Essay: Sustainable Tourism Master Plan – Anguilla

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  • Subject area(s): Hospitality and tourism essays
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  • Published on: November 4, 2015
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  • Sustainable Tourism Master Plan - Anguilla
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The main premise of the author in ‘Part II Vision and Development strategy’ is the formulated vision, that stakeholders have made about strengths of Anguilla and creating a development strategy for tourism in Anguilla. The formulated vision is: ‘We are a premier Caribbean destination know for our world class beaches, pristine azure waters; top class resorts and restaurants; relaxed ambience; sense of place, peace and tranquility in a safe setting among a friendly and hospitable people that take pride in their identity, cultural heritage and environment.” The tourism vision have been translated into reality in a written plan, called ”Anguilla Tourism 2020”. In this plan the author describes many developments about the next ten years. Following this, a mission statement and eleven key principles are outlined, following by a growth strategy. Finally a development concept have been described.

Through a steady, evolutionary and participatory process characterized by comprehensive consultation with stakeholders, a formulation of the Tourism Vision for Anguilla was made.
To succeed, it is important to consider two things. The first thing is what the island can report and secondly, must reflect what is unique about what it has to offer. There are a few things that indicate Anguilla’s uniqueness: pristine beaches and clean environment, pleasant hotels and villas, lovely cuisines, peace and tranquility, security and safety, friendly people, relaxed pace of life, and exclusivity. These core strengths have to be maintained and enhanced.

Many countries have pleasant resorts, lovely cuisines and enjoyable beaches. But the country was set apart as a desirable vacation destination by the distinct of Anguillian experience. There are no pressures to do things, it offers steady relaxation and a feeling of being safe. It is a place where time stands still.

The Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, has translated the as previously mentioned vision into reality. There are many combinations of these and other factors that make it possible that Anguilla has become an increasingly premier tourism destination. For example excellent accommodations and service, outstanding beach, culinary and authentic cultural experiences with a characteristic Caribbean flavour. Many of these things is due the commitment of all stakeholders to the implementation of the 2011 ”Sustainable Tourism Master Plan”.

Untimely, there was recognition of the relevance of the tourism sector. In the leading markets of the Caribbean, Europa and North America, and more recently, in new developed markets in Central and South America, the budgetary assignment for tourism marketing and promotion was considerably increased. This has been heartedly maintained by the private sector. Shared funding of promotions have resourced in opening of new enjoyable and friendly resorts in Anguilla. To reflect the increased demand, air and sea access have been improved with airlines and ferry operators. The airport terminal was redeveloped and now has ‘state-of-the-art’ passenger facilities with retail, restaurants etc.

In the past ten years, more calls by cruise lines have been increased. The quantity of yachts making a stopover at the island has also augmented. Existing hotels and villas have been recovered; they relish better room occupancy rates and tariffs. Consequently, it has generated a higher profit margin and more money for re-investment in property maintenance and enhancement. The island’s appeal for golf and Health & Wellness niche markets have been increased due the annexation of new golf resorts and spa evolutions.

Three TDA’s (Tourism Development Areas) are promoting sustainable development. The island has three areas, West End TDA, Central TDA and East End TDA.
The Action Plan for the West END TDA, has been served to consolidate the area as the primary exclusive beach holiday destination worldwide. For the Central TDA, the implementation of the Action Plan has brought about a deformation. The TDA is now the island’s hub of tourist / local and social interaction. Finally, for the East TDA, the implementation of the Action Plan has served to focus development related to its natural and cultural heritage, capitalizing on the vibrant community life of the area.

However, new sites and attractions have been sheltered by product development. Quality Standards form an important part of the accommodation sector and other tourism-related business. Human resource development has been paid by matching attention to it. Young people in Anguilla have been motivated more than ever. They want to seek and find employment in the tourism sector but also in managerial positions leading to the assumption of leadership roles in the in the industry. As a result of paying attention to the issue of social development, Anguilla has an improved reputation as a green and clean island. Finally, in the year 2020, the tourism sector would be guided and organized better. The Ministry and ATB (marketing) needed to carry out their responsibilities.

So, the increasingly tourism sector has many advantages for many people. For local residents, for school leavers, for tourists, and for government. These things did not negatively have impacted on what attracts people to Anguilla. But it was unparalleled luxury and the feeling of intimacy and bonding with local people in Anguilla, in a safe, peaceful and enjoyable environment.

Governments worldwide have been recognized the value of tourism as a ‘driver’ of national economic growth. In addition to this, they have been recognized the contribution that tourism can have on a destination’s quality of life. Unfettered, mass tourism can have many major negative impacts, for example on social cohesion of the country. The opposite of this is, that well managed tourism can cause a range of social, economic and cultural advantages for all sectors of the economy. The GOA recognizes that sustainable tourism can make beneficial contributions to the overall wellbeing of Anguilla by way of improving the quality of life of its citizens and protecting and enhancing the natural, heritage and cultural resources. They have a mission statement: ”That tourism will significantly contribute to the continued improvement of quality of life in Anguilla whilst promoting the country’s cultural and natural heritage.”

They have outlined many key propositions to commend the development of the tourism sector they. The fundamental mechanism to achieve this wider objective of obtaining sustainable benefits is by increasing tourism revenue. Without an increase in revenue it has not a possibility of improving community benefits from tourism. To increase tourism revenue there must either be more visitors, increased per capita spending by visitors or some combination of these things. There are nine strategic initiatives to deal with the subjects confronting the tourism sector of Anguilla: ”increased and more effective marketing, improved air and sea access, better sector management, upgrade service standards, enhance; enrich and diversify the product, reorganize institutional arrangements, improve physical and environmental planning, preserve and protect the natural environment and finally better integration with community and economy.”

Without a planning, it is difficult to realize objectives. So they have planned several concepts that are applied to the future development of tourism in Anguilla. The first are TDA’s, areas where are tourist attractions, accommodations, tourist facilities and services. The second concept is ‘Tourism Centre’s’. Generally it is desirable to design or establish a tourism Centre for tourists, so they can provide a concentration of facilities, services and information. Another thing is that various attractions can be clustered in one area, so that tourists are induced to stay longer, as well as making it more convenient for travel organizers. This clustering may be applied to the areas of Island Harbour and East End Village. Furthermore, dispersed versus concentrated development is a significant facet. Currently, most of the island’s accommodation and restaurant facilities is located in the West End. It is important that this is also in the East End. The argument for not having accommodation and restaurants in the East End, was that Anguillans living in East End feel ‘marginalized’ from the tourism industry and are not benefiting as much as those in the Central and West End areas. But there are two counter-arguments. The first is the need to maintain and strengthen the ‘core values’ of Anguilla and the second is that the development of tourism facilities and attractions is private sector driven. According to this, it is an opportunity to developed resorts in the East End. Finally, the last concept is ‘The Off-Shore Islands’. It is a desire to see the strengthening and enforcement of existing legislation for the surrounded waters and most of the islands which are protected areas. But they do not want to recommend any further tourism related development.

Finally, based on the assessment of the spatial distribution of tourism resources and facilities, product / market match potential, concentration / consolidation of development and quality of infrastructure, they have recommended a development concept which designates three Tourism Development Areas. Each with an obvious character reflecting its future development path. For each TDA, an Action Plan will be arranged, the objectives of which are to: ”protect and strengthen the existing product, improve landscape and town/village scope features, improve overall visitor experience and indicate the limits of development.”
It will be arranged as appropriate.

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