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JAMAICA - ‘Villages as Businesses’ programme paves the way for Community tourism

VAB-program

Mandeville, Jamaica - Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism, has endorsed the Villages as Businesses Programme which is focusing on developing local communities as sustainable business enterprises offering a range of products and services enabling communities to earn income from these businesses. 

A release from Villages as a Business (VAB) says the programme Offers community experience tours where local and international visitors can experience the lifestyle of the villages, the people, the heritage, the culture, and the cuisine that are examples of how communities build on human capital.

The relerase pointed out that the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network (CCTN) is a community-based membership organization working in partnership with the Villages as Businesses organization (VAB). 

“In recognizing the need for communities to be properly trained, CCTN in collaboration with the National Best Community Foundation (NBCF) are working together with the Villages as Businesses programme and has received funding support from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) REDI project for six communities in 6 parishes in Jamaica to provide the training of community entrepreneurs in each Village to prepare them for market ready tours that can be included in the Jamaica Tourist Board’s marketing campaign and also offered to local and international Tour Operators and the local Accommodation Sector,” the release noted.

In addition to the Countrystyle ‘Community Experience,’ CCTN/VAB has hosted several community tourism study tours: South Africa, Alabama (USA), Dominica, St. Lucia and provided resource information and training to Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Cuba.

CCTN/VAB provides training in basic hospitality skills, small business management, product development, marketing, community governance and the TEAM Jamaica programme from the Tourism Product Development Co.   CCTN also facilitates funding support for community projects.  CCTN/VAB expertise can also be accessed for local and international clientele through consultancy.

The CCTN/VAB and the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Caribbean chapter has submitted 18 villages from Jamaica and the Caribbean including Mandeville as the only Peace Town to participate in the IIPT/SKAL Peace Villages programme which will be officially announced at the end of August at UNWTO General Assembly and is being featured in the IIPT Breakfast which is being co-hosted by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Livingstone and Victoria Falls.

The CCTN/VAB programme says it “is delighted that the Ministry of Tourism has also developed a village programme of 20 villages for which they have already received funding from the JSIF/REDI and we look forward to collaborating with them.”