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woman clipping flowers

Tourism Extension enables rural tourism microentrepreneurship through the People-First Tourism Lab. This project recruits and supports networks of very small tourism businesses in economically depressed rural communities throughout North Carolina. Seminal funding for this project was awarded by NC Sea Grant and NC Rural Center. The project involves CES agents, tourism division directors, and natural conservation and economic development agencies in twenty counties.


People-First Tourism – Official website and online marketplace.


People-First Tourism Blog – Learn about the behind-the-scenes effort to create the People-First Tourism movement.

People-First Tourism Video Channel – Join People-First Tourism to create a responsible tourism movement. People-First Tourism is about creating sustainable and dignified livelihoods glocally. Watch our introduction video to learn what we’re about.

PayPal Account Setup for Microentrepreneurs – Watch our brief PayPal presentation or download the PDF slides to get started as a People-First Tourism microentrepreneur and to receive payments for your P1t experiences.

Entrepreneurial Mindset – Watch our introductory training video and learn about a responsible, sustainable mindset for success. Training coming soon.

Self-Determined Development Through Tourism  – Dr. Duarte Morais, lead in(ve)stigator for People-First Tourism, tells two different stories to give insight and examples as to why a socially-conscious, “people-first” tourism marketplace is important. The first story is about Lan Yue, a tiny windswept Taiwanese island where a tourism development project failed because the government did not consider the people’s cultural mores and knowledge of the local weather patterns. Another story about the Yami people suggests that a community should have the right to represent themselves, formulate their identity, and decide what aspects of their culture are showcased to the outside world.