BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (7 March, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has added a new category to its 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards. The Agro-Tourism Award was developed to reflect the CTO Year of Adventure and as part of the ongoing partnership between the CTO and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), where collaborative efforts have been ongoing to advance the integration of agriculture and tourism.
“When a tourist goes on a farm or community tour, or eats our signature foods prepared by local chefs, everyone benefits. Land remains in agriculture, farm incomes increase, business and employment opportunities are created, the environment is preserved, and the nation’s health and food security status are improved,” notes Ena Harvey, IICA representative in Barbados. “This is what sustainable livelihoods are all about, and can be achieved in great measure through agro-tourism linkages,” she added.
The Agro-Tourism Award is open to any group, organization, tourism business or attraction that offers an agro-tourism product, which incorporates the elements of food production, culinary output and visitor experiences. Applicants should demonstrate how they have successfully achieved sustainable linkages between agriculture and the tourism industry, which promotes the sharing and preservation of local agriculture and culinary heritage.
“Agro-tourism in the Caribbean is an important and growing niche, which in turn supports expansion in agriculture, promotes our rich culinary heritage, and contributes to generating sustainable livelihoods for local host communities,” said Amanda Charles, the CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist. “In the context of the long-standing partnership with IICA, the CTO is pleased to add the agro-tourism category to its 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards, and commends IICA for sponsoring this initiative.”
Applicants for the CTO Sustainable Tourism Awards may apply in the following categories:
- Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award
- Destination Stewardship Award
- Sustainable Accommodation Award
- Community Benefit Award
- Heritage Protection Award
- Biodiversity Conservation Award
- Agro-Tourism Award in honor of the CTO Year of Adventure
The closing date for receipt of applications is May 31, 2017. For more information, including entry guidelines click here: #CTOSTAwards2017.
CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Awards programme has been in existence for 13 years and recognizes unique and innovative tourism products that embrace sustainable tourism concepts and core values, and help to enhance tourism product offerings. A panel of regional and international tourism and environmental specialists will select the winning projects and the awards will be presented at the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) being held in Grenada from 9-13 October..
About Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) work covers topics such as Agribusiness, Agro-Tourism, Food Safety, and Sustainable Development, with flagship projects that address challenges inclusive of Competitiveness, Resilience and Risk Management, and Productivity. IICA is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, and IICA Barbados is also celebrating 40 years of technical cooperation. IICA and the CTO signed a MOU for cooperation in 2014.