Tourism and Development in Caribbean-EU Relations How to bridge the gap between policy intentions and practice?

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Geert Laporte, ECDPM,

Geert Laporte, ECDPM,

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  • These are only SOME of the effects of the EPA, too broad to list them all in detail here. Competition clause: Will work towards a more competitive tourism industry by protecting smaller and downstream (Caribbean) tourism businesses from potential un-competitive practices by EU firms. EU tour operators can be brought to court for abuse of dominant position. Development support commitments: very specific and useful, but have to be realized! (In the hands of the Regional Preparatory Task Force: Will it push for them?).
  • These are only SOME of the effects of the EPA, too broad to list them all in detail here. Competition clause: Will work towards a more competitive tourism industry by protecting smaller and downstream (Caribbean) tourism businesses from potential un-competitive practices by EU firms. EU tour operators can be brought to court for abuse of dominant position. Development support commitments: very specific and useful, but have to be realized! (In the hands of the Regional Preparatory Task Force: Will it push for them?).

Transcript

  • 1. Annual Caribbean Tourism Summit Tourism and Development in Caribbean-EU Relations How to bridge the gap between policy intentions and practice?
    • Geert Laporte, Deputy Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management
  • 2.
    • Independent foundation created in 1986
    • General aim : to promote development and improve relations between the European Union and the countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP)
    • Board of Governors: European and ACP nationals with Chair from the Caribbean
    • Current capacity: s taff + 50; 17 nationalities; offices in Maastricht (NL) and Brussels (B)
    What is ECDPM? Page
  • 3.
    • Non partisan facilitator of dialogue between different stakeholders (ACP and EU, public and private, national and regional, etc)
    • Focus on Policy relevant analysis
    • Capacity development through strategic partnerships and networks in the ACP
    • Finding practical solutions for a better implementation of policies
    Roles and specificity ECDPM Page
  • 4.
    • Modest in-house expertise on tourism sector
    • BUT
    • Some past experiences (1990s–2000s) : inputs on public-private sector management of EU-Caribbean tourism programmes (Havana, Montego Bay,…)
    • Trying to find answers on some critical questions relating to strategic focus EU:
    ECDPM and Tourism (1) Page
  • 5.
    • 1. Do EU policies reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable populations?
    • 2. Do EU policies contribute to sustainable development?
    • 3. How can the EU better promote private sector as an engine of growth and development?
    • 4. How to address issues of incoherence in EU development and trade policies?
    ECDPM and Tourism (2) Page
  • 6.
    • Major economic weight of the industry: 10% of total employment, 12% of GDP, 18% of exports, etc
    • Alternative for preference erosion of traditional agricultural exports.
    • Great potential for building service based economy in the Caribbean and for linkages with other sectors
    Potential of Tourism for Development Page
  • 7.
    • Green Paper on EU Development Policy in Support of Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’’: Focus on equitable growth and private sector + climate change & renewable energy, agriculture and food security
    • The EPA : major potential gains for the tourism sector (access to EU market-place, cheaper imports from tariff liberalisation, competition clause, development support commitments)
    EU and EU-Caribbean policy frameworks: Where does tourism fit? (1) Page
  • 8.
    • Joint Caribbean-EU Strategy : “promotion of sustainable development through increased support to tourism industry’’ “enhance niche exports such as eco-tourism’’ etc
    • RIPs and NIPs with private-sector support orientation
    EU and EU-Caribbean policy frameworks: Where does tourism fit? (2) Page
  • 9.
    • Are “inclusive” economic growth objectives translated into effective poverty reduction?
    • No automatic causal relationship
    • Growth GDP and booming tourism industry can hide socio-economic reality and environmental impact
    • 2.If private sector is crucial in EU dev pol why is so little attention paid to tourism?
    • Few RIP and NIP tourism support programmes
    • Neglect is also responsibility of Caribbean governments
    • Regulatory EU policies constrain EPA benefits (Travel package directive, Visa requirements, Carbon tax).
    Gap between policy and practice (1) Page
  • 10.
    • 3.Is the EU/EC well equipped to deal with private sector?
    • EDF procedures are complex and not very private sector friendly
    • Difficult public-private dialogue in Caribbean (mistrust)
    • 4.How coherent are EU development and trade policies?
    • Regulatory barriers may hold back potential EPA benefits (Package Travel Directive, Visa requirements and procedures, UK Air passenger Duty)
    Gap between policy and practice(2) Page
  • 11.
    • Clearly show that poor and vulnerable populations will benefit from tourism development (accompany economic growth by effective domestic poverty reduction programmes, promote social protection schemes reform of tax policies,…)
    • Emphasize principles of ecological and sustainable development (e.g. promote environmental policies, eco-tourism…)
    • Promote primarily SMEs (more links to local industry, more value added to the region,…)
    The way forward: what could be done now? (1) Page
  • 12.
    • Widen economic base of the industry by systematically strengthening linkages with others sectors (e.g. agriculture, other services,…)
    • Address EU policy incoherence (remove regulatory obstacles including hassle to get EU visa, different policies in different EU member states,…)
    • Address policy incoherence at Caribbean governmental level (e.g. give greater priority to tourism in NIPs/RIPs, pass national competition legislation,…)
    The way forward: what could be done now? (2) Page
  • 13.
    • Private sector in tourism should also put its act together (think globally beyond donor money as easy source of funding, develop capacity to lobby at national and regional levels and in Brussels, make sure tourism industry is represented in EPA Consultative Committee,…)
    • Agree on clear public-private role division tourism in the design, programming management and implementation of tourism programmes on the basis of comparative advantage (example of rum sector).
    The way forward: what could be done now? (3) Page
  • 14.
    • Improve access to funds for trade-related support (e.g from 10 th EDF NIP and RIP’s, bilateral aid, etc
    • Regularly evaluate the impact of EU policies and actions on Caribbean tourism (e.g. appraisal of all policy areas that have an impact on tourism, by EU high level PCD unit –to be created)
    The way forward: what could be done now? (3) Page
  • 15.
    • Thank you!
    • www.ecdpm.org
    Page