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Bermuda to Host Annual CTO Sustainable Tourism Conference

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SOUTHAMPTON, BERMUDA—In a symbolic passing of the “baton,” Bermuda’s Junior Tourism Minister Marc Bean recently received the Caribbean Tourism Organization Sustainable Tourism Mahogany Scroll from the Permanent Secretary in the Barbados Ministry of Tourism, Andrew Cox, confirming Bermuda as host of the 12th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-12). The event will be hosted by the Government of Bermuda and will be held from April 3 to 6, 2011, at the Fairmont Southampton.

Costas Christ, the National Geographic Traveler Editor at Large who helped officially define the term “ecotourism,” will be the keynote speaker. His presentation, “Global Sustainable Tourism Trends: How Sustainability is Transforming the World of Travel,” will look at the evolution of sustainable tourism and what it means today for destinations like the Caribbean.

“We are honored to host STC-12 in Bermuda,” said Sen. Bean at a news conference later. “We look forward to an action-based program that builds on the recommendations coming out of STC-11.”

Although Caribbean tourism has achieved much over the past 10 years in spite of ongoing global and regional challenges, the region must prepare itself for the industry’s evolution over the next 10 years. How should Caribbean tourist destinations strategically plan to build upon their successes, capitalize on future trends and become more globally competitive and sustainable?

These are the questions that the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s 12th Annual Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-12) themed “Sustainable Tourism—Rising Above the Numbers” will seek to answer. Specifically, the critical issues of understanding the next generation of experiential travelers, attracting and developing adequate regional human resource capacity to manage the industry efficiently and provide excellent service as well as strategies to marry profitability with sustainability in the new green economy will be addressed.

Stakeholder Speakout Session Planned

Through a mix of workshop and panel discussion sessions, STC-12 will gather leading local, regional and international tourism experts and practitioners at this critical crossroad for the regional tourism industry. Informative study tours to attraction-packed sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage town of St. George and the well-planned Royal Naval Dockyard area, will expose delegates to the rich history, local culture and scenic beauty of Bermuda. Delegates can also expect a Stakeholder Speakout Session which will provide an appreciation of and opportunity to contribute to the dialogue on issues that are pertinent to the sustainability of Bermuda’s tourism industry.

In celebration of the International Year of Youth and International Year of Biodiversity, special consideration will be given to the role of Caribbean youth in tourism sustainability during a Special Session. STC-12 will also showcase some successful sustainable tourism initiatives from the Caribbean and draw from those that emanate further afield.

CTO has been staging its Annual Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC), since 1997. This conference is part of the information dissemination and regional awareness component of CTO’s Strategy for Sustainable Tourism. It looks at how member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programs, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives.

STC also serves as a primary arena where new and creative ideas about enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of the Caribbean tourism product are generated.

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