Ecotourism, Housing and Community:
Lessons from Cam Sur Philippines

by: Rowena Santos-Delgado, Phd Candidate
Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning
University of Melbourne


Studies reveal housing issues as one setback resulting from tourism. Indeed tourism take priority over the local residents’needs and desires, pushing the locals aside. This predicament is in disparity with concepts associated with community involvementin ecotourism. However, studies on community-based ecotourism demonstrate how tourists are attracted to an experientiallearning of local culture and how it contributes to the sustenance of the host community.

This paper investigates Gawad Kalinga Communities in the province of Cam Sur Philippines, where housing provision for the poor and homeless residents are seen as tourist attractions. Findings demonstrate how the process of housing provides a model forupholding the principles of ecotourism, leading to the creation of new communities as well as the upgrading of existing ones. It isargued in this study that ecotourism may be improved if the housing process is integrated in the plans and policies for tourism development.

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