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  • World Export Development Forum 2011

    Private sector engagement with ldcs for tourism-led growth and inclusive sustainable development

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    The purpose of the workshop was to highlight the contribution of handicrafts and cultural heritage to tourism-led growth in least developed countries (LDCs). The projects being developed aim to show how handicrafts developed through market-led design capability can be sustainable in the tourism sector in Uganda, and also how cultural heritage can become a more fully integrated part of the tourism value chain in Ethiopia. Participants worked on creating a structured approach to product development for tourism value chains through projects linking micro-producers of handicrafts to the tourism indutry and integrating the development of cultural heritage projects into tour operators’ supply chains.

    The title of Ethiopia’s project proposal is: ‘Inclusive cultural heritage product development for the enhancement of tourism in Ethiopia’.

    The title of the Ugandan project is: ‘Trade development for micro-artisans and artists in the value chain of tourism’.

    The main conclusions of the session were:

    1.    Project ideas were presented and interest raised

    • Countries presented their respective project ideas. Through further assessment and project planning in the country, it will be possible to move from the project idea stage to the project development level targeting donor interest.

    2.    Country ownership and resource mobilization

    • Countries have a vision for the development of the tourism sector. They are ready to exploit their competitive advantage and promote women, young people and other vulnerable groups as beneficiaries of inclusive tourism projects.
    • Countries should promote their projects in order to mobilize resources and seek partnerships with institutions such as the Netherlands’ Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).

    3.    Needs to be addressed for a successful inclusive tourism project

    • The involvement of all stakeholders, in particular private sector and public support institutions, and the identification of reliable partners are essential;
    • The creation of local institutional infrastructure (a ‘business hub’) for project implementation and sustainability is required;
    • The development of value-added products using fair labour when meeting buyer requirements is needed;
    • To meet the Millennium Development Goals, gender and youth dimensions and environmental sustainability should be taken into account in the project design phase;
    • There is a need for a marketing approach/support (stories behind products, geographical indication);
    • The diversification of products and services that are offered to tourists is required.

    4.    Recommendations

    • Ethiopia could benefit from the experience of ethical fashion projects in Kenya and Uganda (especially regarding institutional infrastructure);
    • Ethiopia and Uganda could both benefit from the Turkish experience in tourism development and promotion   mapping cultural heritage sites with corresponding available products and services;
    • With nine United Nations agencies joining forces under the banner: ‘Making tourism work for development. Delivering as One UN’, Ethiopia and Uganda could benefit from this new initiative;
    • Based on their experience in tourism and collaboration with ITC, CBI has expressed interest in supporting initiatives such as those that have been presented;
    • Further consultations should be held at country level to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are involved and that needs to be addressed are well reflected in the final version of project proposals, leading to country ownership.


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