President/Founder at Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses & Community Tourism Consultant
The objective and purpose of the Countrystyle Community Tourism Village programme rests in the fundamental vision of Countrystyle; which is to empower and develop communities, on a sustainable basis; dynamically marketing and exposing their natural culture, talents, passions and potential to the world; packaging each individual community as a unique destination (product) within their general destination
This is done to build relationships, mobilizing community participation and creativity under a vision for everyone to work under or be motivated towards, stimulating entrepreneurship and opportunities within their local environment. This effort will seek to diversify the tourism products and services we offer, and through this diversification, enhance our ability to apply to the varying market niches out there in the wide tourism marketplace.
The three principles of the COUNTRYSTYLE VILLAGES AS BUSINESSES PROGRAMME are:
- Think Globally, Act Locally – with our distinct local flavours and cultures, we can create products which can be marketed throughout Jamaica , the Caribbean and the rest of the world. For example: the idea of ‘community theatres’ featuring the local talents while teaching community values and resources to both communities and visitors
2) Independence and creativity – local citizens can decide for themselves what their Village product should be. A village could choose three products, or two villages could combine to produce a single product. Local government can provide assistance in the final stages in such activities as technical support and marketing.
3) Fostering Human Resources – the ultimate goal of this Movement is the development of human resources. No success can come about without visionary local leaders. It is important to develop a local community that responds creatively when challenged with difficult times.
The Countrystyle Community Tourism Network (CCTN) has successfully developed a dynamic marketing theme for communities “ the Community Experience ” which offers local and foreign visitors a diverse vacation and tour experience anywhere in the Caribbean which promotes the heritage, culture, music, cuisine, entertainment which is packaged for tour operators, travel agents and consumers taking into consideration their interests and budgets which can include airport transfers, accommodation, meals, community experience tours, community/host guide service and escort/guide rentacar and bus transportation.
While community tourism has much to offer a local population, it is essential that the potential of the situation is carefully analysed and evaluated before embarking on the development of a significant project or promoting a community-based tourism strategy.
The Countrystyle Community Tourism Village programme will ensure that the villages are developed in a sustainable way to protect the natural and cultural environment and improve the quality of its citizens through community tourism
The Villages As Businesses (VAB) Programme in Jamaica and other countries in the Caribbean and elsewhere advances and expands the impact of Community Tourism in its member communities and regions. VAB members receive an initial community-wide sensitization to the opportunities offered by community tourism. During the ensuing five-day intensive Community Tourism Hospitality and Entrepreneurship course, participants are helped to identify natural, heritage, cultural and human resources of potential interest to visitors and to design and test varied community experience tours
- Graduates of the five-day course become eligible for more specialized BTEC-certified training in entrepreneurship, hospitality, community tourism, community host-guiding, and a range of related skills through COUNTRYSTYLE COMMUNITY TOURISM NETWORK’s Academy for Community Tourism (ACT).
CCTN/VAB assists member communities with tour design and marketing materials, operates tours with local participation through Countrystyle Caribbean Vacations and Tours (COCAVAT), established in partnership with Jamaica’s premier tour operator, Caribic / Olympia Tours, and markets the tours to national and international tour companies