Tourism Development in the Caribbean
The development of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Argyle International Airport and the Buccament Bay Beach Resorts in the Caribbean is one of the largest projects ever to be undertaken in the country. However, the multi-island country is not without its challenges and high unemployment and a reliance on banana trade mean there have been significant efforts to diversify the economy through tourism.
Tourism experts from the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development were called on to conduct a study on the potential economic opportunities in St Vincent and the Grenadines attributable to the development of the new airport and the Buccament Bay resorts, including the identification of arising opportunities for SMEs in the area.
Specific project deliverables included employment generation, rural development and improving export competitiveness. The context was a small island economy with relatively low levels of tourism on the main island of St Vincent, and high value tourism attracted to the smaller surrounding Grenadine Islands. Using best practice application and identification of critical success factors, the importance of an airport enterprise zone was identified by Moffat experts, as was the importance of an ethical and fair trade supply chain offer to the resort development.
During the consultancy project, funded by the EU and St Vincent and the Grenadines Centre for Enterprise Development Inc The Moffat Centre established that linkages between the airport and the resort development in terms of training and recruitment of local labour supply was necessary and would advance the potential for incorporating training and education in key technical and vocational areas. Agro- processing and fresh food export element of economic development were also explored and investment returns quantified and feasibility undertaken for investors.