumption and electricity for granted.
Why promote Community Based Tourism?
To save water and electricity: Conservation of water is vital for globalization. In Canada we waste gallons of water, we shower for hours at a time consuming not only large amounts of water but electricity.
* In the Dominican Republic, most days we were only allowed to shower for 10 minutes the most or else water will run out. You had to wet your skin, turn the water off, lather it will soap and rinse it off.
* Toilets were flushed only when you stool or if the urine in the toilet was brown in colour, if it was light yellow you urinate in it until such time or someone uses it to stool then you flush to help conserve the water.
* Lights were turned off every time you left the room which was an open concept. You get the natural light during the day from the sun. The view for your bed was breathtaking as you see the hills, valleys and the lights from the city at night whiles lying on your bed.
* Most of the lights were turn off at a particular time in the night, so getting to the toilet you either had to use your mobile phone torchlight or a manual torchlight.
* There was no bottled water on the Ecolodge; we had filtered water, in which you take your recycled water bottle and fill it up for your needs.
Wake up Canada! Although we are going to be one of the last countries in North America affected by global warming, if we don’t take note and conserve, conserve, conserve, we will be affected at some point. Let’s teach our children how important it is to lessen our ecological footprints while thinking about the effects of global warming.
With this in mind think about this, I visited the twenty-seven waterfalls (Los Charcos), and due to global warming (ie. rain drought in the region), we only had access to ten falls instead of the regular twelve which is used for tourism. All of this effect is due to climate change and no rainfall, there was no water in the remaining falls. How ironic that is, yes it is, but it is the facts. I remember when I was small and would get angry when my parents say to me
* “If you are not using the lights turn it off.”
* “Stop standing in front of the fridge so long with the door open.”
* “Who is watching the television? Turn it off” or
* “Why the fan is on, and no one is using it?”
All of that was for financial purposes. Today it is for us to save energy and our planet.
So why promote Community Based-Tourism?
So we can learn to appreciate what we have with a renewed sense of Global warming effects and how we can learn to lessen our footprints one by one.
By Shaundell Scott.