CTO chairman Skerritt plugs for sustainable tourism practices in the region
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (CUOPM) – A clear and profound message from the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) that it is vital that the Caribbean region becomes truly dedicated to sustainable tourism practices in order to maximize the economic benefits for all stakeholders, including local communities, businesses, consumers and Governments.
“It is now well established that tourism growth cannot be sustained unless today’s interests are balanced with the vital needs of tomorrow. This is why CTO is playing such a leading role in promoting tourism awareness amongst our people, and in establishing minimum standards for preparing and delivering the outstanding natural tourism products of our region,” said CTO’s chairman, Sen. the Hon. Richard “Ricky” Skerritt at the opening of the 13th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development on Sunday.
Mr. Skerritt, who is also St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport says there is a need to ensure that locals and visitors alike - for generations to come - can continue to enjoy the red-water rivers, spectacular waterfalls, majestic mountains, vast savannas, picturesque landscapes and indigenous wildlife of the Guyanese interior.
“Similarly we need to better appreciate and manage the numerous white, golden and black sandy island coastlines across our region, and show more respect for the value of the warm Caribbean Sea and its vital marine ecosystems. The healthiness and attractiveness of our forests, coastal zones and reef ecosystems are major assets in our quest for economic wealth. Let us therefore do whatever is necessary to protect and manage those same assets,” said the tourism official.
Mr. Skerritt said that the annual conference focuses on the opportunities and benefits that exist through tourism for the development of local communities, and how to manage the environmental and cultural risks involved.
“Over the next three days conference participants will have an excellent opportunity to interact with, and challenge, some impressive presenters. We will also learn from the exhibitors from across our member countries that are here to share their products and services with us. And most importantly we will experience the heritage and natural beauty of Guyana through local study tours,” said Mr. Skerritt.
He used the opportunity to implore participants to take full advantage of the numerous opportunities that this conference presents, and to help make this the most successful and satisfying STC ever, through their own active participation.