FUTURE-TOURISM: Rethinking Tourism and MSMEs in times of COVID-19
WHAT IS THE FUT-TOURISM INITIATIVE?
The “FUT-Tourism: Rethinking Tourism and MSMEs in times of COVID-19” project aims to
technically and financially support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that are directly or indirectly linked to the tourism sector or have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With gender equality and empowerment of women at its core, the proposal seeks to promote economic diversification, job creation and resilience with the “Blue Economy for Green Islands” approach in the tourism sector thereby boosting recovery and supporting the digitally enabled transformation of the business
processes and value chains of MSMEs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity to rethink and reinvent the tourism sector and how MSMEs operate in order to reduce dependencies. FUT-Tourism aims to become an out-of-the-box platform that serves to assist governments, regional partners and key stakeholders as well as MSMEs to “Build Forward Better” in the COVID-19 context.
FUT-TOURISM: THE CORE ELEMENTS
Investing UNDP core resources, the project encompasses three main outcomes namely:
1. Regional dialogue and Policy solutions for the tourism sector enhanced through sub-regional and national diagnostics using consultative and participatory approaches:
This output seeks to develop or enhance country-specific diagnostics in at least 5 countries or territories, and one sub-regional analysis for the Eastern Caribbean. This output will bring together governments, regional organisations, big tour operators and anchor companies with MSMEs and other relevant stakeholders. Consultations will provide data and compile information on the current situation, existing policies, ongoing efforts, needs, trends, scenarios and opportunities that could have a catalytic impact on the sector.
2. Technical support for MSME retooling and access to markets within tourism value chains:
Focuses on the development of environmentally sustainable value chains with an inclusive business approach where MSMEs, women-owned businesses, producers’ associations and cooperatives that operate either as
suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and/or commercial channels receive the support required to adapt to the new market conditions.
3. Financial assistance for the economic recovery of MSMEs affected by the impact of COVID-19:
FUT-Tourism will provide grants to MSMEs to facilitate strategic investments and to further support resilience recovery from the impact of COVID-19. This may include investments to repurpose production facilities to manufacture high demand goods and services related to the tourism industry and/or transition from an in-person, physical interaction business model to a virtual and online one.
WHO ARE THE BENEFICIARIES?
The project aims to reach ten countries and territories in the Eastern Caribbean namely Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
PROJECT DURATION AND BUDGET
US$ 1.5 million over an 18-month period (January 2021 to June 2022).