Public-Private Partnerships for
San Salvador, September 29th – 30th, 2011
The Challenge of Sustainable Tourism
• Developing and maintaining a sustainable
tourism industry has always been a challenge
• Over the past decade, however, the challenge
has grown, due to:
– Heightened competition from new and emerging
destinations in an increasingly global market
– Changing market demand and preferences
– New and rapidly changing technologies
Growing Emphasis on
• Creating sustainable national or regional
tourism programs in today’s larger and more
complex marketplace requires greater
investment of financial and human resources
• Faced with the finite availability of these
resources in the public sector, and recognizing
the assets and expertise available in the
private sector, governments have turned to
Types of Partnership Opportunities
• Marketing and Promotion
• Product Development
– Infrastructure development/renewal
– Attraction development/renewal/diversification
– Enhanced productivity and service
– Community development/renewal
– Cultural and heritage protection
– Environmental protection/enhancement
Types of Partners
• Partnerships create opportunities for private
sector enterprises of all sizes, and for NGOs,
throughout the tourism value chain
• Large infrastructure PPPs will be awarded to
large contractors, but MSMEs typically
participate as subcontractors, and benefit
from the project outcomes.
• Other partnership models may offer greater
scope for MSME direct participation.
Chumbe Island EcoTourism PPP, Tanzania
• Chumbe, off the coast of Zanzibar, was an uninhabited, 55-
acre island, with only a single structure, an old lighthouse.
• An infestation of non-native rats was ravaging the island’s
ecosystems, while overfishing was damaging the adjacent
• An NGO approached the Government with a concept for a
• Under this concept, the Government granted the NGO long-
term concessions for both the island and the reef, and banned
fishing in the vicinity of the reef.
• The NGO made all the capital investments necessary to turn
the island into an ecotourism destination, and restore the reef
and island environments.
Chumbe Island Ecotourism PPP, Tanzania
• The NGO hired displaced fishermen to patrol the
no-fishing zone, and trained local villages to
understand the value of healthy reefs.
• The NGO exterminated the invasive rat
population, and helped the native flora and fauna
• The NGO built environmentally-friendly
bungalows, and a visitor and science center.
• Today, the PPP is entirely self-sustaining, with
operating revenues covering all operating
expenses and environmental programs.
Union Station, Washington, DC
• Union Station was the largest train station in the
world when it opened in 1907.
• By the 1970s, declining rail passenger traffic led
to its closing; the unmaintained structure was
ultimately condemned and slated for demolition.
• In 1981, the U.S. Congress passed the Union
Station Redevelopment Act, authorizing the use
of a PPP to restore the Station.
• The success of the redevelopment effort would
depend on creating a revenue stream capable of
sustaining the Station.
Union Station: The Keys to Success
• The redevelopment plan had two foci:
- Creating a multi-modal transportation hub, and
- Generating retail revenue.
• To improve access and encourage through-traffic,
the redevelopment included:
- A multi-deck public parking garage (total capacity in
excess of 2,000 spaces)
- A tour bus area capable of accommodating 80 buses,
- A rail service waiting area.
Union Station: The Retail Space
• More than 120 stores,
restaurants, and cafes, and a
nine-screen cinema were
constructed, totaling 210,000
square feet of retail space.
• The old baggage handling area in
the basement was converted
into a food court.
• 100,000 square feet of office
space was built, and leased by
Amtrak for its national
• PPPs can be a powerful tool for tourism product development and
enhancement, as well as for research, marketing, and promotion.
• The strategic use of partnerships can contribute significantly to the
development of a sustainable tourism program, and PPPs can be a vital
tool for facilitating tourist access and improving the destination
• PPPs for sustainable tourism encompass a variety of different models,
from simple social collaborations designed to improve the tourism
experience, to major infrastructure and project development projects. As
the capital investment required for the partnership increases, so does the
need for a formal enabling environment.
• The maximum benefit can be obtained from PPPs that support the
national or regional tourism strategy, and contribute to tourism cluster
development. Governments should carefully evaluate partnership
opportunities to ensure that the anticipated outcomes will support the
public sector’s sectoral objectives in a sustainable manner.