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Orocovis: Local Destination Management Plan

RESEARCH OVERVIEW:

In February 2017, Foundation for Puerto Rico published a research paper on Destination Management that analyzed the different elements that comprise a destination, and the different governing structures to manage it. Most importantly, the paper made some critical observations about the challenges within each element in Puerto Rico and recommended a management framework to develop the destination.  During that time, FPR urged national stakeholders to begin a destination planning exercise using the framework suggested by FPR. As a result of these efforts, several key stakeholders joined a coalition with FPR, to work on a national destination plan for Puerto Rico.

As it relates to Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative, FPR wanted to apply the recommended national framework at a community level. Thus, the FPR program design team adopted concepts from various traditional destination planning models, community-based planning initiatives in Puerto Rico and asset-based development programs around the world. The result was a customized proprietary framework that could work in communities in Puerto Rico.

This Local Destination Management Plan convey a statement of purpose shared and agreed upon by a group of key stakeholders in the community. The Plan seeks to define the ways to develop the destination over a given period. It also describes the roles and concrete actions to be carried out by the local key stakeholders in the short-term to increase tourism activity sustainably, in line with the vision adopted by community residents themselves.

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS:

The following are some of the benefits and findings of co-designing a local destination management plan:

  • Promotes that residents themselves, and not external agents, develop and manage their community as a destination, capitalizing on existing assets.

  • Encourages residents to value their assets and commits them to manage them responsibly.

  • Helps establish strategies that serve as a guide for local governance among the different stakeholders of the community.

  • Facilitates the incorporation and participation of the community in other tourism projects and efforts at the state and regional level.

  • Enables the development of a local, multisectoral and sustainable governance model, strengthening the social capital and its capacities to strengthen economic community development.

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