The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Canada-based global community tourism non-profit Planeterra have joined forces to support community tourism in CTO member countries.
This strategic partnership aims to scale up community tourism throughout the Caribbean with the goal to enhance the social, economic and environmental well-being of communities in the region.
The organizations will be seeking funding to build the capacity of enterprises, while encouraging community tourism enterprises towards the training and mentorship offered by Planeterra’s Global Community Tourism Network.
“Four years ago the CTO launched a programme to support the continued development of community-based tourism in the Caribbean. This partnership with Planeterra is a further step in our regional tourism development strategy to support entrepreneurship and community development, and is timely in this current environment where we are restarting tourism. The participation of local communities in the tourism product is a significant part of distributing the benefits of tourism to all aspects of our societies” said Neil Walters, the CTO’s acting secretary general.
Many community tourism enterprises have the ability to change lives and keep tourism dollars in the hands of local people, but they lack the support and training needed to develop product offerings, capture the travel market and draw enough customers.
To address this, Planeterra launched the Global Community Tourism Network, which seeks to change the face of travel by putting communities at the centre of tourism’s efforts, and to connect them to travel businesses that can help them to build back better after the pandemic.
This Network comprises more than 270 community tourism enterprises in 70 countries, all gaining training, mentorship and connection through Planeterra’s online resources and team, as well as market access.
“Planeterra is eager to partner with CTO to help communities gain access to the resources, community, and mentorship our organisation provides,” said Planeterra President Jamie Sweeting. “We are hopeful that this partnership will lead to an increase in support for community tourism in the Caribbean, and will increase the social, economic and environmental benefits that host communities see from the tourism industry.”
For more information, visit communitytourism.org.