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CTO and Travel Foundation launch online training course in sustainable tourism

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados  (15 May, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, and the Travel Foundation, the international agency that promotes the benefits of tourism to people and the environment, are today launching a free online sustainable tourism course to help increase knowledge of how to review and plan for the sustainable development of Caribbean tourist destinations.

The capacity building online training programme, which is available free of charge to ministries, government departments, tourism authorities and tourist boards engaged in destination management in CTO member countries, focuses on the practical dimensions of sustainable tourism, and seeks to introduce participants to key considerations during the planning and design of tourism activities.

The course will examine what makes tourism both constructive and destructive to host communities, suggest tools for conservation and responsible use of resources, and provide strategies which countries can use to develop and implement their own national initiatives.

“The Caribbean Tourism Organization is pleased to partner with the Travel Foundation to offer this course which provides a roadmap to destination success, with the aim of enhancing regional knowledge and competencies in the theory and practice of sustainable tourism. It is well known that the region is the world’s most tourism-dependent region, therefore, it is imperative that tourism is developed in a manner that ensures long-term benefits and value for Caribbean residents and visitors alike, even as we endeavour to position ourselves as the world’s most desirable, year-round warm weather destination,” the CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley said.

Benchmarked with good practice case studies, the course will sharpen participants’ ability to plan the development of their local tourism industry in a way that meets the needs of both visitors and host communities, creates a more resilient economy, protects tourism assets and secures the future of Caribbean destinations.

The six modules cover key sustainability topics to include understanding sustainable tourism in the global context of climate change; increasing the socio-economic benefits of tourism; protecting cultural and built heritage; managing the environmental impacts of tourism and planning the sustainable development of each destination.

“At the Travel Foundation, we recognise how important it is for destination authorities to have the knowledge, resources and information available to make sound decisions that will ensure the sustainability of tourism long into the future.  We are working with the CTO because they too have this mindset, and want to ensure the Caribbean is a region where future tourism growth promotes thriving communities and a healthy environment. Together we can work towards achieving this goal,” declared Salli Felton, chief executive officer of the Travel Foundation, which has developed the training.

The course is being offered with an open timeline, but for maximum impact it is recommended that individuals complete the programme within two to four weeks of commencement. Participants are also encouraged to adopt the principles and adapt the best practices showcased in order to enhance the overall quality of their tourism value proposition.

The training course is part of a broader cooperation agreement between the two organizations, which will sign a memorandum of understanding during Caribbean Week New York next month to provide a framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration in areas of common interest to contribute to sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean region.

To register for the free online course, please click on the following link: travelfoundationtraining.com/caribbean

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Corporate News, Travel Foundation

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New opportunities from tourism for local traders in Montego Bay

An innovative initiative to improve income for traders in a Montego Bay craft market aims to increase local economic benefits from tourism.

Central to the initiative is a new training programme from the Travel Foundation endorsed by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo).  Traders in the Harbour Street Craft Market have been the first to receive business training to support them to increase their income from tourism.  The initiative is part of a wider programme from the Travel Foundation to improve the impacts of tourism in the area.

The training, designed by the Travel Foundation and delivered by TPDCo trainers includes guidance on what types of products tourists are looking for, how to approach tourists effectively and improve sales techniques, as well as tips for running a profitable business.   Around 100 traders have been trained, with more to follow this year.

Local tourism trainer for TPDCo, Natalie Ellis who attended the Travel Foundation ‘train the trainer’ course said. “I honestly believe that this is a great programme and will definitely impact positively the craft traders to maximise their profits because all the information we’re giving to them is actually practical information that they can build on and improve themselves. By improving themselves they will also improve earnings for their family members. For me it was amazing, a really great experience.  It has taught me so much more and I’ve been a trainer for 9 years.’

The Travel Foundation is now calling on tour operators and destination marketing companies to encourage customers to visit the market. ‘We’re continuing to work with the market traders, the parish council, TPDCo and others to ensure that the market offers a vibrant and enjoyable experience for tourists and to support local traders.  But we also need to ensure that tourists know about the craft market and what it has to offer, so are asking tour operators to include it in their excursions and to promote it.’  Said Julie Middleton, Head of Sustainable Practice at the Travel Foundation.

The Travel Foundation has also developed a walking map of Montego Bay and an insider guide to the area, highlighting local attractions, which are being distributed to tourists and can be viewed at www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk

In the future, the Travel Foundation aims to take the initiative to other resorts across Jamaica.

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Travel Foundation

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