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Tenth Sustainable Caribbean Conference opens in Turks and Caicos

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Linda Straker  Apr 30, 2008

GRAND TURK, Turks and Caicos (eTN) - More than two hundred delegates are attending the 10th annual Sustainable Tourism Conference, which opened in the here on Monday.

"The conference will provide an opportunity for you to help the region enhance, improve and sustain our coastal gifts," said CTO secretary-general Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace.

He stressed the need for discussions to focus on the conference theme of "Keeping the Right Balance - Sustaining the Caribbean Coastal Product.” He said: "We at CTO recognizes the need to properly manage the natural environment and our coastal areas. It is only good business to do so because anything less means we run the risk of destroying the very thing that will sustain us," he said in his message to delegates.

The conference brings together regional and international tourism specialist, government ministers, tourism directors, as well as development experts from the cultural, environmental and academic spheres and the local communities to share their experiences and offer solutions to the problems in the development of sustainable tourism.

According to Wallace, the subject of sustainable tourism is very complex because of the ever changing atmosphere and environment in which we live in. "The more we learn the more we have to learn and thus even though tourism has the potential to raise environmental awareness and protection, it can be view as undermining the very assets upon which its depends," he said, while explaining that the Caribbean region for the most part has developed its tourism plants in natural areas especially along the coast.

In a keynote address, David Suzuki, of the David Suzuki Foundation, said that foresight is as crucial today more than it has ever been. "The Way we look at the world shape the way we treat it...economic growth in the world today is heading down a suicidal path, we don’t balance between ecological and economy, let me tell you that is not progress its time to bring back the eco into [eco]onmics," said the award winning scientist, who is a pioneer in sustainable energy.

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

Tenth Sustainable Caribbean Conference opens in Turks and Caicos
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