Challenges for Caribbean Coastal Tourism to be discussed


ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) – Participants at the annual Sustainable Tourism Development Conference organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will be among other things addressing the challenges for the Caribbean Coastal Tourism Environment (CCTE).

Some of the world’s foremost authorities on conservation and sustainability will examine the challenges faced by the Caribbean’s coastal tourism environment during a special panel to be convened on April 29 at the 10th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development.

Organized by the CTO in collaboration with the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board and the Caribbean Hotel Association, the conference will be held from April 28 to May 1, 2008 at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa.

The panel, according to a statement from the CTO will be moderated by secretary general and chief executive officer of the CTO, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace. This discussion will focus on the risks coastal communities will face including: increased natural disasters; climate change; affects on the economy and the need for coral reef protection and preservation. “The goal is to provide recommendations and conclusions on how the region can implement sustainable tourism policies for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people,” the statement said.

The panelist will include Dr. Murray Simpson, Senior Research Associate, Oxford University Centre for the Environment and Principal, Sustainable Solutions Worldwide. Dr. Simpson will offer an overview of the implications for Caribbean coastal tourism destinations of global environmental change, the resilience of these destinations in the face of a wide range of impacts, and the possible implications of climate policy in the Caribbean’s source markets.

Rick MacPherson, of Coral Reef Alliance who will utilize his 23 years of field experience in coral reef ecology and site-based marine science and conservation to illustrate the interconnected ecology and economy of healthy coral reefs. “He will use case studies to show the vital components and diverse stakeholders needed for effective reef protection and management,” the organizers said.

Other speakers for the session will include Elaine Heldewier, environmental director for Carnival Cruise Lines who will examine sustainable management of cruise tourism and Jeremy Collymore, chief executive officer and coordinator for the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency. He will utilize more than 20 years experience in disaster management research, practice, policy formulation and teaching to offer a reflection on the methods of enquiry and intervention needed for community participation and empowerment in vulnerability reduction.

Designed to provide information on the development and implementation of responsible tourism, the Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development will be attended by the media, travel agents and key members of the Caribbean tourism industry.