The UWI Open Campus Signs New MOU with Countrystyle
Community Tourism Network
Office of the Principal, Kingston, Jamaica. Friday, May 22, 2020 — The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus and the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network (CCTN) signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate advancement in community tourism. The agreement represents the second collaboration between both organisations and was signed by the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus, Dr Luz Longsworth, and the President of Countrystyle Community Tourism Network (CCTN), Mrs Diana McIntyre-Pike. Similar to the previous agreement, the collaboration will be in effect for a period of two years with considerations for renewal.
Given the success of the previous partnership, it was envisioned that a renewed agreement would again reap mutual benefits by facilitating programmes aimed at realising the full potential of persons in the community tourism industry. The partnership is also expected to advance community tourism as both a recognized academic discipline and an effective tool for holistic, equitable and sustainable development. Both parties will work together to implement joint programmes and projects that will focus on capacity building, organisational development and technical assistance aimed at harnessing experiences and resources.
In emphasising the importance of this renewed partnership with CCTN, Dr Longsworth indicated that “moreso now than ever as Jamaica and the region struggles with rebuilding the tourism industry in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this collaboration with CCTN is vital to bringing together academia with our communities in foregrounding the role of community tourism in this recovery”
Mrs McIntyre-Pike in commenting on the great potential of the renewed partnership stated, “Our Villages as Businesses members understand how important mindset, leadership, collaboration, imagination and new skills are to building community resilience. This has never been truer than now during this pandemic. We will work together to make this collaboration work around Jamaica and the wider Caribbean through education and training for a diverse tourism experience.”
The Open Campus and the CCTN will operationalise this agreement with the offer of a Webinar Series themed Navigating the Pandemic: Reinventing the Business of Tourism. This series consist of three Webinars with the first scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 28, 2020 and entitled Leading in Times of Chaos. Information on this Webinar can be found at https://cutt.ly/cyQA4ro. The Webinar Series will address how the businesses, individuals and communities can deal with the pressures imposed by COVID-19 and the changes it will bring in its wake.
Photo 1: Dr Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The UWI Open Campus
Photo 2: Mrs Diana McIntyre-Pike, President, Countrystyle Community Tourism Network
About Countrystyle Community Network
Countrystyle’s vision is to see communities as destinations and community tourism as the vehicle for sustainable development and prosperity through its Villages as Businesses programme with the support of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Caribbean. In a heavily tourism-dependent region in the world, every community and citizen is a potential business partner to be trained in hospitality skills, entrepreneurship, environmental awareness, product development and marketing. But to become an effective partner, every community and every citizen needs to understand how to value their natural, cultural, heritage and human assets and add value to them through conservation, creativity, education and collaborative management.
The Mission Statement for the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses (CCTN/VAB) is to support the development of community tourism in Jamaica, the Caribbean and internationally while educating all stakeholders of its importance to the cause of peace, poverty alleviation and sustainable development and to offer local and foreign visitors diverse ‘community experience’ vacations and tours.
The Academy for Community Tourism (ACT) is: “Develop future hospitality leaders through education and practical training while fostering goodwill and friendship.”
About The UWI
For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport.
As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019.The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. For more, visit www.uwi.edu.
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)