Compete Caribbean recently launched a call for proposals to identify Community-Based tourism or Agri/Agro-tourism clusters. Compete Caribbean will allocate technical assistance that can be used to help community based tourism destinations improve their product offering, marketing or digital systems, thereby increasing revenues in underprivileged and/or remote areas.
Technical assistance may be used for but not be limited to:
• Product/tours/package development: food & beverage tours, festivals, culinary experiences, farm-to-table, health & wellness, etc.
• Local sourcing of natural or organic produce: organic production or certification, traceability, procurement, logistics, etc.
• Digital integration/transformation: online booking/payment, mobile wallets technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, crowdfunding, data analysis, etc.
• Coordination and training: partnership agreements, performance and operational improvements, hospitality and community-based tourism tour guide services, etc.
• Licensing and certification: MSMEs registration, food handling, insurance, etc.
• Market research and marketing: online advertising, social media, farm tours, market fair, etc.
55 applications were received and six were short-listed to move forward to the next step in the selection process – the preparation of a Cluster Development Plan (CDP).
Contracting Consultants will work with each cluster to develop the CDPs over a 3-4 months period starting in April 2020. Once finalized, the seven proponents will have the chance to pitch to an external Investment Panel which will recommend which plans should be supported.
In the first phase of Compete Caribbean, the program provided nearly $5 million in grant funding for cluster projects, which together involved more than 500 businesses and created nearly 6,000 jobs. In the second phase, the CCPF invested additional resources into cluster capacity building in collaboration with Business Support Organisations (BSOs) and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) to expand the benefits of cluster initiatives in vulnerable areas.