CTO acting secretary general Neil Walters addresses STC2019
Good, everyone. It really is with great regret that I’m struggling to join you today at the state opening of the year’s Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development. Given the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian I was struggling to fly to St. Vincent to take part in person in another of the CTO’s most significant conferences, which, given today’s climatic circumstances, is quite timely.
Despite this hiccup, there are some things that I’m grateful quite. I’m grateful that up to now, the impact of the elements has remained minimal and the Caribbean continues to – literally &ndash quite; smile through the storm. I’m grateful for the technology which includes allowed me to possess at the very least a virtual presence as of this conference. Most of all, I’m grateful for you, the delegates, who regardless of the challenges posed by the elements, have decided to wait the conference, that is a testament to your commitment to the development of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.
We at the CTO wish to thank the federal government and folks of St especially. Vincent and the Grenadines for agreeing to host this important event. This event may be the first CTO event of its kind being hosted by St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we want to thank you for the hospitality, week especially when confronted with the current weather conditions earlier this. We also commend you on your own resolve to host the conference given the delay by 1 day.
It gives me great pleasure to talk with you at the opening of what promises to become a very interesting, thought provoking couple of days. More importantly, hopefully that at the ultimate end of the period, the discussions will result in actions and collaborations that will in turn help with the reshaping of the industry we depend on for the sustainability of our regional economies.
Indeed, the idea of sustainability, unusual just 30 years back almost, has turned into a buzz word now, since it should. A lot more, we recognize that this expressed word, hardly spoken in previous generations is currently a powerful center point because it clearly and succinctly defines how exactly we should manage our very own lives, as well as the global world all around us.
The Caribbean is our slice of the planet earth, and like else with this planet everywhere, it includes its unique mixture of natural characteristics. It has sustained life for thousands (maybe millions) of years and continues to take action even while life everywhere becomes more technical. We as custodians have a responsibility to ensure we donate to the sustenance of life now and in the foreseeable future.
It is quite instructive that conference’s theme includes the phrase ‘Keeping the proper Balance’. We should keep at the forefront of our minds the delicate balance between our development because the people and the changes we’ve caused on the globe all around us. In the latter area of the Iron Age where we have now live man has seen exponential degrees of mechanical and scientific development. Actually, it really is clear that man’s development within the last a hundred years has outpaced the earth&rsquo essentially;s adaptation to the development. Today it has resulted in some dire consequences such as for example climate change which we face.
So, we arrived at tourism. As the utmost tourism-dependent region in the global world, there is absolutely no doubt that tourism is – to a big extent – the region’s economic lifeblood. An incredible number of our citizens be determined by tourism in both indirect and direct ways. As well as the jobs that have contributed to the wellbeing of Caribbean households directly, tourism has contributed to the construction of schools and medical facilities also, the upgrading of roads and utilities, and contains improved the caliber of life in your community generally. It has translated, in some full cases, to almost phenomenal degrees of development in a few national countries within the last thirty years, in comparison with the prior thirty years especially. And, just like the global human development versus natural adaptation relationship I described earlier, the development of tourism in the Caribbean has sometimes not experienced sync with the surroundings where this growth has occurred.
Conferences such as this one have become relevant, because they provide platforms for the dissemination of good practices that may, if implemented properly, help bridge the gap and ensure a symbiotic relationship between your tourism industry and the surroundings where it functions. In this area, like other parts of the global world, tourism taps into a number of different resources, not the sun just, sand and sea. As part of your before now, visitors are collectors of experiences rather than any experience just, but a geniune experience. This accepted places demands on the region’s cultural, heritage, human, financial and natural resources once we seek to refine our tourism product to focus on these ever-expanding needs.
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With a business like this, which straddles this type of wide cross portion of our lives while counting on so quite a few resources, an audio sustainable framework for tourism is vital, once we examine previous tourism development and appearance toward the near future critically. Obviously, these noticeable changes like any type of change, come at a price. As of this true time, change has been encouraged when most economies can least afford any extra pull on resources.
The CTO is focused on providing the nice practices to its members, which is often used to attain the ultimate goal of sustainable tourism development. Our approach has gone to seek out methods to bring these good practices utilizing the most contemporary information and methodologies which can be found.
The second area of the title phrase: ‘Tourism Development within an Era of Diversification’, recognizes the necessity as of this true point in tourism development in the Caribbean to embrace our diverse assets. That is important once we note that a few of our main competition especially, such as for example Pacific and Asian holiday destinations have – to a big extent – built their tourism product from the bottom up by embracing their diverse cultural and natural assets. This conference shall seek to look at the economic, socio-cultural and environmental pillars of sustainability, supplying a holistic method of addressing the sustainable tourism dynamic thereby.
Sustainable tourism development efforts wouldn’t normally be possible without close collaboration. Consequently, In the implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Development Program, the CTO partners with various regional and international organizations to improve inter-sectorial linkages, expand the impact and scope of our initiatives, donate to capacity-building of the region’s recruiting and raise the competitiveness of member destinations.
Two noteworthy initiatives being implemented in the last two years have already been the ‘Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry project, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Management Program. This initiative has supported the updating of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework significantly, the provisioning of training and tools in disaster risk management, and a regional awareness and education campaign to market sustainability practices.
The Innovation for Tourism Expansion and Diversification project is another pioneering regional initiative being implemented with financial and technical the help of the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This initiative that includes a community-based tourism (CBT) focus, will culminate in the provision of a community-based tourism toolkit for Caribbean countries, in-depth primary general market trends on the demand and willingness to cover CBT experiences and a project to foster the adoption of digital payments and mobile wallet technologies among Tourism Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
In the execution of its role to aid regional tourism development, CTO includes a mandate which considers the necessity to maintain product quality, increase profitability, promote the spot effectively, engage local populations and strengthen linkages between tourism along with other economic sectors. The CTO works collaboratively using its member states and partners to aid the development of adequate policies also to implement ways of maximize potential benefits and opportunities while also mitigating the threats and challenges to the sustainability of Caribbean tourism.
We turn to continued collaboration beyond this conference forward. It really is our fervent hope that the presentations and discussions improve the quest for sustainable tourism development in your community.
I many thanks.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.