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As an archipelagic country of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines is naturally endowed with tourism assets, many of which are largely unexplored and isolated from mainstream tourism circuits yet presenting huge potential for tourism development. Incidentally, small-scale or community-based tourism (CBT) is already being promoted in many of these destinations as a strategy to improve livelihood and provide alternative source of income to their marginalized communities.

Against this background, this study seeks to examine the potential and viability of these tourism livelihood projects as a strategy for employment creation and poverty reduction in the rural areas. For this purpose, case studies of model community-based tourism projects in selected provinces in the Philippines were conducted. Findings of the study highlight serious disadvantages that the community faces as they seek to partake in the benefits from tourism development. Nevertheless, the hope that CBT could be an effective tool for community development is not totally unrealistic. Directions, identification of specific conditions and attributes that contribute to successful projects and guidelines for effective implementation are important.

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Title: Growing Rural Employment through Community-Based Tourism
Researcher: Olivette A. Gabito