The opportunities that exist for the Caribbean to enhance and sustain its tourism product and how the region can capitalize on these opportunities will be the focus of this year’s leading Caribbean gathering on sustainable tourism, the 11th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism (STC-11).
The stage is already being set with the selection of a theme that encapsulates the current status of global and Caribbean tourism and invites conference delegates to become centrally involved in building a world-class sustainable tourism product to propel the industry, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), organizers of the conference, has said.
“It is imperative that even as we try to address the challenges that confront the Caribbean tourism sector, we also need to seek out opportunities that will enhance the region’s position in this globally-competitive industry,” said Gail Henry, the CTO’s sustainable tourism product specialist. “This requires a concerted effort in developing a world-class tourism product that is not only sustainable, but which is clearly distinguishable from that of other regions.”
The theme for this year’s conference – scheduled to take place at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (formally Sherbourne Conference Centre) in Barbados from May 9-12, 2010 – is “Keeping the Right Balance: Creating Opportunities Through a World Class Sustainable Tourism Product.”
The CTO, along with the Barbados Ministry of Tourism and industry partners, is currently finalizing the conference program. It will reflect the region’s dedication to identifying and valuing the unique and indigenous aspects of the Caribbean’s natural, cultural, marine, and architectural heritage that need to be conserved for the enjoyment of citizens and visitors alike.
During the four-day conference, delegates will discuss issues such as protecting the region’s heritage from the impact of climate change and natural disasters; encouraging authenticity; intangible cultural heritage; using innovation and creativity to develop, interpret, and market our heritage tourism products; and the financing of heritage tourism projects.
“The conference theme fits neatly with our commitment to conserve our heritage while creating opportunities for Barbadians,” said Nicole Alleyne, the chief tourism development officer (Ag) at the Barbados Ministry of Tourism. The 11th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism is being organized in collaboration with the Barbados Ministry of Tourism and is part of the information dissemination and regional awareness component of 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 successes and pitfalls of national, regional, and international initiatives.
For more information on CTO’s travel industry events in 2010, visit www.OneCaribbean.org .