United States of America – US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Geographical focus: 
Thematic focus: 
Tourism in general
Social inclusion and Poverty reduction in Tourism
Intro text: 
USAID’s mission statement highlights two complementary and intrinsically linked goals: ending extreme poverty and promoting the development of resilient, democratic societies that are able to realize their potential. For the agency, ending extreme poverty requires enabling inclusive, sustainable growth; promoting free, peaceful, and self-reliant societies with effective, legitimate governments; building human capital and creating social safety nets that reach the poorest and most vulnerable.

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Objectives and activities

USAID partners to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity.

“Sustainable Tourism” is a sub-sector under Environment and Global Climate Change. USAID has increasingly incorporated tourism into its development activities to:

-         Reduce poverty through market responsive enterprise development and sharing of profits within communities;

-         Provide higher education and economic opportunity through the training and capacity-building that accompany tourism development;

-         Promote gender equality by involving women in tourism activities, providing them with access to credit and training, and supporting women-owned businesses;

-         Ensure environmental sustainability and the vitality of the resource base on which tourism depends; and

-         Develop global partnerships by collaborating with developing countries, other donor agencies and private partners in development activities.

With USAID Assistance:

-         In Brazil, community forest enterprise management was strengthened and a regulatory framework created to improve sustainable tourism, leading to reduced deforestation in protected areas in the Amazon.

-         In Tanzania, Mozambique, and Rwanda numerous parks and reserves were supported with new infrastructure development, monitoring, and law enforcement training, as well as new networks of nature conservancies created in Namibia and Kenya to support community-based sustainable tourism.

-         In the Dominican Republic, expertise and funding for climate change adaptation efforts will reduce the impacts of weather-related disasters on important tourism zones, such as storm surges and beach erosion in coastal areas and landslides and seasonal flooding in watersheds.

-         In the Philippines, new eco-lodges, dive destinations, and other tourism-related businesses are practicing improved fisheries management and protecting important coastal and marine resources.

Type and level of funding

USAID partners with organizations through one of three award types:

-         Contracts (Acquisition): Direct purchase of goods or services by the federal government.

-         Grants (Assistance): Transfer of funds to another party for the implementation of programs that contribute to the public good and further the objectives of the Foreign Assistance Act.

-         Cooperative Agreement (Assistance): Similar to a grant, but with substantial involvement from USAID.

The type of award depends on the type of work, purpose of the funding, and nature of the relationship between the Agency and the implementing partner. Private Voluntary Organizations (commonly referred to as non-profit, non-governmental or civil society organizations) have separate registration requirements.