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CTO Honours Eight Tourism Entities with Sustainable Tourism Awards at #STC2019

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (30 Aug. 2019) -The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has recognised eight tourism entities from CTO-member countries with its top awards for embracing sustainable tourism principles. The awards were presented on 29 Aug. during CTO’s Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Following a rigorous judging process by an esteemed panel of judges, across various tourism development and related disciplines, the winners for the eight awards were selected out of 38 entries and are as follows:

  • Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award recognises a product or initiative that contributes to a better quality of life in the destination and provides a unique visitor experience. Winner: True Blue Bay Boutique Resort in Grenada.
  • Destination Stewardship Award honours a CTO-member destination that is making solid strides towards sustainable tourism management at the destination level. Winner: Guyana Tourism Authority.
  • Nature Conservation Award commends any group, organisation, tourism business or attraction working towards the protection of natural and/or marine resources. Winner: Kido Foundation in Carriacou, Grenada.
  • Culture and Heritage Protection Award honours a tourism organisation or initiative making a significant contribution to protect and promote heritage. Winner: Maroon and Stringband Music Festival Committee in Carriacou, Grenada.
  • Sustainable Accommodation Award recognises small or medium-sized (less than 400 rooms) tourist accommodation facilities. Winner: Karanmabu Lodge, Guyana
  • Agro-Tourism Award recognises a business that offers an agro-tourism product incorporating elements of food/agriculture production, culinary output and visitor experience. Winner: Copal Tree Lodge, Belize
  • Community Benefit Award honours an entity that manages tourism well for the long-term benefit of the destination, local people and visitors. Winner: Jus’ Sail, Saint Lucia
  • Tourism Social Enterprise, a special award recognising an initiative by an individual or group/association which addresses social problems by applying innovative tourism development ideas. Winner: Richmond Vale Academy, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Sponsors of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards include: Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Barbados; International Institute of Tourism Studies, the George Washington University; Massy Stores, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the Mustique Company Ltd., St. Vincent and the Grenadines; National Properties Ltd., St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission.

“The CTO is pleased to recognise and promote the pioneering sustainability initiatives being implemented in its member countries. The region’s public and private tourism industry stakeholders continue to exhibit a high level of interest and commitment to sustainable tourism development, making the region a world leader in responsible travel and tourism,” said Amanda Charles, CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist.

The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), was organised by CTO in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) and was held 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines hosted #STC2019 amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate-resilient destination, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.

 

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Acting CTO Secretary General Neil Walter’s Remarks for STC-2019

Good morning, everyone. It is with great regret that I am unable to join you today at the official opening of this year’s Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development. Given the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian I was unable to fly to St. Vincent to participate in person in one of the CTO’s most important conferences, which, given the present climatic circumstances, is very timely.

Despite this hiccup, there are quite a few things for which I am grateful. I am grateful that to date, the impact of the weather has remained minimal and the Caribbean continues to – quite literally – smile through the storm. I am grateful for the technology which has allowed me to have at least a virtual presence at this conference. Most importantly, I am grateful to you, the delegates, who despite the challenges posed by the weather, have decided to attend the conference, which is a testament to your commitment to the development of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.

We at the CTO would especially like to thank the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for agreeing to host this important event. This event is the first CTO event of its kind being hosted by St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we would like to thank you for your hospitality, especially in the face of the weather conditions earlier this week. We also commend you on your resolve to host the conference given the delay by one day.

It gives me great pleasure to speak to you at the opening of what promises to be a very interesting, thought provoking few days. More importantly, we hope that at the end of this period, the discussions will lead to actions and collaborations which will in turn assist with the reshaping of this industry we rely on for the sustainability of our regional economies.

Indeed, the concept of sustainability, almost unheard of just 30 years ago, has now become a buzz word, as it should. More and more, we realize that this word, hardly spoken in previous generations is now a powerful focal point since it clearly and succinctly defines how we should manage our own lives, in addition to the world around us.

The Caribbean is our slice of the earth, and like everywhere else on this planet, it comes with its own unique blend of natural characteristics. It has sustained life for thousands (maybe millions) of years and continues to do so even as life everywhere becomes more complex. We as custodians have a responsibility to ensure that we contribute to the sustenance of life now and in the future.

It is very instructive that this conference’s theme includes the phrase ‘Keeping the Right Balance’. We must keep at the forefront of our minds the delicate balance between our development as the human race and the changes we have caused in the world around us. In the latter part of the Iron Age in which we now live man has seen exponential levels of mechanical and scientific development. In fact, it is clear that man’s development in the last one hundred years has essentially outpaced the earth’s adaptation to this development. This has led to some dire consequences such as climate change which we face today.

So now, we come to tourism. As the most tourism-dependent region in the world, there is no doubt that tourism is – to a large extent – the region’s economic lifeblood. Millions of our citizens depend on tourism in both direct and indirect ways. In addition to the jobs which have contributed directly to the wellbeing of Caribbean households, tourism has also contributed to the construction of schools and medical facilities, the upgrading of utilities and roads, and has generally improved the quality of life in the region. This has translated, in some cases, to almost phenomenal levels of development in some countries in the last thirty years, especially when compared to the previous thirty years. And, like the global human development versus natural adaptation relationship I referred to earlier, the development of tourism in the Caribbean has at times not been in sync with the environment in which this growth has occurred.

Conferences like this one are very relevant, as they provide platforms for the dissemination of good practices which can, if properly implemented, help to bridge the gap and ensure a symbiotic relationship between the tourism industry and the environment in which it functions.  In this region, like other regions of the world, tourism taps into several different resources, not just the sun, sea and sand. Now more than ever before, visitors are collectors of experiences and not just any experience, but an authentic experience. This places demands on the region’s cultural, heritage, human, financial and natural resources as we seek to refine our tourism product to cater to these ever-expanding needs.

With an industry such as this, which straddles such a wide cross section of our lives while relying on so many of our resources, a sound sustainable framework for tourism is essential, even as we critically examine previous tourism development and look toward the future. As you can imagine, these changes like any other form of change, come at a cost. At this point in time, change is being encouraged when most economies can least afford any additional pull on resources.

The CTO is committed to providing the good practices to its members, which can be used to achieve the ultimate goal of sustainable tourism development.  Our approach has been to seek out ways to bring these good practices using the most contemporary information and methodologies which are available.

The second part of the title phrase: ‘Tourism Development in an Era of Diversification’, recognizes the requirement at this point in tourism development in the Caribbean to embrace our diverse assets. This is especially important as we note that some of our main competition, such as Asian and Pacific tourist destinations, has – to a large extent – built their tourism product from the ground up by embracing their diverse natural and cultural assets. This conference will seek to examine the economic, environmental and socio-cultural pillars of sustainability, thereby offering a holistic approach to addressing the sustainable tourism dynamic.

Sustainable tourism development efforts would not be possible without close collaboration. Consequently, In the implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Development Programme, the CTO partners with various regional and international organizations to enhance inter-sectoral linkages, expand the scope and impact of our initiatives, contribute to capacity-building of the region’s human resources and increase the competitiveness of member destinations.

Two noteworthy initiatives being implemented over the past two years have been the ‘Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry project, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Management Programme. This initiative has significantly supported the updating of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework, the provisioning of training and tools in disaster risk management, and a regional education and awareness campaign to promote sustainability practices.

The Innovation for Tourism Expansion and Diversification project is another pioneering regional initiative being implemented with financial and technical assistance from the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This initiative, which has a community-based tourism (CBT) focus, will culminate in the provision of a community-based tourism toolkit for Caribbean countries, in-depth primary market research on the demand and willingness to pay for CBT experiences and a project to foster the adoption of digital payments and mobile wallet technologies among Tourism Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

In the execution of its role to support regional tourism development, CTO has a mandate which takes into account the need to maintain product quality, increase profitability, promote the region effectively, engage local populations and strengthen linkages between tourism and other economic sectors. The CTO works collaboratively with its member states and partners to support the development of adequate policies and to implement strategies to maximize potential benefits and opportunities while also mitigating the threats and challenges to the sustainability of Caribbean tourism.

We look forward to continued collaboration beyond this conference. It is our fervent hope that the presentations and discussions enhance the pursuit of sustainable tourism development in the region.

I thank you.

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Transformation for Tourism Evolution to be Addressed at Sustainable Tourism Conference

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (15 Aug. 2019) – Significant advantages arise for those tourism related companies that are able to transform through any diversity in order to remain competitive in today’s changing global tourism landscape. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will examine the negative forces and positive tourism recoveries in a general session at the upcoming Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development taking place 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The panel titled “Transformation for Tourism Evolution” will be held on 29 Aug. from 10:45 a.m. until noon. The session will illustrate significant advantages gained by those who were innovative and creative during times the tourism market was disrupted. Local tourism entities are largely categorised as micro, small and medium enterprises, and their ability to harness transformative advances is an existential imperative for ensuring their sustained relevance in an ever-changing geo-political climate. This session takes a critical look at new opportunities to regenerate the regional tourism industry in the areas of market access, disaster recovery and climate resilience as a means of increasing tourism competitiveness and sustainability.

Maria Fowell, tourism specialist, economic development policy unit for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), will moderate the panel, which will also hear from Hon. Camillo Gonsalves, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ minister of finance & economic planning, sustainable development and information technology. Kieran St. Omer,research officer, strategic planning and projects at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), will speak to the topic of “Opportunities and Threats from a Move Toward Digital Currency.”

The conference, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), is organised by CTO in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA).

Under the theme “Keeping the Right Balance: Tourism Development in an Era of Diversification,” industry experts participating in #STC2019 will address the urgent need for a transformational, disruptive, and regenerative tourism product to meet ever-rising challenges. The full conference programme can be viewed via https://www.caribbeanstc.com/program/

St. Vincent and the Grenadines will host #STC2019 amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate-resilient destination, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.

To register for the conference, visit https://www.caribbeanstc.com/register. Rates are available for general delegates including CTO members and non-members, St. Vincent & the Grenadines residents, travel agents and students (both local and international rates).

Sponsorships are available for the conference and can be viewed via: https://www.caribbeanstc.com/sponsor. Contact Sylma Brown Bramble at 212-635-9530 or [email protected] for additional information.

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Compelling List of Industry Experts Assembled for Sustainable Tourism Conference

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (13 Aug. 2019) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has assembled a compelling list of industry experts to address ways the region can respond to challenges posed to its sustainability by realities such as climate change, changes to consumer consciousness and shifts in consumer demands and purchasing preferences.

The speakers of various backgrounds and expertise will also the opportunities presented by through the creation of new, varied, and innovative tourism experiences using the natural and man-made assets of Caribbean society, at the Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The CTO has confirmed Elizabeth “Liz” Thompson, Barbados’ ambassador to the United Nations, as the keynote speaker, for the 26-29 Aug. 2019 event, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), at the Beachcombers Hotel. Ms. Thompson will set the context for the conference in her address scheduled for 9:10 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. on 27 August.

The following is the line-up of presenters for the various sessions:

General Session I – Development Models for Social Integration (27 Aug from 9:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.): attention will be focused on the integration of local and indigenous grassroots initiatives as key pillars of the region’s cultural richness and diversity, with emphasis on the generation of employment opportunities for local communities. Speakers include:

  • Hayden Billingy is the moderator of the panel and will provide an introductory presentation. He is an environmental consultant from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and has worked for multiple international multilateral and academic organisations. He is currently the national project coordinator for Climate Change Adaptation of the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FIAH).
  • Dr. K’adamawe K’nife will be addressing social entrepreneurship during the session. He holds a PhD in sustainable development and a master’s degree in economics. Dr. K’nife is a lecturer and researcher in the Mona School of Business and Management at the University of the West Indies (UWI) where he is also the director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Thinking and Practice (CETP).
  • Gabriella Stowell will be speaking about “boosting the product” and is the Latin America regional director for Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). Desirous of learning more about the different ecosystems of Brazil, Stowell moved to Santa Catarina state to work at an eco resort where she created its adventure department and was responsible for the guest activities and the sustainability programme.
  • Tasheka Haynes-Bobb will highlight “funding integration initiatives.” Haynes-Bobb is the programme coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environmental Finance (GEF) small grants programme.

General Session II – Community Based Tourism – Driving Innovation and Experiences (27 Aug from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.): delegates will be presented with robust market research that encapsulates visitors’ willingness to pay for innovative tourism experiences across the Caribbean. The session will also delve into how community tourism supports product diversification and differentiation and can enhance community participation in tourism, with the ultimate benefit being the creation of a distinctive and responsible tourism brand. Speakers for the panel are: 

  • Kennedy Pemberton, sustainable tourism development consultant for CTO as moderator.
  • Annie Bertrand, coordinator for Pillar 1 – Competitiveness and Innovation for Compete Caribbean, will provide the market research conducted by Compete Caribbean in her presentation “Cooperation for Development – Engaging the CTO.” Bertrand has 12 years of business and international development experience in over 65 countries as a management consultant and social entrepreneur.
  • Judy Karwacki is the founder and president of Small Planet Consulting, a Vancouver, Canada-based tourism consultancy and is partner in a successful travel agency for 33 years. An expert in destination tours and activities development and marketing, especially locally-hosted experiences, she works with environmentally and culturally vulnerable destinations around the world, including about 20 Caribbean countries. With her expertise with in-destination tours and activities, she will be addressing “Community-based Tourism 101 – Here is your Toolkit.”
  • Marco Antonio Verde, consultant for Latin America in business development for EuroMonitor International Ltd., will speak about “Market Research Findings: What Do Visitors Want and How Much Will They Pay?”

General Session III – Host Country Showcase – Energise (27 Aug from 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.): This session is an opportunity for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to share its sustainability story, showcase the diversity of its tourism product and experiences and illustrate its unique selling points. The focus spans key initiatives in product development, marketing innovations and sustainable tourism in practice.

  • Bianca Porter, moderator of the panel and chairperson of the SVGTA board of directors.
  • Ellsworth Dacon, director of energy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, brings over 19 years of experience within the field of energy to the energy unit. Dacon has a wide background in implementing energy policies and procedures within the governmental and public sectors.
  • Janeel Findlay-Miller is the director of environmental management for the government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
  • Thornley Myers is the chief executive officer for St. Vincent & the Grenadines Electricity Services.
  • Herman Belmar is the deputy director of Grenadines affairs for the government of SVG.

General Session IV – Indigenous Conversations – Celebrating Our Past, Embracing Our Future (27 Aug from 3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.) The session will look at the changing composition of local livelihoods and demonstrate how the region’s indigenous people have a tangible role and stake in the Caribbean tourism value chain. Indigenous communities are utilising tourism markets to embrace expanded entrepreneurial opportunities, adding new dimensions to their sources of income, and create niches that are increasingly sought after. 

  • Dr. Zoila Ellis Browne, head of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is the moderator. She is committed to the development of her indigenous heritage and volunteers as technical programme consultant to the foundation, a Vincentian non-governmental organisation promoting Garifuna heritage and culture. A magistrate by profession, Dr. Browne has worked with OXFAM (UK) as its deputy regional representative in the Eastern Caribbean and has served as consultant on issues related to law, women and development and environmental law in her native Belize and the wider Caribbean.
  • Uwahnie Melenie Martinez is an eco-cultural entrepreneur and director of Palmento Grove Eco-Cultural & Fishing Institute in Belize, a private island retreat owned and operated by local Garifuna people. She focuses on implementing a sustainable master plan which revolves around profits for preservation and conservation along with progressive non-profit project initiatives.
  • Rudolph Edwards is the toshao (chief) of Rewa village in Guyana, a small Amerindian community of about 300 people, mostly from the Makushi tribe, who founded the Rewa Eco-Lodge in 2005 in an effort to protect their land for generations to come. Edwards will be discussing “From Depletion to Conservation – Tourism Made it Viable.”
  • Chris Cal, the owner and operator of The Living Maya Experience, a home visit that offers guests a fascinating glimpse into a disappearing world, will speak about “Conserving the Mayan heritage and lifestyle.”
  • Colonel Marcia “Kim” Douglas is the colonel of the Charles Town Maroon Community. As leader and spokesperson for one of the several maroon communities in Jamaica, Col. Douglas stands as the first woman to occupy any such position of authority among them in the present day. Col. Douglas is committed to the retention and promotion of all that signifies and portrays maroons and their heritage and sees this as a critical component of the sustainability of the community and is especially devoted to the children and young people of the community.

General Session V – The Caring Economy: People, Planet and Profits (29 Aug from 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.): During this general session, participants will be presented with examples of tangible best practices of equitable balance among the three Ps of sustainability that have been implemented at the local, regional and international levels. The presenters will demonstrate how development planners can build a caring economy that encompasses every sustainability pillar.

  • Gail Henry, the deputy director of tourism product development at Cayman Islands department of tourism, will make an introductory presentation and serve as the panel’s moderator. Henry is responsible for leading the tourism product development unit to ensure that the quality of the visitor experience meets or exceeds visitors’ expectations.
  • Joy Jibrilu will be speaking on “The People to People Experience – Caring the Bahamian Way.” She is the director general of the Bahamas ministry of tourism where she has served since 2014. Prior to that, she served as the director of investments in the Bahamas Investment Authority, office of the prime minister where she was responsible for negotiating heads of agreements for the major touristic developments.
  • Paloma Zapata is the chief executive officer of Sustainable Travel International and will address “Leveraging Sustainability to Enhance Profitability.” With over 15 years of experience in sustainable tourism and economic development, Zapata has designed and implemented impactful initiatives and projects in 25 nations across the globe.
  • Seleni Matus will discuss ‘The Health of Caribbean Tourism Destinations.” She is the executive director of International Institute of Tourism Studies at George Washington University. Matus has more than 15 years designing and directing large, multi-stakeholder initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean that have enhanced the quality of tourism offerings and helped to ensure the long-term health of natural ecosystems.
  • Stina Herberg is the director of Richmond Vale Academy and has worked with education, environment and development projects in Angola, Mozambique, Denmark, Norway, Caribbean and USA for 25 years.

General Session VI – Transformation for Tourism Evolution (29 Aug from 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.): This session takes a critical look at new opportunities to regenerate the regional tourism industry in the areas of market access, disaster recovery and climate resilience as a means of increasing tourism competitiveness and sustainability.

  • Maria Fowell, tourism specialist, economic development policy unit for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), will moderate the panel and given an introductory presentation.
  • Kieran St. Omer, research officer, strategic planning and projects, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), will speak to the topic of “Opportunities and Threats from a Move Toward Digital Currency.” She is an experienced policy analyst and capital market professional who has worked in various capacities within the financial services industry from 2007. She has extensive knowledge in investor relations and marketing.
  • Hon. Camillo Gonsalves is the minister of foreign affairs in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

General Session VII – Conservation Matters: Nurturing our Nature (29 Aug from 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.): This session will demonstrate the viability of crafting alternative paths to realising tourism potential, without compromising value and benefits for future generations.

  • Orisha Joseph, executive director of Sustainable Grenadines Inc., will serve as session moderator and will make an introductory presentation
  • Vincent Sweeney, the head of the Caribbean sub-regional office, United Nations’ (UN) Environment, will speak about going plastic free for 2020. He has served for 10 years as executive director of the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute and has extensive experience with water utilities in the Caribbean and in private consulting firms.
  • Dr. Alex Brylske is the president of Ocean Education International. As a pioneer and leader in the field of diver education, Brylske will be speaking about “The Changing Face of Dive Tourism.”
  • Andrew Lockhart is the superintendent of sites at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority. He will speak about policy positions.

General Session VIII – Stakeholders Speak Out (29 Aug from 3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.): This session is an open forum where delegates can share their views, debate hot button issues and discuss disruptions and trends reshaping the tourism industry.

  • Avanell DaSilva, quality development manager at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA), will serve as panel moderator.
  • Glen Beache is the chief executive officer of SVGTA.
  • Dr. Jerrold Thompson is the chief
  • Kim Halbich is the president of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Hotel and Tourism Association (SVGHTA) and has worked in the hospitality industry for over 28 years. Halbich is committed to being a force for positive change as she works to preserve and promote the natural and cultural heritage of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. executive officer of the Medicinal Cannabis Authority.
  • Dr. Lisa Indar, head of tourism and health programme and foodborne diseases at the Caribbean Public Health Agency

The conference is organised by the CTO in partnership with the SVGTA. To register, visit https://www.caribbeanstc.com/register. Rates are available for general delegates including CTO members and non-members, St. Vincent & the Grenadines residents, travel agents and students (both local and international rates).

Sponsorships are available for the conference and can be viewed via: https://www.caribbeanstc.com/sponsor. Contact Sylma Brown Bramble at 212-635-9530 or [email protected] for additional information.

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Contributions of Indigenous People to Caribbean Tourism to be Celebrated at STC 2019

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (2 Aug. 2019) – Today’s travellers are booking experiential vacations that allow them to immerse themselves in the culture, people and history of a destination. Recognising this, indigenous communities across the Caribbean are accessing tourism markets and welcoming visitors to encounter their traditional ways of life.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will highlight this important development in a general session at the upcoming Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development taking place 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The panel titled “Indigenous Conversations – Celebrating Our Past, Embracing Our Future” is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on 27 Aug. The session will look at the changing composition of local livelihoods and demonstrate how the region’s indigenous people have a tangible role and stake in the Caribbean tourism value chain. Indigenous communities are utilising tourism markets to embrace expanded entrepreneurial opportunities, adding new dimensions to their sources of income, and create niches that are increasingly sought after.

Session speakers include Uwahnie Martinez, the director of Palmento Grove Garifuna Eco Cultural & Fishing Institute in Belize, a private island retreat owned and operated by local Garifuna people; Colonel Marcia “Kim” Douglas, colonel of Jamaica’s Charles Town Maroon Community; a representative of the Indian Creek Mayan Art Women’s Group of Belize and Rudolph Edwards, the toshao (chief) of Rewa village in Guyana, a small Amerindian community of about 300 people, mostly from the Makushi tribe, who founded the Rewa Eco-Lodge in 2005 in an effort to protect their land for generations to come.

The session will be led by Dr. Zoila Ellis Browne, who was born in Belize and is the head of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where she is committed to the development of her indigenous heritage. A magistrate by profession, Dr. Browne also volunteers as technical programme consultant to the foundation, a Vincentian non-governmental organisation promoting Garifuna heritage and culture.

The conference, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), is organised by CTO in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA).

Under the theme “Keeping the Right Balance: Tourism Development in an Era of Diversification,” industry experts participating in #STC2019 will address the urgent need for a transformational, disruptive, and regenerative tourism product to meet ever-rising challenges. The full conference programme can be viewed via https://www.caribbeanstc.com/program/

St Vincent and the Grenadines will host STC amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate-resilient destination, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.

To register for the conference, visit https://www.caribbeanstc.com/register. Rates are available for general delegates including CTO members and non-members, St. Vincent & the Grenadines residents, travel agents and students (both local and international rates).

Sponsorships are available for the conference and can be viewed via: https://www.caribbeanstc.com/sponsor. Contact Sylma Brown Bramble at 212-635-9530 or [email protected] for additional information.

About the Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development

The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development is part of the information dissemination and regional awareness component of CTO’s strategy for sustainable tourism. It looks at how member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programmes, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives.

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Balancing People, Planet and Profits for a Viable Tourism Economy, a Major Discussion Point at STC 2019

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (15 July 2019) – Any Caribbean economic development plan must respect the intricate relationship between the environment, societal needs and profitability, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

It’s in this context that the need to balance people, planet and profits for a viable tourism economy will be included as a major issue for discussion at the upcoming Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

During a general session entitled “The Caring Economy: People, Planet and Profits,” scheduled for Friday 29 Aug. at 9 a.m., participants will be presented with examples of tangible best practices of equitable balance among the three Ps of sustainability that have been implemented at the local, regional and international levels. The presenters will demonstrate how development planners can build a caring economy by that encompasses every sustainability pillar.

One of the examples to be featured is the People-to-People programme in the Bahamas through which visitors are paired with local hosts who share Bahamian culture, cuisine and history, and develop long-lasting friendships.

The conference, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), is scheduled for 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and is organised by CTO in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA).

Under the theme “Keeping the Right Balance: Tourism Development in an Era of Diversification,” industry experts participating in #STC2019 will address the urgent need for a transformational, disruptive, and regenerative tourism product to meet ever-rising challenges. The full conference programme can be viewed via https://www.caribbeanstc.com/program/

St Vincent and the Grenadines will host STC amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate-resilient destination, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.

To register for the conference, visit https://www.caribbeanstc.com/register. Rates are available for general delegates including CTO members and non-members, St. Vincent & the Grenadines residents, travel agents and students (both local and international rates).

Sponsorships are available for the conference and can be viewed via: https://www.caribbeanstc.com/sponsor. Contact Sylma Brown Bramble at 212-635-9530 or [email protected] for additional information.

 

About the Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development

The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development is part of the information dissemination and regional awareness component of CTO’s strategy for sustainable tourism. It looks at how member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programmes, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, STC

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