After a one-year absence due to the global economic crisis, the Caribbean’s premiere international gathering on sustainable tourism is back. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced the return of its Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC).

The 11th annual conference (STC-11) will be held from May 9-12, 2010 in Bridgetown, Barbados, and is being organized in collaboration with the Barbados Ministry of Tourism.

“We are delighted that we are able to once again bring together a wide range of experts and stakeholders to discuss the region’s sustainability,” said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the CTO. “We thank the government of Barbados for hosting this very important conference in this difficult global economic climate.”

This year’s conference will examine critical issues relating to sustainability and will explore creative solutions to many of the challenges facing CTO member countries, including the effects of climate change.

“STC will continue with the focus on how member states can design and incorporate sustainable tourism policies and practices into their regional and international initiatives,” said Gail Henry, the CTO’s sustainable tourism product specialist. “We recognize that the development of the tourism sector in the Caribbean has to continue on a sustainable path. The Caribbean has an opportunity to lead advancements in this area, while also creating valuable employment opportunities.”

A comprehensive and dynamic program is being planned to include the customary study tours – a key feature of this conference.

The annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development 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 .