BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (14 January, 2011) – The Caribbean’s tourism planners, policymakers and stakeholders are being encouraged to rise above the numbers in order to develop a sustainable tourism product in the region. This will be main focus of this year’s leading Caribbean gathering on sustainable tourism, the 12th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism (STC-12) to be held from 3-6 April at the Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) which organises the conference in collaboration with Bermuda’s Department of Tourism, has announced that the theme for this year’s conference is Keeping the Right Balance: Rising Above the Numbers.
“The theme reflects our recognition of the Caribbean’s need to renew its commitment to strategically planning and developing its tourism industry in a sustainable manner,” said Gail Henry, the CTO’s sustainable tourism product specialist.
The conference will address a number of critical issues such as understanding the next generation of experiential travellers, attracting and developing adequate regional human resource capacity to manage the industry efficiently, and developing strategies to marry profitability with sustainability in the new green economy.
“STC-12 will highlight the importance of our destinations’ collective responsibility to pay equal attention to social and environmental issues as well as recuperating visitor arrivals, expenditure and income. This effort will require destinations to not only learn from past experiences, but also to capitalize on emerging trends and opportunities that advance industry sustainability,” added Ms. Henry.
The CTO, along with the Bermuda Department of Tourism and industry partners, is currently finalizing the conference programme which will include a mix of panel discussions and workshops with presentations from leading local, regional and international tourism experts and practitioners. Informative and exciting study tours to attraction-packed sites, including the charming UNESCO World Heritage town of St. George and the well-planned Royal Naval Dockyard area, will expose delegates to the rich history, local culture and scenic beauty of Bermuda, complemented by the warm hospitality of Bermudians. Delegates can also expect an interesting Stakeholder Speakout Session which will provide an appreciation of and opportunity to contribute to the dialogue on issues that are pertinent to the sustainability of Bermuda’s tourism industry.
In celebration of the International Year of Youth and International Year of Biodiversity, special consideration will be given to the role of Caribbean youth in tourism sustainability during a Special Session.
The conference 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 programmes, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives.
For more information on STC-12, visit www.caribbeanstc.com.