Community Tourism, the fastest growing sector of the world’s hospitality industry, will be the topic of discussion at the International Institute for Peace through Tourism conference to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, May 23 - 26 2003.
Some 300 delegates, including 100 from overseas, are expected to attend the 3 day conference to examine the growing phenomenon of community tourism, and how to widen its spread and benefits around the world. It is set to be the largest turn out ever.
The conference will be hosted by the Sustainable Communities Foundation (SCF), a local community tourism NGO in association with the Caribbean Regional HRD Programme for Economic Competitiveness (CPEC, a CIDA funded project), and the US-based International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Caribbean chapter.
It will take place at the Wyndham Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay.
Presentations, discussions, case studies, a community trade show and a tour of a local community village (‘community experience’), will all take place at the event. Funding is being arranged through a combination of international grants and local sponsorship.
Among those being invited to attend is the new Jamaican Minister of Tourism, Aloun Assamba.
Other famous faces from the world of tourism will include Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart of Sandals
fame (who are also one of the main sponsors of the conference), 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 are being invited to make presentations at the conference.
Major outcomes from the conference are hoped 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 practises, establishing mechanisms for financing community tourism projects, demonstrating community tourism as a viable hospitality venture capable of improving the region’s quality of life.