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close this bookThe Courier N° 122 July - August 1990 - Dossier Tourism - Country Report: Mali (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)
close this folderDossier: Tourism
View the documentTourism
View the documentTourism: planning, promotion and marketing
View the documentAir transport and tourism: industry potentiaI to be denied?
View the documentTourism and employment behind the scenes
View the documentThe tourism sector and Lomé IV
View the documentOvercoming the socio - culturaI and environmental impacts of tourism - the verdict for the Caribbean
View the documentLinks between tourism, agriculture and the environment
View the documentThe health/tourism interaction
View the documentTourism in Africa: an expanding industry
View the documentZimbabwe: a wide range of attractions and a booming tourist trade
View the documentThe Caribbean - Far greater dependence on tourism likely
View the documentEEC - Caribbean cooperation on tourism
View the documentTourism in the South Pacific - A significant development potential
View the documentTourism as a development concept in the South Pacific

EEC - Caribbean cooperation on tourism

The Caribbean tourism sector has been a recipient of funding under the Lomonventions and OCT arrangements since their inception, with substantial investment taking place in a wide range of public infrastructure such as airport facilities, utilities, scenic roads and hotel training schools. Also, global loans extended by the EIB have largely benefited tourism entreprises. At regional level, comprehensive support programmes focussing on tourism development, marketing and related activities were carried out under Lom and II to the value of over ECU 9 million. Under LomII, tourism development assistance in various forms is being financed from the national indicative programmes of several Caribbean ACP States, while in the case of the Netherlands Antilles no less than 70% of this OCT’s programme will be spent on sector support. The LomII Caribbean regional programme allocates approximately ECU 17 m to tourism and trade, supplemented by Article 100 resources. Activities financed to date have included an accommodation sector training programme which will combine core training at the Bahamas Hotel Training College with decentralised skills tuition provided by an itinerant team of experts. The Caribbean programme is also financing tourism - related transport infrastructure with the construction of Bequia Airport (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and studies for the upgrading of airports on Beef Island (British Virgin Islands) and Nevis.

Moreover, following an evaluation of the regional activities financed under LomI, the Commission is now finalising with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) a new region - wide tourism support programme for funding from LomII balances. This programme (and a parallel sub - regional package being developed with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) will be based on a policy framework and sector support proposals set out by the Commission at a meeting of CTO’s Council of Ministers and Board of Directors in Puerto Rico in January this year. Salient policy features are as follows:

Action is needed to sustain the sector in the following key areas: product development, linkages between tourism and other sectors, development of European markets, and the overall policy framework.

Product development: The Commission has identified two major areas of concern: training and tourism education, and protection of the product environment. On training, there is a massive need to improve standards in both the public and private sectors, while tourism education in schools and attitude training for hotel and other workers, are equally fundamental. The Commission is providing support for private sector staff through the regional hotel training programme already mentioned, and public sector needs are being assessed in order to determine how best to assist at that level. Regarding the product environment, pollution control and sensible land use planning are vital, and countries cannot escape heavy expenditure on infrastructure to preserve environmental standards. The Commission plans to assist here through specialist advice on product development and studies to help countries cope with the environmental impact of tourism and protect the tourism product.

Tourism linkages: Substantial scope appears to exist for increasing intraregional trade in goods and services to reduce the Caribbean tourism sector’s heavy import dependence. The Commission is prepared to help substantiate this by studying the feasibility of a regional trade event.

Market development: Marketing and promoting the Caribbean has proved difficult in the past, and the Commission’s experience and the evaluation carried out jointly with the region call unequivocally for the concentration of resources on specific, as opposed to generic, marketing activities, i.e. by placing the emphasis on measurable market development activities rather than soft - sell operations. The corollary is that special skills are needed to match the Caribbean’s diverse tourism products to diverse markets in Europe, and specialist assistance is planned. The Commission sees donor support as serving to pump - prime and act as a catalyst in promoting new products to new markets in conjunction with the private sector and national tourism offices as appropriate. It envisages providing support through the financing of experts to develop packages with the European trade, together with limited collateral materials for specific marketing activities, and is investigating a programme of traineeships to enable Caribbean nationals to acquire operational skills in the marketplace. This would involve tailored diploma courses in European specialist institutions, together with spells of in - service training with leading tour operators and carriers and also with established national tourism offices recognised as providing good service. This arrangement will contribute to long - term sustainability of the region’s industry.

The worldwide trend towards the growing individualisation of the holiday cannot be ignored. Computerised reservations systems will soon give the individual consumer direct access to hotels and other services. The Commission has indicated that it would be prepared to povide some support for a dedicated system for the Caribbean.

Tourism policy: Countries need to set out clear policy objectives so as to build a solid sector framework, given the intense competition for the use of land and other resources characteristic of the Caribbean. This can only be achieved if there is a real consensus between governments, the private sector and the broader community. It is for governments to set the framework - economic, environmental, social, etc. - with the private sector being enabled to operate freely but responsibly within it. Public/private sector synergies must be systematically sought through the development of a genuine dialogue to arrive at sensible parameters in such areas as fiscal regimes, import licensing and exchange controls and attitudes towards foreign investment. The definition of national and regional tourism policies and strategies will increasingly condition sector support, and the Commission is prepared to assist in this area.

Geoffrey BARRETT
Principal Administrator,
Directorate - General for Developmnent