By Nelson A. King
The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) says it officially launched a “Regional Tourism Education and Awareness Campaign” on Monday to foster discussion on climate resilience and sustainability on both the regional and international stage.
The CTO said on Tuesday that the initiative is “dedicated to the memory of CTO colleague Bonita Morgan, a beloved regional champion of Tourism Education and Human Resource Development prior to her untimely passing earlier this month.”
“The Caribbean tourism product is to a large extent based on the natural environment, and, as such, CTO and our member countries are committed to safeguarding these resources on which our very lives and livelihoods depend,” said CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley.
“Having recently celebrated Earth Day, we are reminded to respect and protect the fragile planetary resources that are critical to maintaining the integrity and economic stability of our countries,” he added. “Through the Education and Awareness campaign, it is our intention to inspire and empower the regional tourism stakeholders to concerted action.”
The CTO said the campaign will run for seven months, through November 2018, as part of a series of activities delivered in support of the Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry (CSSCTI) Project.
The project will be delivered via CTO’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn social media pages, as well as through the Barbados-based CaribVision Television and the www.ourtourism.onecaribbean.org campaign hub, CTO said.
Tourism stakeholders, media and friends of the region are encouraged to share the campaign via the hashtag #TEAC2018.
Materials submitted by CTO-member destinations will be utilized during the campaign for monthly features delving into key themes in sustainable tourism development, the CTO said.
These themes include the work and role of the CTO in tourism sustainability; participating in “Sustainable Action Challenges;” fun facts about Caribbean tourism and CTO-member destinations; climate resilience and disaster management in tourism; key players in Caribbean tourism development; and sharing in the stories of Caribbean people.
“Our efforts will continue to focus on advocacy to mitigate negative impacts on our communities and the environment, including to reduce the overall environmental footprint,” Riley said “In this regard, we add our voice to the global appeal as we join the international community in supporting the campaign to ‘End Plastic Pollution.’”
The CTO said the “Regional Tourism Education and Awareness Campaign” is led by its Sustainable Tourism Division, with support from The Youth Project and the Caribbean Media Corporation.
Other campaign partners include CTO member-countries, digital media company Travelspective; industry partner the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association; and CTO’s PR agency partner KTCpr.
LIAT and Caribbean Airlines will also be engaged to support dissemination and outreach activities, the CTO said.