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Climate smart tourism forum to benefit federation



Cruise-Tourism-Port-ZanteBasseterre, St. Kitts, 10th August, 2017 ( - Local, regional and international representatives in tourism related fields will meet in St. Kitts in September to discuss climate smart tourism issues.

The 6th to 8th September Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum will include presentations on Tourism Resilience Through Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Climate Change as an Opportunity, Innovative Models and Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism, as well as Risk Management for Sustainable Tourism.

According to Assistant Secretary Diannille Taylor-Williams of the Ministry of Tourism, the forum provides an essential occasion for local tourism stakeholders to network with regional and international colleagues on best practices in the industry.

What does the country get out of hosting such a forum? Taylor-Williams explained, “We do not have all the answers. We can always learn from other destinations that have been in the tourism business much longer than we have been.”

She continued, “We also get an opportunity to share with them and to interact with various development agencies that will be attending, giving us the opportunity talk about our future plans and how we can work together.”

Importantly, Taylor-Williams said, climate smart issues will be emphasized in the forum, as climate change is real and will have an impact on small island states.

“For most of us in the Caribbean, tourism is our number one economic driver, therefore, anything that affects that will, in fact, impact the livelihoods of people,” Taylor-Williams said.

Sustainable tourism and climate change issues have been tied together for this forum, and being aware of the circumstances in which we live and sustain ourselves economically is important.

Taylor-Williams commented, “Very often when we speak about sustainable tourism, people immediately begin to think about the environmental issues. For us, sustainable tourism is much more than that.”

She continued, “It is also about the socio-cultural issues and also about the economic issues. So, we want persons to understand that sustainable tourism is about finding that balance where Socio-cultural, economic and environmental issues merge.”

Crucially, Taylor-Williams pointed out that sustainable tourism is not being pursued for tourists, rather it is for ourselves, as citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis. If it is better for us, it will be better for everyone else, she stated.

The forum will highlight sustainable tourism elements taking place on the island through workshops, experiential study tours and strategic consultation.

Organising partners include the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation and Sustainable Travel International.

Local tourism stakeholders are encouraged to register early to receive significant discounts on registration fees.

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