Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Jamaica to host Caribbean Community Tourism Conference

Jamaica Gleaner
Thursday, October 31, 2002

THE LARGEST international gathering yet, to discuss the fastest growing sector of the world's hospitality industry, Community Tourism, is expected to convene in Montego Bay, Jamaica between December 6 - 9, 2002.

Some 300 delegates, including 100 from overseas, are expected to attend the three-day conference to examine the growing phenomenon of community tourism, and how to widen its spread and benefits around the world.

The conference will be hosted by the Sustainable Communities Foundation (SCF) a local community tourism NGO in association with the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network and the US-based International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT). It will take place at the Wyndham Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay and will feature presentations, discussions, case studies, a community trade show and a tour of a local community village 'community experience'. Funding is being arranged through a combination of international grants and local sponsorship.

Among those being invited to attend are the new Jamaican Minister of Tourism, Aloun Assamba, the Founder and President of IIPT, Louis D'Amore, the President/CEO of Counterpart International based in Washington D.C., leading Caribbean tourism personalities including Hon. Gordon 'Butch' Stewart of Sandals Resorts, which is one of the main sponsors, and the President of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, Mr. Josef Fortsmayr.

A number of local and regional trainees and community project leaders already registered and practising elements of community tourism in Jamaica and the Caribbean, have been invited to make presentations at the

Leading organisers include representatives of the SCF
and Countrystyle Community Tourism Network team: Valerie Dixon, Diana McIntyre-Pike, Barry Bonitto, Desmond Henry with the assistance of senior representatives from the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, Jamaica and the UWI Hospitality and Tourism Institute.

Major outcomes are expected to include raising awareness about community tourism, access to international expertise and training, developing worldwide case study materials, developing a forum for community tourism networking, developing standards for community tourism practices, establishing mechanisms for financing community tourism projects, demonstrating community tourism as a viable hospitality venture capable of improving the region's quality of life.