Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 01, 2015 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Tourism’s relationship with Sustainable Travel International (STI) plays a key role in the ministry’s thrust towards sustainable tourism says Minister of Tourism, Honourable Lindsay Grant.
Minister Grant stated at the November 30, Sustainable Tourism Forum, that his ministry has been partnering with the international NGO since 2012 and shares a common agenda to not only improve the islands’ tourism economy but local communities and the environment through travel and tourism.
“Through our partnership, St. Kitts became an early adopter of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s new criteria for destinations and has been accepted as a member of the Sustainable Destination Alliance of the Americas (SDAA),”said Minister Grant, noting that almost 50 local persons have already been trained “to be better stewards of our destination through the Sustainable Tourism Professionals Certification Programme.”
The minister stated that his ministry has conducted action plans on projects that are “fundamental to preserving the Federation’s natural and cultural heritage while strengthening communities such as the Ridge to Reef and Beautiful Basseterre projects.”
He added that they have implemented the Inter-Agency Sustainable Destination Management Council (IASDMC) which acts to instil sustainable tourism understanding across government agencies and tourism enterprises, build public and private sector capacity to incorporate sustainability concerns into daily operations and improve coordination among governmental agencies and businesses on sustainable destination projects.
The tourism minister stated that he and his ministry supports the partnership with STI and looks forward to its continued support in future projects.
Three years ago, the Ministry of Tourism accepted the opportunity to be an early adopter of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s newly developed sustainable destination criteria. Minister Grant stated that St. Kitts and Nevis was the smallest country to take on this role. St. Kitts was also the first Caribbean island to take up this opportunity. The forum marked “another step on the journey from which nationals can all benefit as a small island developing state,” said the tourism minister.