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Sustainable tourism drive


PR/SHAWN CUMBERBATCH

Sustainable tourism drive

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A NEW PARTNERSHIP has been initiated as part of efforts to enhance the Caribbean’s sustainable tourism effort.

Last week, the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), and the Travel Foundation, the international agency that promotes the benefits of tourism to people and the environment, launched a free online sustainable tourism course. It was intended to “help increase knowledge of how to review and plan for the sustainable development of Caribbean tourist destinations”.

The capacity building online training programme, which is available free of charge to ministries, government departments, tourism authorities and tourist boards engaged in destination management in CTO member countries, focuses on the practical dimensions of sustainable tourism, and seeks to introduce participants to key considerations during the planning and design of tourism activities.

The course will examine what makes tourism both constructive and destructive to host communities, suggest tools for conservation and responsible use of resources, and provide strategies which countries can use to develop and implement their own national initiatives.

“The [CTO] is pleased to partner with the Travel Foundation to offer this course which provides a roadmap to destination success, with the aim of enhancing regional knowledge and competencies in the theory and practice of sustainable tourism,” said CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley.

“It is well known that the region is the world’s most tourism-dependent region, therefore it is imperative that tourism is developed in a manner that ensures long-term benefits and value for Caribbean residents and visitors alike, even as we endeavour to position ourselves as the world’s most desirable, year-round warm weather destination.”

Travel Foundation chief executive officer Salli Felton said her organisation recognised “how important it is for destination authorities to have the knowledge, resources and information available to make sound decisions that will ensure the sustainability of tourism long into the future”.

“We are working with the CTO because they too have this mindset, and want to ensure the Caribbean is a region where future tourism growth promotes thriving communities and a healthy environment. Together we can work towards achieving this goal.”

Benchmarked with good practice case studies, the course will sharpen participants’ ability to plan the development of their local tourism industry in a way that meets the needs of both visitors and host communities, creates a more resilient economy, protects tourism assets and secures the future of Caribbean destinations. (PR/SC)

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