A fund that provides small grants and mentorship to community tourism enterprises (CTEs) to accelerate growth and impact through new or improved quality of tourism experiences.

Maasai Clean Cookstoves Rift Valley, Tanzania

About the Fund

The Global Community Tourism Fund is an initiative of Planeterra that seeks to promote entrepreneurship and innovation for community tourism enterprises (CTEs) within the Global Community Tourism Network, creating the ability for enterprises to scale up and improve existing tourism experiences with high growth and impact potential. 

The Global Community Tourism Fund provides small grants and mentorship in the following areas:

  • Creation of new experiences within existing enterprises based on market demand
  • Improvements to existing experiences based on market demand
  • Investment in the infrastructure needed to improve the quality or safety of tourism experiences
  • Marketing initiatives based on demand
  • Necessary training or professional development for staff

The application period ended on April 30, 2023. Please stay tuned for updates on when the next round of applications will be open.

Who can apply?

To apply for the GCT Fund, community tourism enterprises must:

  • Be an approved member of the Global Community Tourism Network.
  • Be an active member of the Planeterra Learning Hub platform.
  • Have been an Impact Partner of the Global Community Tourism Network for at least 15 days at the time of application
  • Have proven tourism potential, having hosted a minimum of 100 travellers in the past.
  • Be legally established with an organizational bank account to receive the funds.
  • Have the ability to track and manage financial reports, or show a willingness to learn.
  • Actively participate within the Global Community Tourism Network activities.

Not yet a member of the Global Community Tourism Network? Join here.

The GCT Fund will prioritize projects that:

  • Have a proven ability to scale profits and impact
  • Provide a product or service differentiated from local competitors
  • Have a responsible value chain (supply chain)
  • Are innovative and are based on existing research and/or proven models
  • Work to solve at least one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
AFER Women’s Association HomLunch M’Haya, Morocco

What type of activities can be funded?

  • Consulting, advisory and specialized technical services focused on enterprise growth, including training and capacity building.
  • Market studies, focus groups and other studies to validate the model of business and inform future growth.
  • Improvement of tourism facilities that increase functionalities or expansion of the enterprise.
  • Equipment to improve tourism services.

*The application period ended on April 30, 2023. Please stay tuned for updates on when the next round of applications will be open.

Meet the previous recipients of the GCT Fund

Asociación de Turismo Rural Solidario (ASTURS), Perú

A community-owned and led organization that offers homestays in the Lake Titicaca area. Tourism is re-starting slowly but local families are required to improve their offer to guarantee health and security for travellers. They used the fund to provide water filters to their piped water system for 15 indigenous households, which allows access to cleaner and potable water. Local families have also received training on how to use and maintain these filters.

Red de Turismo Comunitario Jipijapa Wankavilka (RTCJW), Ecuador

Seven communities in Manabí are part of the Jipijapa Wankavilka community tourism network. Despite having the infrastructure and tourist attractions, COVID prevented local enterprises from flourishing. Lack of access to the Internet is also one of the issues RTCJW faces. To overcome these barriers, they worked on a marketing plan, which included audiovisual, promotional materials and resources, an updated website and training for local leaders.

Red Rocks Intercultural Exchange Center, Rwanda

A social enterprise that uses tourism to uplift the local community and engage youth and women in the creation and management of unique experiences. As tourism returns to Rwanda, Red Rocks has been working with the locals to create and improve their handicrafts and different types of visual and decorative artwork so visitors can purchase them. As a result, the employability of women and youth through their artwork and talent has increased.

Osmose, Cambodia

An NGO dedicated to the environmental preservation and the socio-economic development of the Prek Toal area (Tonle Sap UNESCO Biosphere Reserve). They work on several initiatives to facilitate the conservation of the environment and the sustainable livelihoods of the floating village communities. The fund allowed them to fix a bridge platform that connects different platforms in the area and now access is safer for both locals and visitors.

The Cove, Malawi

An eco-lodge and social enterprise venture in Chitende, a small fishing village in Malawi. They want to use revenue from tourism to support local development projects. One of the main issues they face is the lack of access to water. They have been working to add a piped water source in a central location to allow about 15 households to have cleaner and closer access to potable water. The construction part of the project is also creating jobs for the locals.

Lavender Jeep, Cambodia

Tourism is the main source of income for people in Siem Reap, so COVID-19 had a severe impact on local enterprises. Lavender Jeep was not an exemption; their team had no job and no income. Fortunately, with Planeterra’s help and a personal loan they were able to get the project up and running. The fund has allowed them to near completion of Jeep licensing requirements in Cambodia and they soon will be able to conduct tours freely in Siem Reap.

Girls Empowered by Travel, Nepal

A local nonprofit that provides safe opportunities for women to travel and get involved in community work. Road construction increasing rapidly in the area resulted in landslides during the rainy season. The goal of the project is to arrange the trails by mobilizing the locals, removing the bushes and arranging some walkable trails by paving some stones. This will help to improve the safety and well-being of locals and visitors.

Invest in the future of community tourism

Support the growth of the Global Community Tourism Fund and help Planeterra continue to break down barriers for local entrepreneurs and communities worldwide.