Mandeville, Manchester. (May 8, 2014). National Community Tourism Policy & Strategy has recently made its debut in the form of a Green Paper. This initiative is a welcome arrival in the world of Sustainable Tourism has been commended by the island’s foremost Community Tourism pioneer, Diana McIntyre-Pike, O.D, President of Countrystyle Community Tourism (CCTN) & Villages as Businesses (VAB) and President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Caribbean.
The Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment has stated that it is striving towards the development of a Community Tourism Policy (CTP) which will bring inclusive benefits to communities island-wide. It will widen the value chain in the tourism sector and lead to sustainable development. In this approach, every Jamaican will have the opportunity to benefit from tourism. This is also the view of the international tourism body the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. The UNWTO envisages tourism as a vehicle for international poverty alleviation.
McIntyre-Pike opined: “Community Tourism is our business in Jamaica and internationally and we have received several local and international Awards for our work in village tourism development – branded VILLAGES AS BUSINESSES (VAB) which is in association with the National Best Community Foundation .”
The CCTN/VAB team has expressed interest in meeting with the Minister of Tourism and Permanent Secretary to further discuss a potential collaboration from a sustainable tourism development perspective. The international standard set by World Commission on Environment and Development’s report ‘Our Common Future,’ still applies: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Brundtland Commission, 1987).
In this regard, the CCTN/VAB team would have as its focus how to balance social, economic, and environmental objectives for the benefit of all of Jamaica’s communities and to provide a model for the Caribbean as their brand is Jamaica and the Caribbean: Home of Community Tourism, which markets the Caribbean Community Experience.