ST. MICHAEL, BARBADOS – September 4, 2014 – Seven destinations in the Caribbean & Central America region will receive support to enhance the long-term viability of their tourism sectors. Today, the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA) announced its first seven destination partners: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua.
This announcement was made during the Organization of American States’ 22nd Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism in Barbados.
“Sustainable tourism development is considered a driving force for development of the local economy and well-being of Nicaraguan families, as well as for raising awareness of the importance of protection of natural and cultural heritage,” said Mayra Salinas, Executive President of the Nicaragua Institute of Tourism. “We are confident that this initiative will help us to strengthen public-private partnerships for shared and improved management of the destination.”
Destination partners will receive support in the form of a Sustainable Destination Toolkit, which was developed by alliance implementation partner and convener Sustainable Travel International. According to an official statement by the SDAA, this program aims to enrich the lives of the people in these destinations and to protect the region for many generations to come.
The Toolkit includes a destination assessment, an action agenda with short and long term solutions, online training courses for capacity building, a destination monitoring system to ensure on-going success, and marketing support.
Funding for the Toolkit is provided by two founding SDAA partners, the United States Government through the United States Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. through its Ocean Fund.
“The Bahamas’ participation in the initiative is important because tourism alone provides an estimated 60 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and employs about half the Bahamian work force. Additionally, approximately five million tourists arrive annually at the Port of Nassau,” shared Joy Jibrilu, Director General at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. “Whatever we can do to improve, grow, and ultimately sustain the Port in a responsible way, will benefit everyone, including visitors, cruise lines, and Bahamians.”
The SDAA, which launched earlier this year, is the largest-scale effort to date through which public and private entities have united to focus on destination sustainability in the Americas.
The full list of SDAA partners include the Organization of American States, Caribbean Tourism Organization, Central American Tourism Integration Secretariat, global NGO Sustainable Travel International, leading cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and the United States Government through the United States Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States.
For more information, please visit www.sustainabletravel.org/SDAA
About Sustainable Destination Alliance for the Americas (SDAA)
The Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA) is the first-ever large-scale multi-sector initiative for sustainable tourism destinations in the Caribbean and Latin American regions. The initiative aims to improve the way tourism is managed and to enhance the global competitiveness of the region, by embedding sustainability into the day-to-day management and marketing of destinations throughout the region. www.sustainabletravel.org/SDAA
About the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and offices in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of over 30 countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean. Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology. In addition the CTO, in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, jointly and equally owns the Caribbean Tourism Development Company, a marketing and business development entity dedicated to promoting the Caribbean brand worldwide.
About the Central American Tourism Integration Secretariat (SITCA)
The Central American Tourism Integration Secretariat (SITCA), with headquarters in Managua, Nicaragua, is the permanent office of the Central American Tourism Council which is formed by the Ministers or National Tourism Authorities of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic. SITCA provides management and technical support for the implementation of the resolutions of the Council and the achievement of integration programs and sustainable development of tourism in Central America and Dominican Republic.
About the Organization of American States (OAS)
The Organization of American States is the world’s oldest regional organization, dating back to the First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C., from October 1889 to April 1890. That meeting approved the establishment of the International Union of American Republics, and the stage was set for the weaving of a web of provisions and institutions that came to be known as the inter-American system, the oldest international institutional system. The Organization was established in order to achieve among its member states—as stipulated in Article 1 of the Charter—”an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.” Today, the OAS brings together all 35 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical, and social governmental forum in the Hemisphere. In addition, it has granted permanent observer status to 67 states, as well as to the European Union (EU). The Organization uses a four-pronged approach to effectively implement its essential purposes, based on its main pillars: democracy, human rights, security, and development.