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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 potential of the northern range

TOURISM POTENTIALofthe Northern Range

Presented by: Gail Henry

Ministry of Tourism

November 2004

presentation format
Presentation Format
  • Tourism Assets & Cultural Services
  • Tourism Vision
  • Tourism Investment
  • Tourism Potential
  • Issues
  • Key Challenges
  • Tourism Perspectives & Responses
  • The Way Forward
tourism assets
Tourism Assets
  • Mountain range/Forests/Flora/Fauna
  • Beaches, rivers, waterfalls
  • Caves
  • Communities
  • Offshore islands
  • Constructed facilities e.g. Hollis Dam
cultural services





Cultural heritage


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

EDUCATION (scientific research & teaching

Cultural Services
cultural services5


Recreation, river limes

Spiritual & religious practices and values

Aesthetics & inspiration


Scientific research & teaching

Cultural Services
cultural services6



Beach limes

Spiritual & religious practices & values

Aesthetics & inspiration


Scientific research & teaching

Cultural Services
tourism vision
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
Niche Markets
  • Leisure
  • Ecotourism
  • Cultural/heritage tourism
  • Soft adventure
  • Festivals/events
  • Future – health and agro tourism
  • 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
Sites Targeted for Development
  • Chupara Pt. – Integrated resort
  • Las Cuevas – Coastal resort
  • Port of Spain – Business/Conference hotels
  • North Coast - Marinas
investment incentives
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
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 potential13
Tourism Potential
  • Recreational opportunities through development of activities & events
    • Festivals (culinary, fish, heritage)
    • Events e.g. surfing, adventure competitions
community tourism
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
  • Development vs. conservation balance
  • Zoning
  • Infrastructure development & accessibility
  • Tourism impacts – social, economic, cultural, environmental, political
  • Level of participation of communities
  • Planning approaches
key challenges
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 challenges17
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 challenges18
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
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 enforcement21
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 enforcement22
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 enforcement23
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
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
  • 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)
  • 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
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
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
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
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
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 development32
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
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
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
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.