Strengthening Value Chains: Tourism
In the tourism sector, REG seeks to improve service delivery in the tourism sector, create diverse regional products that can be marketed on a regional platform and generate increased international awareness and demand, and move into higher value added tourism segments, such as sustainable tourism - specialized eco, adventure, food/wine, cultural, historical, etc.
REG works to enrich the product offering of the region and create new regional products through: Support to tourism providers to combine multi-country travel packages, including accommodations, transportation, dining, experiences, and adventure activities. REG also works to promote those products through events and FAM tours, and leveraging IT tools for marketing as appropriate.
At the same time, REG strives to improve service delivery by building workforce skills through international standards and certification programs including: The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) training and certifications for hotel personnel; and The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) training and certification. Improved service quality is also sought through certification programs for guides, hotels, restaurants, etc., using prior USAID initiatives that are demand driven (such as Quality Mark (QM) Albania) and Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC).
REG works in partnership (for direct or indirect support and funding) with all bilateral USAID projects working in tourism, to bring value-added support and activities to their work, but also work with countries that have no existing projects dealing with tourism to fill the gap. In addition, REG continuously seeks opportunities for partnership with other donors and the private sector where possible. In all activities, REG assists regional projects and business in the tourism sector to track and apply for EU funding.
Current Work: REG is working on developing 5 new products for the Western Balkans region. REG also organized trainings in Serbia with AHLEI