The ASEAN community-based tourism standards: looking beyond certification

Marina Novelli, Nia Klatte, Claudia Dolezal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports findings from an opportunity study on the appropriateness of implementing community-based tourism standards (CBTS) certification through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) criteria, as a way to improve sustainable tourism provision in the region. Framed by critical reflections on community-based tourism (CBT) literature and existing sustainable tourism standards (STS) practices, qualitative research consisting of interviews with six key industry experts provided core insights into a number of CBTS’ implementation challenges. Findings indicate the main hindering factors for the implementation of CBTS to be the lack of adequate governance, limited funding and insufficient community capacity. The study concluded that although at the moment the full implementation of CBTS as a certification programme would be premature, ASEAN-CBTS’ criteria are a useful benchmarking and strategic planning tool for local communities, which would eventually lead to improved CBT benefits, standards and performance in the region. At the same time, this paper argues that aspects including CBT competitiveness and service delivery need to be tackled first to create fruitful grounding for CBT certification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-281
Number of pages22
JournalTourism Planning and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Tourism Planning and Development (ISSN: 2156-8316) on 20 October 2016, available online:


  • benchmarking
  • certification
  • community-based tourism
  • standards
  • sustainable tourism


Dive into the research topics of 'The ASEAN community-based tourism standards: looking beyond certification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this