Caribbean Tourism: Climate Smart and Sustainable

Project Background

Managing d climate and disaster risks and impacts has been a priority for governments in the Caribbean for many years. In 2014, when the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of States established the Natural Disaster Risk Management Programme (NDRM) with funding from the European Union, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) became one of the first implementing partners. The NDRM Programme is a euro 20 million initiative that aims  to improve the Caribbean’s capacity to prepare for, manage, respond to and recover from the potential impacts of natural hazards.

The NDRM Programme has funded a range of resilience building projects and works closely with regional stakeholders; one such stakeholder is the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). Recognizing the impact of climate change on the Caribbean tourism sector, the CTO  took steps to build resilience of the sector through the “Supporting Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry” project.

Implementing actors and responsibilities

Amanda Charles, Sustainable Tourism Specialist at the Caribbean Tourism Organization, explains that in 2017, through support from the NDRM, the CTO was successful in being awarded this project which benefitted eighteen member countries of the CTO and CDB.

Objectives

The project focused on improving the capacity of CTO and member countries of both CTO and CDB to mainstream climate change and disaster risk reduction considerations in tourism sector policies, planning and operations. Key project activities involved preparing a strategy document and a disaster risk management guide for the Caribbean tourism sector, as well as compiling a series of knowledge products related to best practices in sustainable and responsible tourism.

Achievements

The project has been very successful in strengthening the capacities of Caribbean tourism stakeholders.  CTO published 3 key project deliverables: (a) Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy and Development Framework, (b) Multi-Hazard Risk Management Guide for the Caribbean Tourism Sector and (c) CTO’s Training Platform and two Online Courses. CTO delivered a regional tourism education and awareness campaign via CTO’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn social media pages. The Campaign also included a 7-part video miniseries which were produced and aired on CaribVision Television. The campaign has reached  over 2.3 million viewers in 23 countries across the region. It has engaged over 300 000 persons who shared, liked, or commented on the 80 visuals that were posted.

The project facilitated capacity development through five national training workshops in member countries deemed to be very vulnerable and recently impacted by extreme hazards; these include Haiti, Dominica, The Bahamas, Belize and Jamaica. An attractive postcard was also developed to target visitors to the region and a poster featuring tips for tourism businesses was also created and disseminated.

Project features

Year: 2017

Total cost of the project: € 618 423

Implementing Agency: Caribbean Tourism Organization

Benefiting Zone: Members of the CTO and borrowing member countries of CDB

Cooperation and technical assistance: Caribbean Development Bank

Funded by: The European Union through the Natural Disaster Risk Management Programme in the CARIFORUM.

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