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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

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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 Assets

  • Mountain range/Forests/Flora/Fauna

  • Beaches, rivers, waterfalls

  • Caves

  • Communities

  • Offshore islands

  • Constructed facilities e.g. Hollis Dam

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Cultural heritage


Values incl. spiritual & religious practices, inspiration & aesthetics, cuisine

EDUCATION (scientific research & teaching

Cultural Services

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Recreation, river limes

Spiritual & religious practices and values

Aesthetics & inspiration


Scientific research & teaching

Cultural Services

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Beach limes

Spiritual & religious practices & values

Aesthetics & inspiration


Scientific research & teaching

Cultural Services

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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

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Niche Markets

  • Leisure

  • Ecotourism

  • Cultural/heritage tourism

  • Soft adventure

  • Festivals/events

  • Future – health and agro tourism

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  • Drive through

  • Camping

  • Hiking

  • Bird/turtle watching

  • Hunting

  • Fishing

  • Adventure sports e.g. hashing, mountain biking

  • Mountain retreat e.g. eco-lodge

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Sites Targeted for Development

  • Chupara Pt. – Integrated resort

  • Las Cuevas – Coastal resort

  • Port of Spain – Business/Conference hotels

  • North Coast - Marinas

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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.

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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

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Tourism Potential

  • Recreational opportunities through development of activities & events

    • Festivals (culinary, fish, heritage)

    • Events e.g. surfing, adventure competitions

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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

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    • Development vs. conservation balance

    • Zoning

    • Infrastructure development & accessibility

    • Tourism impacts – social, economic, cultural, environmental, political

    • Level of participation of communities

    • Planning approaches

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    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.”

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.)

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    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

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    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

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    • 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)

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    • 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.)

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.