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CTO wants to position Caribbean as a sustainable tourism region

Saturday, April 22, 2017    

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) has declared its support for actions that make a difference as the world celebrates Earth Day, today.

In a message to mark the occasion, CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley said that it is no secret that “the very foundation of Caribbean tourism is our unparalleled natural environment; one that is rich in biodiversity, is virtually unpolluted, boasts landscapes that draw visitors from across the globe, and sustains life and livelihood.”

He added that in the Caribbean “we have a sacred duty to protect these assets by insisting on the development and adoption of sustainable tourism practices, while responsibly sharing our natural treasures with travellers to our shores”.

“As the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, whose purpose is: Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean, the CTO is intimately attuned with the need to respect our earth. It is our belief that there will always be conflict between respect for our planet and the desire to profit from invaluable natural assets that we possess,” he continued.


The CTO secretary general said the region must recognise that destroying the planet in pursuit of economic growth is an existential threat to both present and future generations.

“It is for this very reason that the CTO strives to position the Caribbean as a truly sustainable tourism region — a region that leads the global response to climate change by pursuing carbon neutrality, one that actively manages its land, water, and energy resources and decisively employs technologies that drive resource efficiencies across its tourism supply chains.”

He said the CTO will also continue to provide the relevant authorities with the tools and data necessary to activate tourism policies and regulations that serve the best interest of the region, while advocating for more responsible behaviour from the larger nations around the world.

“We are pleased that Earth Day 2017 focuses on Environmental and Climate Literacy, as we have been developing our Caribbean Tourism Climatic Bulletin in partnership with our colleagues at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology.”

Once finalised, the bulletin will be a guiding tool for tourism policymakers and businesses to better understand how climate change will impact their livelihoods, and how they can adapt for success while contributing to a better state of affairs.

“When seeking to protect our planet, one of the greatest challenges is to enlist all citizens to join the effort,” he said.

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