Community Tourism is seen as a strategy for community development and poverty alleviation through job creation and own business opportunities

COP17 has been given credit for accelerating an agreement between private Tourism stakeholders in Jamaica and South Africa to co-operate with each other in developing and applying Community Tourism Models which include reference to the impact of climate change.

Countrystyle Community Tourism Network (CCTN) President, Diana McIntyre-Pike, said from her Jamaican office “we have been collaborating with a group of South African stakeholders to share knowledge and experiences on Community Tourism models and practices using the Caribbean “Villages as Businesses” Model. Since the start of COP17 we have intensified our discussions and are pleased to have now reached an agreement of commitment.”

CCTN has agreed to the establishment of a South African satellite, CCTNSA, which is co-ordinated by Nikki De Pina, CCTNSA Lead Consultant, on behalf of a group of South African Tourism stakeholders. The Agreement has been encouraged and endorsed by the IIPT (International Institute for Peace through Tourism) which has also led to the establishment of an IIPT Chapter in South Africa.

President of IIPT, Louis D’Amore, said from his offices in America “the Caribbean and Australian Chapters of IIPT have successfully applied our philosophy and vision and we are delighted to now have partners from South Africa join the IIPT family”.

The IIPT Africa Conference earlier this year addressed Climate Change and Tourism and resulted in the Lusaka Declaration. “It is appropriate” said Louis D’Amore that “COP17 has forged relationships between our countries and organizations to incorporate the impact of climate change in the development of responsible and sustainable Community Tourism models.”

“Tourism Entrepreneurship – Sustaining and Transforming Communities”

Says Diana McIntyre-Pike, “the Caribbean “Villages as Businesses” Model for sustainable Community Tourism development and poverty alleviation has attracted the world’s attention. It was presented to UNESCO in Switzerland in 2011 as an example of a sustainable and responsible Community Tourism Model”.

The agreement between the Caribbean and South African CCTN Management Teams includes a Study Tour to Jamaica by a group from South Africa in February 2012.

Says CCTNSA’s Nikki De Pina “we are thrilled to be hosted by Diana and her Team in Jamaica and look forward to learning more about their successful Villages as Businesses Model. We believe that we will be able to apply our shared knowledge and experiences to build a Model for South Africa and other countries.” Nikki says “we have had a very enthusiastic response from Tourism stakeholders in South Africa to the Study Tour.”

“Responsible Community Tourism transforms and develops communities. It leaves a legacy for our children” says Don Leffler of the newly established Tourism Centre of Excellence at UKZN’s Tourism Discipline in Pinetown.

The CCTN Jamaica-South Africa Agreement, endorsed by the IIPT, has also connected Tourism Training Providers in Jamaica and South Africa. This is aimed at ensuring relevant skills development to support Community Tourism models and practices in both countries. The Study Tour to Jamaica will create the opportunity for these Training Providers to share information and build co-operation agreements for the future.

Says Don Leffler of THSBS (Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Business School) “the agreement between the CCTN Management Teams in Jamaica and South Africa has encouraged the establishment of the new South African Tourism Centre of Excellence at UKZN’s (University of KwaZulu-Natal) Tourism Discipline Department. “

Don commented that “the Tourism Centre is a community of Tourism Education and Development Providers which share the IIPT and CCTN vision of developing communities, encouraging economic growth and creating job and business opportunities by responsible and sustainable Tourism practices”.

Senior Tourism Lecturer at the University of Pretoria, Mapula Tlhaqale, said “we are pleased to be part of the new Tourism Centre of Excellence. This will encourage the sharing of knowledge, programmes and community development initiatives with UKZN, THSBS, Energy Guides and other linked Tourism Education and Development providers.” Mapula says “I am excited about the Study Tour to Jamaica because it will allow the University of Pretoria’s Tourism Faculty to share its findings on the recent Cullinan Research Paper on sustainable eco-tourism practices.”

For more information on the CCTN Jamaica-South Africa agreement and on the Study Tour to Jamaica, contact Nikki De Pina at email: or call 084 0702 445

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