As tourism grows within communities, poor inhabitants of these communities are often separated from the benefits from this growth. Once interjected, the economic interests from outside these communities make it very difficult for locals to compete in the newly developing local economy. These locals lack the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in the tourism industry in any meaningful way. And while volunteer from outside the community can add small and somewhat immediate support, their impact is small.
The idea of Communities in Network is focused on addressing this problem through the development of networks of support within the community and then between similar communities and so on upward to the regional level.
In this way local communities unite to focus on their common needs/interests while informing tour operators and travelers about their needs and local work, and strengthening their voice in the public area. One example of the benefits of such a network would broad access to best practices and capacity building content. The sharing of such types of information would help community members be competitive with larger non community tourism operators by giving them some of the key types of training and information they need to engage tourists successfully. Finally, not only could such a network help community based tourism operators be more competitive but it is possible that when linked all together through the networks, these local entities could outperform larger entities because of the diversity and specificity of the information that could be gathered and shared.