Two Barbados Tourism Product Authority projects aimed at boosting community participation are to split an extra financial boost worth $100,000 from the Organisation of American States (OAS).
The Babados Community Tourism Network (BCTN) is to use $50,000 from the OAS Tourism Training Fund. The BTCN is to develop a ‘Train the Trainer’ programme to be conducted by noted community tourism expert Diana McIntyre-Pike, develop the Greater Holders Hill Community Tourism Experience, erect signage to highlight history within communities, establish a walk of fame for prominent cricket and golf personalities in the community and to establish peace parks, the BTPA said.
With another $50,000 in funding from the Hemispheric Fund for Tourism, the Clean Bim Programme is a solid waste management solution that encourages behavioural change in indiscriminate littering and dumping, and promotes the sustainable use of natural resources. The programme will also repair and clean public facilities in the coastal zone, provide waste bins with covers, and coordinate recycling opportunities across the island.
Zeroing in on a key tourism attraction in need of funds, Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds said the projects will contribute to significant tourism product development work in Barbados.
“With respect to the Clean Bim aspect of what we are going to be doing, I think it is vital. St Lawrence Gap for example is an area, which is a major tourist attraction here in Barbados; it is a major part of Barbados’ tourist product.
“But if we were to be brutally frank with each other, it would take just a walk or drive through St Lawrence Gap, we would realize that it is an area that needs substantial work in terms of our efforts in cleanliness,” he said.
The Minister of Tourism said that while there are companies engaging in clean up efforts across the island, resources must now be spent to get Barbadians to understand that they too have a role to play in keeping the island clean.
Barbados has relied traditionally on the cleanliness of the environment, national security, and social engagement to promote its tourism product in a competitive market, said Symmonds. Maintaining all these characteristics are significant in order for the product to remain competitive, he added.
Speaking at a signing ceremony to formalize the funding deal, OAS representative Francis McBarnett, said the two projects fit well within the scope of the OAS’ endeavour to support tourism initiatives with a high level of community involvement, and promote further sustainable development in line with the Declaration of San Salvador for Sustainable Tourism Development in the Americas agreed upon in 2011.