Building a better tourism industry
November 25, 2004

Building a better tourism industry

The Small Tourism Enterprises Project (STEP) was started in 1998 by the OAS to create policy, technical, financial and marketing support services for Caribbean small tourism enterprises. USAID joined the project as a major partner, with strong support provided by CIDA’s Caribbean Project for Economic Competitive-ness (CPEC), International Finance Corporation, Net-corps Americas and Netcorps Canada, Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism and others. {{more}}

The project provides assistance to this identified sector in the following areas:


Operating since 1999, this programme has been helping small hotels with technology and providing internet-based training material.

Basic Computer Training

Volunteers from Netcorps have worked with the staff of small tourism enterprises to build websites, helped with hotel reservations and accounting systems, answered questions and resolved computer-related problems.

This is a website specifically for small hoteliers throughout the region. It serves as a virtual walk-in centre with:

·a resource library;

·links to demonstration software for small hotels;

and links to other small tourism enterprises sites and

information on the internet.

Training and Certification

This programme helps small hoteliers access training, and provides “how to” information and examples of best practices.

In 2001, STEP secured a licence agreement with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute to adapt and deliver its “Skills for Success” training series in the Caribbean region. Hotel staff and others seeking careers in the hospitality industry in their respective countries or abroad can be certified in the following areas through the “Skills for Success” programme:

· Restaurant server, banquet server, kitchen steward, bartender, front desk representative, reservationist, room service attendant, public space cleaner.

Coaches & Specialist Volunteers

This programme uses a combination of coaches and volunteers to provide advice to small tourism enterprises. The volunteer programme, utilizing the Netcorps Canada and Americas and Canadian Executive Services Overseas (CESO), together with full-time coaches, provides advice, helps solve problems, conducts on-site training sessions and guides owners/operators to other sources of expertise and information.

Operations & Management Toolkits

This series of information booklets describes effective ways of successfully undertaking and completing key management tasks. Toolkits cover issues relating to marketing, environment, housekeeping, maintenance and attractions.


This programme helps small tourism enterprises save money, reduce environmental impacts of their operations, and gain a greater share of the growing nature and cultural heritage tourism market.