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|Highly anticipated Sustainable Tourism Conference begins today|
|Saturday, 14 April 2012 21:42|
- to run until April 18 addressing several critical issues, including climate change and biodiversity
THE highly anticipated 13th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-13) begins today with the official opening and exhibition at the Princess Hotel at Providence, East Bank Demerara. Over the next three days, more that 200 delegates will gather at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC) at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown to seize the opportunity to examine how Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programmes.
The theme of the conference is "Keeping the right balance: Sustaining our resources", and the conference will involve two days of panel discussions and learning sessions, focusing on climate change and biodiversity. This will be balanced by a day tour of Guyana’s tourist attractions.
This is the second time that Guyana will be hosting STC, having successfully hosted STC 4 in 2000, for which the country had received rave reviews from the delegates.
According to Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister (ag) Irfaan Ali, in the context of the changing international landscape, characterized by financial and environmental crises and market failures, Guyana presents an excellent case of a small developing country that has “weathered the storm”, improved its economic prospects, and diversified it economy in a sustainable manner.
He also noted that tourism was too critical to the Caribbean region, in terms of economic and social values, to leave anything to chance. Ali therefore urged the delegates to use the conference to formulate flexible but strong policies, which would guide the sector.
STC-13 will run from April 15 to 18, and Minister Ali urged Caribbean tourism planners, policymakers and stakeholders to focus on striking a balance that could sustain the world’s resources were they to truly embrace sustainable tourism in the region.
The conference will address a number of critical issues, such as how sustainable tourism and local communities can better engage with climate change and biodiversity conservation initiatives. Focus will also be placed on customer-centric sustainable tourism products, and development of niche areas, such as adventure tourism and agro- and culinary tourism.
Sessions include topics such as climate change adaptation; crafting, delivering and marketing of customer-centric sustainable tourism products; integrating biodiversity principles into hotel and resort design; and strategic marketing for sustainable adventure, agro and culinary tourism.
Winners of the CTO and Travelmole Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards 2012 will also be announced at the conference. The awards cover five key categories, from accommodation and special events to community, heritage and wildlife.
Ali and the Chairman of the CTO, Hugh Riley, will preside over the official opening of the Exhibition, at 18:30 hrs at the Princess Hotel; and this will be followed by the opening ceremony at 19:00 hrs. The conference will continue at GCCI until Wednesday 18th, with the closing ceremony at 19:30 hrs.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 14 April 2012 21:47|
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