MANDEVILLE, Jamaica – Two community tourism leaders who lead active organizations have teamed up to offer visitors a novel, experiential educational vacation in Jamaica, “Home of Community Tourism.” The first innovative leader in community-tourism is Mrs. Diana McIntyre-Pike, President, Countrystyle Community Tourism Network & The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Caribbean. McIntyre-Pike is a pioneer with over thirty-seven years of service and passion in training and developing communities. The other is Mrs. Jacqueline daCosta, an international expert in sustainable development planning, land, and the environment and the Founder and Chair of the National Best Community Foundation. Mrs. daCosta has voluntarily organized, with assistance from a myriad of partners from the public and private sector, a national competition and program for the sustainable development of communities.
Together these women, their organizations, as well as foreign and local networks have partnered to engage some 300 communities nationwide in the entrepreneurial Villages as Businesses program, which would result in sustainable community tourism. This program has been developed to provide training and create economic opportunities for community persons interested in investing in their communities by offering community tourism products, rooms, and attractions that build on unique natural, cultural, and human capital.
Lou d’Amore, President, Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) has branded Jamaica, “Home of Community Tourism,” and continues to support the initiatives of IIPT Caribbean on the Island.
McIntyre-Pike has been selected as one of 50 world experts in sustainable tourism to participate in the UNESCO World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Experts meeting from October 18–23 in Switzerland, which will enhance Jamaica’s international viability and competitive advantage in being the “Home of Community Tourism.”
Caribbean partners are encouraged to become members of the IIPT Caribbean/Countrystyle Community Tourism Network and to participate in the Villages as Businesses program to help foster the continued growth and success of community tourism within the region as an integrated people-centered approach to sustainable tourism.
Visitors participating in these educational vacations to learn Jamaican culture, heritage, and cuisine will immerse themselves into the traditional village lifestyle, which is a unique unparalleled experience. The warm, friendly villagers will welcome the visitor with their traditional Mento and folk music, dance, and cuisine, which makes learning so much fun!
The 10-day package offers accommodation in smaller properties and homestays including all meals featuring Jamaican cuisine, community experience tours to many diverse villages; a train tour from the Jamaica Railway Corporation (recently renovated and re-opened); Fi Read Jamaica information book on Jamaican beauty, vibes, and culture by Kevin O’Brien Chang; and a Community Tourism Manual featuring The Youth Transformation Program. In addition, membership is offered in the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Caribbean and the IIPT/Countrystyle Community Tourism Network and a certificate of participation in Community Tourism from the International Community Tourism Institute (ICTI) in collaboration with the Western Hospitality Institute (WHI).