“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

Tourism is a business, and its success depends on the expert management of its business systems (ManOBiz), which encompass Ideation, Security, Marketing, Operations and Human Resource Development (HRD).

Holistic formal and interactive training increases productivity, engagement, and work satisfaction, improves skills and morale, strengthens weakness, reduces supervision, minimizes accidents and maximizes performance. It is paramount for the sustainable development of the industry.

Over the years, I have been fortunate to witness the Caribbean region’s commitment to sustainable development in the tourism sector. Recently, a notable initiative has emerged, one that holds great promise for the future of Caribbean tourism: Sustainable Development Training.

The first step toward sustainable development in the tourism sector is innovative thinking. The High Impact Growth Strategy (HIGS) innovative interactive workshops, where creative sparks fly, were introduced throughout the region when I was a consultant at the Caribbean Development Bank at the turn of the century.

From a blank sheet of paper over two days, groups of industry professionals identified opportunities for growth and diversification. This process can be repeated today, focusing on generating Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneurship tourism industry ideas for the economic gearing system’s two smaller wheels (infrastructural development and job creation).

Security in the tourism sector goes beyond physical safety. It also involves financial stability. Bank loans are the traditional financial instruments offered to Intrapreneurs and Entrepreneurs to fund their enterprises. Still, we all know that the first questions the bank asks of the startup are “What collateral can you offer as security for the loan?” and “What is your income stream?”. Often, startups do not have hard assets or income to offer as security. The enterprise is, therefore, dead in the water. Intrapreneurs are better off than entrepreneurs because they have the backing of an established company within which their ideas may grow.

A private sector equity fund may be substituted for the bank loan, where the government may incentivize the private sector to establish such a fund with Shepherding as collateral. The construct of this equity fund concept is well established. By ensuring a secure environment for investment, we can foster the long-term growth of our tourism sector.

Marketing is the lifeblood of the tourism industry. The Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) has emerged as a powerful tool for showcasing the region’s unique offerings. These symposia bring together young and experienced international media professionals, influencers, and industry experts to create compelling narratives that capture the essence of Caribbean destinations. The resuscitation of these CMEx events can help recreate the buzz we experienced since its inception in 2001.

The Economic Gearing System optimizes resource allocation, ensuring businesses operate efficiently and sustainably. Additionally, fostering a culture of intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship within the industry encourages employees and entrepreneurs to think creatively, identify opportunities, and drive innovation. This enterprise development spirit is essential for the continuous improvement of tourism operations.

Sustainable tourism fundamentally relies on Human Resource Development (HRD) at every level. The Shepherding Squad, a dynamic mentorship initiative led by experienced business professionals giving back to society, provides invaluable life skills and business guidance to young professionals and entrepreneurs within the sector. This program not only helps retain talent within the industry but also ensures a transfer of knowledge and experience from seasoned experts to the next generation.

Training the team is equally crucial, as well-trained and motivated employees are essential for providing high-quality service and ensuring guest satisfaction. The squad interacts with the intrapreneur and entrepreneur in a brainstorming environment for an unforgettable experience.

With these various aspects of training, formal and interactive, the Caribbean can emerge as a global leader in sustainable tourism.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is basilgf@marketplaceexcellence.com. His columns may be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com/basil-springer-column/ and on www.facebook.com/basilgf).