It was in 2003, during the first FITS (International Fair Tourism Forum) in France that various leaders of Bolivian community-based tourism organisations met for the first time, and that the idea of creating a national network was born. The idea was to boost an alternative tourism that would respect the people, the places and that would directly benefit the communities visited by the travellers.
The following year, thanks to a little fund from the French Embassy in Bolivia, 50 organisations met in Cochabamba for the First Forum for Community-based and Responsible Tourism to exchange ideas and discuss the way to create the organisation. .
It was in 2005 during the Second National Forum for Community-based and Fair Tourism that the Tusoco Network was born: the community-based organisations that participated decided to join up to create a non-profit organisation whose main purpose was to unite forces to make community-based tourism in Bolivia a tourism that would be recognised by the institutions and by the travellers.
So, thanks to the effort of the communities and the work of some volunteers the Tusoco Network was officially born by the end of 2006 and in the General Assembly of 2007 its first Directory was elected. It was only by that time that we obtained the support of the Dutch NGO Agriterra to finance the institutional life of the Network and a few activities. We worked mostly on strengthening the associated members, on training women and men from the communities in management and providing tourist services, on promoting the Network and on representing the field of community-based tourism.
In the year 2009, we created Tusoco Viajes SRL (Tusoco Travels), a company that entirely belongs to the Tusoco Network and thus indirectly to the community-based organisations. The main objective of this tour-operator is to market the tours to the communities while professionalising this activity, and finally to generate incomes for the communities and for the Network itself, which must become self-sufficient in the future, too.
In 2010 thanks to the new project with the European Union we have reinforced the institution and have supported our member organisations with new actions. On the other hand, Tusoco Viajes SRL is beginning to gather momentum and attracts more and more visitors thanks to our selling point located in La Paz.