A group of South African Tourism specialists is traveling to Jamaica on 13 February 2012, to learn about its world recognized “Villages as Businesses” Community Tourism Programme.


The Jamaican Embassy in South Africa and the SA High Commissioner in Jamaica, Her Excellency Ms. Joyini, have indicated interest and support for this initiative. The SA High Commissioner in Jamaica has indicated a willingness to host a Reception to welcome the Tour Group from South Africa and to thank its Hosts in Jamaica, CCTN (Countrystyle Community Tourism Network) for coordinating the Study Tour.


The President of the IIPT (the International Institute for Peace through Tourism), Mr. Lou D’Amore, will be traveling from America especially to join the first leg of the Study Tour and to welcome and address the newly formed SA Chapter of the IIPT.


The main objective of the Study Tour is to learn from the ‘Home of Community Tourism’ and the acknowledged pioneers of Rural Community Tourism so as to address the Government strategy of reducing poverty by community development and LED. Jamaica’s CCTN President, Diana McIntyre-Pike, was invited to address UNESCO last year as one of 50 acknowledged world experts on Community Tourism.


We read in the media on an almost daily basis about Government’s commitment to a strategy to develop rural communities and to grow Tourism initiatives to create employment and reduce poverty. Just yesterday we read the following article on BizNews. This is what the Study Tour to Jamaica is all about:


31 Jan 2012 06:30 BizLike

PRETORIA: The National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) seeks to increase tourism’s total direct and indirect contribution to the economy to R499 billion by 2020 said Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa.


Through the NTSS, said Xasa, the tourism sector is committed to creating a total of 225 000 additional jobs by the year 2020.


“The department in consultation with key tourism stakeholders is in the process of finalising the NTSS Implementation plan and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the NTSS. The Delivery Forum has been put in place to drive collective implementation of the strategy.


“It provides for the growth and development of the domestic and events tourism as sustainability pillars, it further provides for capacity development at local government level.”


Speaking at the opening of the Pearl of Oudtshoorn Hotel on Saturday, 28 January 2012, Xasa urged the community of Greater Oudtshoorn to set the bar high in job creation and training.


Government is committed to working towards ensuring that tourism becomes rooted at local government level to promote ownership by local communities, with a particular emphasis on community development and job creation,” she said.


The South African Study Group has been invited to participate in various events such as the Marcus Garvey Fair to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Jamaica’s first Hero, a black activist who championed a call for descendants of slaves to return to Africa. Our Hosts have arranged for us to meet with the Minister of Youth Development and are trying to also arrange an introduction to Jamaica’s new Minister of Tourism.


Jamaica celebrates its 50th Anniversary of gaining Independence this year. Joint arrangements have been made between the SA High Commissioner’s Office and the University of the West Indies to hold joint celebrations to recognize the ANC’s Centenary and Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary since gaining Independence.


In response to the interest shown in the Study Tour, a group of South Africans have established satellite ‘Chapters’ of the IIPT and CCTN. This has been supported by the international and associate organizations of IIPT and CCTN (view websites at and


The establishment of these associations has also led to the establishment of the SA Tourism Centre of Excellence, a collaboration of universities and private training providers specializing in Tourism Training and Development Projects.


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