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TOURISM POTENTIAL of the Northern Range. Presented by: Gail Henry Ministry of Tourism November 2004. Presentation Format. Tourism Assets & Cultural Services Tourism Vision Tourism Investment Tourism Potential Issues Key Challenges Tourism Perspectives & Responses The Way Forward.
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TOURISM POTENTIALofthe Northern Range Presented by: Gail Henry Ministry of Tourism November 2004
Presentation Format • Tourism Assets & Cultural Services • Tourism Vision • Tourism Investment • Tourism Potential • Issues • Key Challenges • Tourism Perspectives & Responses • The Way Forward
Tourism Assets • Mountain range/Forests/Flora/Fauna • Beaches, rivers, waterfalls • Caves • Communities • Offshore islands • Constructed facilities e.g. Hollis Dam
FOREST LANDS AMENITY VALUE Recreation Agrotourism Ecotourism Cultural heritage Diversity Values incl. spiritual & religious practices, inspiration & aesthetics, cuisine EDUCATION (scientific research & teaching Cultural Services
FRESHWATER AMENITY VALUE Recreation, river limes Spiritual & religious practices and values Aesthetics & inspiration EDUCATION Scientific research & teaching Cultural Services
COASTAL AMENITY VALUE Recreation Beach limes Spiritual & religious practices & values Aesthetics & inspiration EDUCATION Scientific research & teaching Cultural Services
Tourism Vision • Protected natural area with limited tourism development • Sustainable tourism practices with Chaguaramas as a pilot Sustainable Tourism destination (ACS STZC) • Natural and cultural heritage can be appreciated and enjoyed by all • Public/private sector cooperation • Stakeholder participation
Niche Markets • Leisure • Ecotourism • Cultural/heritage tourism • Soft adventure • Festivals/events • Future – health and agro tourism
Activities • Drive through • Camping • Hiking • Bird/turtle watching • Hunting • Fishing • Adventure sports e.g. hashing, mountain biking • Mountain retreat e.g. eco-lodge
Sites Targeted for Development • Chupara Pt. – Integrated resort • Las Cuevas – Coastal resort • Port of Spain – Business/Conference hotels • North Coast - Marinas
Investment Incentives • For accommodation facilities including campsites, eco-lodges and guesthouses • For tourism ancillary facilities including marinas & boatyards, tour operation, recreational space & theme parks, cultural centres • For tourism infrastructure – public utilities, roads & irrigation, ecological & environmental maintenance • Environmental Impact Assessments are generally required.
Tourism Potential • Income security through creation of employment & business opportunities • Accommodation facilities, B&Bs, eco-lodges • Goods & service provision e.g. craft items, agricultural produce, catering, tour guiding • Staffing Visitor Information Centres • Staging of community events e.g. Parang Festival • Operation of area attractions • Conservation activities
Tourism Potential • Recreational opportunities through development of activities & events • Festivals (culinary, fish, heritage) • Events e.g. surfing, adventure competitions
Community Tourism • Tourism Action Committees established • HRD/training programmes e.g. tour guiding • Facilities constructed • Visitor Information/Interpretation Centres e.g. Brasso Seco • Bathroom facilities at attractions • Picnic, vending & other facilities at attractions • Technical & limited financial assistance
Issues • Development vs. conservation balance • Zoning • Infrastructure development & accessibility • Tourism impacts – social, economic, cultural, environmental, political • Level of participation of communities • Planning approaches
Key Challenges • Inadequate level of holistic/integrated policies/planning to balance/regulate changing demand for competing services in Northern Range • “Public Administration is highly sectoralized with direct responsibilities that have implications for the Northern Range distributed among many government departments and special agencies.”
Key Challenges • Rapid degradation of Northern Range ecosystem including tourism assets • Need for appropriate infrastructural development to match development vision • Lack of approved planning for some developments & demand-driven NOT policy-driven land-use • Increasing land prices
Key Challenges • Need to communicate value of Northern Range • Ensuring that buy-in for tourism development in communities is voluntary • Controlling unauthorized activities In Northern Range
Implementation & Enforcement • Policies and plans not implemented because: • Lack of political will • Lack of policy & programme continuity & coordination • Lack of strategic direction due to different views and focus of regularly changing leadership • Inadequate budgets • Lack of technical capacity
Implementation & Enforcement • Implementation can be improved through: • Development of a short and long-term vision and strategy • Integrated planning & communication mechanisms • Vision 2020 Technical Sub-Committees • Policy Networking Forum • Standing/Steering Committees & Working Groups • Stakeholder consultations • Sustainable Development Council/Northern Range Coordination Mechanism
Implementation & Enforcement • Implementation can be improved through: • An appropriate institutional framework to implement policies and plans • Institutional capacity building to ensure adequate HR mix & continuous HRD • More attractive employment terms & conditions to decrease staff turnover • Relevant HRD programmes (courses, workshops, conferences etc.)
Implementation & Enforcement • Proper planning cycle with timely & simultaneous policy development & implementation planning • Seeking alternative sources of funds e.g. donor agencies, user fees etc. • Phased devolution/co-management of natural resources & assets by communities via local government e.g. cooperation with Reg. Corps & community tourism projects with public/private partnerships
Public Education • National sustainable development education strategy and action plan • Joint programme • Reinforce importance of our natural resources/assets • Collaboration between agencies – pooling funding, technical expertise, one message for maximum impact
Research • Relevant research conducted include: • Planning for Development: A Development Study of Maracas Bay Fishing Village • North & North East Coast Trinidad Carrying Capacity Study (1999) • Shoreline Management Plan for North & North East Coast of Trinidad (2003) • Wastewater Management Strategy for the North & North East Coast of Trinidad (2003) • Recreational Preference Survey (2003)
Research • Continue to develop greater understanding of issues impacting the Northern Range and other environmentally sensitive areas & how to address them through tourism planning • Ensure that key issues are addressed by adopting relevant recommendations & best practices • Better prioritization, collaboration and sharing of results necessary: • Conduct tourism impact & carrying capacity studies (social, economic, environmental etc.)
Integrated Planning “There is no obvious coordinating mechanism that generates synergies, or identifies and manages the trade-offs among responses.” “There is a general lack of follow through on many policy responses” • Use Vision 2020 National Planning Framework as a driver for integrated planning. • Use Policy Networking Forum as a mechanism to communicate tourism sector issues and requirements to decision makers in other Government Ministries.
Participatory Planning • Ensure stakeholder views considered. • Encourage more decentralized involvement in tourism planning & implementation e.g. Regional corporations, Community Councils, community residents. • Better public/private/non-governmental understanding of roles, responsibilities and need for cooperation in tourism
Physical Planning • Lobby for updated National Physical Development Plan with designated (sustainable) tourism zones including official national parks and scientific reserves in the Northern Range • Greater dialogue & collaboration with agencies responsible for physical/land use planning and environmental management including coastal zones. • Ministry of Tourism is on a CDA Committee that is overseeing the review of development plans for Chaguaramas.
Standards & Guidelines • Development of guidelines e.g. for eco-lodges, guesthouses • Strive for tourism facilities and attractions to be environmentally friendly e.g. Blue Flag & Green Globe certification
Human Resource Development • Relevant training for tourism management agency staff – courses, conferences, workshops etc. • Community tourism • Sustainable tourism • Ecotourism • Coastal recreational tourism • Tourism policy development • Sites and Attractions Management
Human Resource Development • Continue tourism Industry capacity building programmes including empowering interested communities through training. • Stronger lobby for tourism as part of primary and secondary school curricula working with regional and local agencies e.g. CTO, Government Ministries
Building Tourism Awareness • Using various media and methods, create a greater awareness of tourism in general • Encourage domestic tourism to build a greater appreciation of T&T cultural, heritage, natural and other assets with stakeholder support. e.g. National Tourism Celebrations, Tourism Park 2004
Monitoring & Evaluation • Need an effective system to monitor & evaluate the impacts of policies, projects etc. should go beyond periodic checks on how funds are being spent. Bodies such as the NRCM can be an external check & balance in this regard. • Each public sector agency should also have an internal M&E system that should include: • Measurable goals/outputs • Critical Success factors • Mechanism to gauge feedback from target beneficiaries • Adoption of leanings from successes and failures
The Way Forward • Lobby for establishment of NRCM • Lobby for application of an integrated planning approach through Policy Networking Forum • Ensure that policies and programmes are developed based on stakeholder participation and with satisfactory consideration of all impacts.