CTO Launches Integral CBT Online Course

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (August 15, 2022) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization has formally launched its Community-Based Tourism (CBT) Online Course, aimed at strengthening the regional sector through a broadening of the knowledge base and improvement of quality standards.

The Course, developed with the support of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, was adapted from the Community-Based Tourism Enterprise Handbook, produced with financing from the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF).

Interactive and user-friendly, the Course seeks to assist tourism stakeholders and the business community create and expand their community-based tourism product through practical information and guidelines provided.

It will be hosted through the Caribbean Tourism Institute – the CTO’s online learning platform – and comprises eight micro modules delivered via animated lectures, activity worksheets, case studies, videos and knowledge-test assessments.

CTO’s Acting Secretary General, Neil Walters, said the formulation of the Course was consistent with the organization’s development mandate, a feature of which was the creation of capacity-building tools and delivery of education and training programmes.

“The ability to deliver opportunities for training and in particular, via online learning has become critically important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Walters said.

“This is of strategic importance to the CTO in seeking to ensure that our programmes can be accessed by the widest possible audience of tourism stakeholders across the region.

“CTO also recognizes the value of CBT and the potential it holds to expand the benefits of tourism more directly to local communities and micro, small and medium tourism enterprises.”

Course Modules include Understanding Community-Based Tourism, Planning your CBT Business, Understanding your Markets, Developing your Product, Pricing your Product, Marketing your Product, Developing Financial Management Skills and Health, Safety and Service Standards and Guidelines for CBT.

The Health, Safety and Service Standards and Guidelines chapter, also developed through support from the UNDP, was designed as a guide for the safe delivery of community-based tourism experiences, which has taken on greater significance in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It outlines trends impacting the tourism sector and community-based tourism in particular while highlighting regional and international best practices related to health, safety and service, and providing recommendations consistent with international standards.

“The current tourism value chain is neither sustainable nor inclusive. Efforts must shift from the traditional ‘three S’s’ – sun, sand and sea – to social inclusion, sustainability, and smart destinations and businesses and that, of course, includes Community Based Tourism (CBT),” said Ugo Blanco, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

“So, knowing the excellent work that the CTO and Compete Caribbean had already done on CBT, for us it felt natural to partner with the CTO. It is hoped that through the new online course, better knowledge and understanding of CBT is spread throughout the region.”

Wayne Elliott, Coordinator of Innovation and Productivity in Caribbean Firms and Clusters at CCPF, described community-based tourism as “a powerful channel for sustainable and inclusive economic development in the Caribbean”, indicating that this was in alignment with CCPF’s mandate.

CBT enables greater market opportunities for a broad base of local entrepreneurs which in turn create employment opportunities,” Elliott said.

“Moreover, CBT represents an opportunity for regional tourism stakeholders to further diversify and to continue to develop their tourism product offering in a unique and value-added way.

“I wish to congratulate CTO for continuing to advance its work to facilitate and guide the development of community-based tourism in the Caribbean.”

For further information on the CBT Online Course and the Health, Safety and Service Standards and Guidelines chapter please see links: https://tinyurl.com/ctoctionline and https://tinyurl.com/cbthealth.

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