Diana McIntyre-Pike, Founder and president, Countrystyle Community Tourism Network and Villages as Businesses (CCTN/VAB) headquartered in Jamaica, is building on the recent induction (August 2016) into the Hall of Fame of the African Diaspora World Tourism for her contribution to Cultural Heritage. CCTN/VAB has made its foray into Africa through its connections with South Africa and has established Africa Community Tourism Network together with the IIPT International Community Tourism Network to tap into the growing desire worldwide for cultural exchange and vacation programmes.
The Africa Community Tourism Network, is a joint partnership with a distinguished team headed by Solomon A. Mruka, Coordinator and Nikki DePina, Asst. Coordinator. Working together with the Africa Community Tourism Network, the team will roll out a strategic plan for 2017 which is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the IIPT’s 30th Anniversary. The Network will support the development of Community Tourism in Africa and encourage study tours & vacations to discover African cultural heritage, which is endorsed by The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). It will encourage African nations to make linkages with other countries where their heritage exists.
Rev. Solomon Mruka, Coordinator of the Africa Community Tourism Network, based in Kenya, is
an Anglican priest, a PhD candidate, partner of Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses and member of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT). He lectures in Development Studies, Policy Analysis and Design, Social Ethics and Integrity, and Changes in Rural Societies at JOOUST, a Kenyan public university. He was amongst the presenters at the 25th World International Institute of Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Symposium in South Africa, 2015, at the Educators Forum. Rev. Mruka said “Let us endeavor to begin our respective duties and appropriately link up and consult one another for the successful growth of Africa’s tourism and peace.”
Nikki de Pinah is a partner of Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses, based in South Africa and is a member of IIPT. She is an ardent advocate for social justice, committed to transformation through creating platforms aimed at nonviolence and an end to conflict. Her numerous accomplishments include being placed as key facilitator to support transformation processes within high profile corporate entities in South Africa. Her extensive work experience spanning 30 years, has been in the field of public relations, organizational development, project management, training & networking and group facilitation.
Three African leaders have been appointed to be representatives for the Africa Community Tourism Network: Ritah Aligum of Uganda; Cyprien Semushi of Rwanda and Ana Constancia David of Mozambique. In addition, from the UK, newly appointed Director of International Diaspora Relations for CCTN/VAB, sent his regards in this statement “I am delighted to welcome the Africa Community Tourism Network and build relationships across our Diaspora communities within UK, USA and Canada”.
Founder/President of the CCTN/VAB and Coordinator of the IIPT International Community Tourism Network, Diana McIntyre-Pike said “the formation of the Africa Community Tourism Network will assist with the empowerment of communities to become entrepreneurs through the Academy for Community Tourism (ACT) to enable them to realise their potential within their own environment.”
IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore expressed “We are delighted to see the mission of IIPT assisting communities in Africa with their socio-economic development and the message of “Peace through Tourism” being expressed through the growing number of communities being dedicated as IIPT/Skal Towns and Villages of Peace.”
We congratulate Diana McIntyre-Pike on her induction in the African Diaspora Hall Of Fame for her contribution to Heritage Tourism. See attached for more details.
When it was not fashionable to promote community tourism Diana was the lone voice in the wilderness crying out for the powers at be to give this are some focus. She showed considerable vision. At times she must have felt like giving up … yet she persisted.
We salute you Diana McIntyre-Pike for your vision, fortitude and belief in your heart’s desire … it has reaped dividends.
Commentary by Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.