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Overview - Sustainable Tourism Training Course TZ

by USAID — last modified Jan 10, 2013 11:47 AM
Contributors: Jean Brennan
USAID


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Overview

Rapid and continuous growth over the past twenty years has made tourism one of the world’s most significant sources of employment and of GDP, and it is now widely recognized to be one of the world’s largest industries. Tourism particularly benefits the economies of developing countries, where most of the sector’s new tourism jobs and businesses are being created. This rapid growth has encouraged many developing nations to view tourism as key to promoting economic growth.12 wildlife

Tourism development, done right, has enormous cross-sectoral potential to achieve USAID’s strategic objectives of economic growth and poverty reduction, biodiversity conservation, and natural resources management, and it is a powerful tool for addressing other important cross-cutting agendas such as gender equity, global health, education, and local governance. In recent years, Mission and Field Office requests have increased for technical assistance with design and development of projects that will be successful and sustainable long past their USAID-funded project life. Out of this need USAID’s Sustainable Tourism training course was born.

 

The EGAT/NRM Land Resources Management Team has worked closely with the Natural Resources Information Clearinghouse and partner organizations to design, develop and deliver a seven-module course that addresses:

  • Basic sustainable tourism concepts
  • USAID’s role and history in the tourism sector
  • Project assessment methodology
  • Project design for activities with an economic growth, cultural/natural heritage, and/or biodiversity conservation focus.

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The first field delivery of this training took place in Tanzania ,just outside of the “safari capital” of Arusha. This location allowed for two day-long field trips to explore community-based tourism initiatives, discuss successes and challenges with area tour operators, and meet with park staff at Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks, which both have magnificent new visitor facilities and terrific wildlife-viewing opportunities. The training was intense — seven long days packed with information on all aspects of sustainable tourism development — but sessions kept the audience engaged with a mix of presentations, discussions, team exercises, and side presentations from USAID staff and local experts on a number of tourism topics.

The presentation team was a dynamic mix of USAID, NGO, and private sector specialists, each bringing differing skills and expertise to the course, and the rotating presenters kept delivery lively. Participants came from Brazil, Montenegro, Mongolia, and several African countries, and included both USAID field officers and their host country partners. Rich discussions resulted from having a diversity of participants who work in varied roles to support the development of sustainable tourism around Africa and around the world. Future trainings are planned for other regions, building on the success of this first delivery.

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