PM of Trinidad and Tobago urges: find ways to develop tourism sustainability

A majestic performance that is captivating and reflects the inner energies of the Caribbean, was how Acting Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Winston Dookeran summed up the official opening ceremo

PM of Trinidad and Tobago urges: find ways to develop tourism sustainability

A majestic performance that is captivating and reflects the inner energies of the Caribbean, was how Acting Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Winston Dookeran summed up the official opening ceremony and welcome reception of the 14th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism.

Dookeran, who delivered the feature address at Monday night’s ceremony, charged delegates to use the conference to find ways in which the Caribbean could develop its own measures of sustainability in the face of ongoing economic challenges.
Dookeran, who serves as his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the global tourism industry continues to be a highly resilient one having weathered many a storm in the past.

“This coupled with its capacity to respond and adjust to a changing environment has made the industry one which every region of the world is going after,” Dookeran said.

His sentiments were shared by Trinidad and Tobago’s Tourism Minister Stephen Cadiz; Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty; and Regional Director for the Americas United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Carlos Vogeler – who all addressed the opening ceremony.

In true Trinidad and Tobago fashion, the opening ceremony was infused with cultural presentations including one titled “Carnival of the Sea” produced by veteran Mas Producer Brian McFarlane.

There was also a performance by the country’s Junior Calypso Monarch for 2013 Marq Pierre and the penultimate cultural performance by the Mason Hall Tobago Folk singers.

Jake Kheel stresses need for investments in sustainable tourism
Investments in sustainability are not simply about saving the environment but also make economic sense.

That’s the pearl of wisdom Jake Kheel, the grandson of one of the lead developers of the world famous Punta Cana Resort and Club in the Dominican Republic, offered to delegates gathered by the 14th Caribbean Tourism Organization Sustainable Tourism Conference, which entered its first day of formal sessions on Tuesday, April 15, 2013.

Kheel, the environmental director at Punta Cana, considered one of the most successful development companies in the Dominican Republic with a distinguished history in sustainable development, shared several initiatives the company has instituted, which has helped its bottom line.

Such initiatives as establishing a major recycling plan that has now become a significant money earner for the company; a water treatment plant that reuses water for the area’s golf courses and lawns leading to significant cost savings annually; worm composting that turns food garbage into compost that becomes part of the treatment of golf courses and power saving measures that is incorporated even into the architecture and building of houses, including thatch roofs.

“Sustainability is very much part of our economic model,” said Kheel, while urging that there needs be “some ownership of sustainability in companies.”


The Punta Cana executive also revealed that the company has invested in several new technologies to keep pushing the envelope in newer and better sustainable options “since innovation is incredibly important as long as it generates real savings.”

Sustainability he summarized is “a very important piece of the puzzle” and it’s all about the integration of these concepts into the everyday lives and management practices of companies and destinations.

We are more than just two days of carnival assures TT’s Tourism Minister
Trinidad and Tobago’s Tourism Minister Stephen Cadiz has given the assurance that his twin-island nation has a lot more than just two days of carnival to offer visitors.

Cadiz was speaking to members of the local, regional and international media ahead of the opening of the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC14) being held at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain from today April 15-18.

“While Trinidad and Tobago does not have the luxury of stretches of while sandy beaches, the country has a lot to offer,” Cadiz said.

“We have a culture that is so mixed and varied; that is where our tourism product lies rather than the typical sea and sun tourism.”

Noting that Trinidad and Tobago is “very unique,” Cadiz who was accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Juliana Jodan Boodram, said this was a factor in the country’s decision to host the conference.

“Where else in the world do you have a panorama competition? Our religions, our festivals, our cuisine are very different,” Cadiz added.

Community group takes action towards sustainable development
Fishermen from a community in rural Jamaica are can attest to the fact that community action can lead to the achievement of sustainable development.
Founding member of the Bluefields Bay Fishermen’s Friendly Society (BBFFS) Wolde Kristos says the group has been promoting a sustainable environment through educational outreach.

Making a presenting at the 14th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism during a session titled “Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Good Practices Showcase” Kristos said BBFFS “seeks to educate its members in sustainable fishing practices and develop employment alternatives that will enhance the quality of life and preserve the natural environment of Bluefields.”

They are now on a drive to increase tourist arrival to the area to tour their Sea Fish Sanctuary and also plan to create a Reggae Park under the sea as an added attraction to visitors.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization is a member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP), a fast-growing grassroots travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality service and green growth.

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