CTO, St Kitts to host Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum
The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), the region's tourism development agency, is partnering with the Ministry of Tourism in St Kitts to host a sustainable tourism forum, with a focus on climate change.
Themed 'Good for Us, Better for All', the September 6-8 Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum is being held in observance of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and will bring together local, regional, and international representatives from public- and private-sector tourism entities, as well as development agencies that offer programming in sustainable tourism, for three days of interactive engagements.
Major elements will include best practice sharing and strategic consultations for a CTO climate adaptation project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, in order to strengthen holistic destination management approaches in the Caribbean.
"The CTO is honoured to partner with St Kitts and Nevis to host this forum, which will explore various facets of sustainable tourism, in view of the threats and opportunities for regional tourism development as a result of climate variability and climate change," said Amanda Charles, the CTO's sustainable tourism specialist.
The winner of the 2004 CTO/Travel Mole Sustainable Tourism Award in Destination Stewardship, St Kitts is one of the first destinations in the world to be accepted as an early adopter of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council's criteria for destinations. It also is a founding member of the Sustainable Destination Alliance of the Americas, an initiative by the CTO, the Organization of American States, Sustainable Travel International and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited to promote sustainable destination management in the Caribbean and Central America.
Its many initiatives include the establishment of the Heart of St Kitts Foundation and Sustainability Charter, which helps businesses understand how their operations contribute to destination-wide sustainability, and to support community projects that make St Kitts a more sustainable place to live and experience.
"There is an inexorable link between tourism activity and climate change. Tourism, therefore, must play an integral role in the global response to climate change; a charge St Kitts takes very seriously. Through the investment of considerable resources into sustainable tourism, St Kitts is changing the way tourism is perceived and practised globally, regionally, and at home," Minister of Tourism Lindsay Grant said.
The Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum will also feature experiential field visits, a meeting of CTO's Sustainable Tourism Technical Committee, and winning presentations from CTO's Primary School Tourism Writing Competition. The event culminates with the presentation ceremony for CTO's 2017 Sustainable Tourism Awards, which recognise regional sustainability champions.