South Africans will travel to Jamaica next month to attend an educational tour and to explore the island’s pioneering community tourism initiative.
Representatives of Countryside Community Tourism Network, South Africa plan to journey from the continent in order to learn from the nation’s “Villages as Businesses’ Model,” which the Caribbean is credited with successfully executing.
In addition, participants will attend a special tribute honoring Marcus Mosiah Garvey on Feb. 19 when the nation celebrates its golden anniversary and the memory of its first national hero.
“We are particularly excited to have been invited by the Jamaican organizers of the annual Marcus Garvey celebrations to showcase South Africa and its cultures and communities to Jamaicans,” Mapula Thlange of CCTNSA said.
Thlagale said “it will be particularly interesting to meet with Jamaica’s academic institutions to learn more about their learning programs to support community tourism development projects. We hope to apply relevant and successful learning programs from Jamaica to help local communities with skills needed to make community tourism and community development projects sustainable in South Africa.”
Reportedly documents for the Jamaican study tour will be showcased at SA’s tourism Indaba later in the year.
“It’s our intention to learn about the successful Jamaican model and to apply it to a South African context,” Nikki De Pina also of CCTNSA said. She said the network has already “committed itself to guiding tourism project at Onverwacht in Tshwane which will be a first beneficiary of the learnings from CCTNSA’s studies of South African, Jamaican and other world models.”
“All community stakeholders including local government, private enterprise, and the community are being invited to be involved in this project.”
Don Leffler added that “the educational tour to Jamaica will be included in a comprehensive handbook and educational DVD entitled “Community Tourism: Creating Footprints,” which references tourism models and practices in the Caribbean, South Africa and other countries.”
“CCTNSA and the Tourism Centre of Excellence invite all community tourism stakeholders to share their stories so that we can include relevant current case studies in our educational material,” Leffler said.