Grenada National Trust selected to lead Caribbean in engaging communities
and the public in sustainable heritage tourism
“A Project of the Culture & Tourism Section, Department of Economic and
Social Development, Organization of American States.”
The Grenada National Trust (GNT) have been awarded a project of major importance to Grenada and regional member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS). The goal of the two year project is to encourage sustainable heritage entrepreneurship through the endorsement of local tourism products and services that safeguard heritage resources and communicate their value to all audiences.
The project is one part of a larger OAS project titled ‘Expanding the Socio-economic Potential of Cultural Heritage in the Caribbean’. The specific project component that has been awarded to the GNT is ‘A Regional Model for Engaging the Public in Sustainable Heritage Tourism’.
Whilst, the project will be hosted by the Grenada National Trust, it will be overseen on behalf of the OAS by the technical coordinators, Neil Silberman and Angela Labrador of Coherit Associates, who both visited Grenada for several days earlier this month, to familiarise themselves with the environment, project delivery team and key heritage stakeholders. They received a very warm welcome from all involved.
Quoting from a letter written by Mr. Aaron Francois, Permanent Secretary for Culture, on behalf of the Hon. Brenda Hood, Minister of Culture to Mr. Richard Campbell, OAS, Chief of Culture and Tourism, he said the following:
“The minister is pleased to welcome Coherit Associates who will work with the local implementing partner the Grenada National Trust to carry out the goals of the project between January 2015 and January 2017. We are fully supportive of this project that seeks to increase the participation of cultural practitioners and heritage based firms by offering better access to the tourism market for products that meet locally-approved standards of authenticity and sustainability. It will also benefit domestic and international visitors by making available a wider variety of heritage products and services that embody the distinctive culture and traditions of the destination.”
In response the Coherit Associates had this to say:
“We’re delighted that Grenada has been chosen as the site of this important project,” noted Labrador, a specialist in community-based heritage programming. “The culture is so rich and there is so much untapped potential for people from all walks of life and all parts of the country to benefit.”
Silberman, a heritage expert who has worked in the US, Europe, and the Middle East, was overwhelmed by the local response to the project. “The Culture Ministry, the Grenada Tourism Authority, and, of course the Grenada National Trust, have been enthusiastic about the impact that Sustainable Heritage Tourism can have on Grenada’s economy and cultural identity. Along with the specialists and students from SGU, we really have a ‘dream team’ to make this project a great success and a model for the entire Caribbean region.”
“Grenada is in a perfect position to become a world leader in this new vision of cultural heritage. The places, traditions, and stories from the past belong to everyone. And everyone here– not only the experts– has a story to tell,” Silberman observed.
Neil Silberman and Angela Labrador will return to Grenada, on 6th April 2015 to take part in the official press conference that will kickstart the implementation stage and also commence training for specific members of the project delivery team.
Darryl Brathwaite, President of the Grenada National Trust stated that
“It was truly uplifting to finally give heritage a platform within Caribbean culture. Raising the profile of heritage in new and innovative ways is going to be a challenge, but one we at the GNT will embrace enthusiastically for the benefit of our beautiful and valuable islands.”