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Caribbean Regional Sustainable Tourism Development Programme

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Lead Organisation

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Type of Project Activity
Development project with ICT4D component

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Project URL

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Brief Description
The Caribbean is one of the most tourism dependent regions in the world. In 1999, gross earnings from tourism reached US$18.7 billion and the industry generated 900,000 direct and indirect jobs. The Caribbean hosts more than 20 million stay-over visitor arrivals and 12 million-cruise ship passengers annually. Despite the substantial contribution to jobs, income and tax growth and the complexity of the product, which is multi-destination and highly diversified intrinsically, the tourist sector in the Caribbean is particularly vulnerable, both from a climatic and economic point of view. It is highly dependent on the external context and slightly inclusive. Furthermore, rapid and radical changes in the tourism industry globally – experienced and demanding consumers, the power of information technologies and the Internet, as well as increased competition – suggest that the Caribbean cannot continue to compete on Sun, Sand and Sea alone. Continued environmental degradation; lack of skilled personnel; low inter-sectoral linkages; lack of involvement of locals in the industry; the scarcity of resources the private sector invests in public goods; the lack of an appropriate policy framework and lack of capacity of public and private sector institutions to address these problems, threaten the growth and sustainability of the Caribbean tourism sector. All these elements make it important for donors to support the sector, essentially in the aim of delivering public goods. The areas of intervention should therefore be: professional training; setting of standards, especially in the area of environment and health; contribution to the setting up of rationalised and harmonised policies and strategies; joint research and development on common problems (identification of benchmarks, surveys on environmental regulation, identification of new, nature based products). Support to the strengthening of backward and forward linkages, encouraging small actors and the local population to fully benefit from the development of the sector through dedicated technical assistance, making the sector, possibly, more inclusive represents a complementary area of action of the programme. The programme objective is to contribute to make the tourism sector more competitive and more sustainable, contributing significantly to economic growth and poverty reduction in the Caribbean. While an improved competitiveness is required, essentially based on the quality of the product offered (in terms of standards offered and in terms of its intrinsic, unique characteristics), sustainability represents the main concern of the programme. In this respect, the essential aim is to build up a real tourism economy based on high value added, niche oriented products rather than on an increased number of tourist arrivals. In this respect, marketing, consistent with the 1998 EC Communication on Sustainable tourism, does not represent an area of intervention for this programme.

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Contact name

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Contact email

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Contact Phone/Fax
(246) 228-6400

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Regular Postal Address
CARIFORUM Tourism Programme Unit / Beaumont House, Hastings,Christ Church, BB15156, Barbados, W.I

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Affiliated Organisations
The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre Y Maestra (PUCMM)

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Funding Agencies
Inter American Development Bank / European Commission

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Target Beneficiaries
Caribbean tourism sector

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Start Date

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End Date

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Project Budget
€8 million

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Current Status
in progress

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Countr(ies) Involved

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Private sector development

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Description of ICT Components
IT Specialist installed at CTO and short-term experts at CHA. Existing IT capability of CHA and CTO evaluated and benchmarked; 5 year IT development plan for CTO and CHA developed and synchronized. Feasibility of Caribbean hotel reservation system established. IT specialist delivers training to public and private sector in sub regional workshops on topics such as website development, management and maintenance, internet marketing and e-commerce, database management and direct marketing.

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Millennium Development Goals
8. Global partnerships

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Project Document(s)

Consorcio CarISnet
JSPN DevNet Taig?ey

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