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Yesterday, a panel discussion was held at World Travel Market (WTM) activities in ExCel, London.
The topic of discussion was sustainability in island tourism, and Antigua and Barbuda’s Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez and Carlos James, Minister of Tourism for St. Vincent and the Grenadines were both present to discuss the issue.
The discussion, titled “The Blueprint for Resilience in Island Tourism,” focused on the sustainability plans of action in their respective islands to ensure the viability of the industry in the age of climate change and increased travel around the world.
Minister Fernandez spoke of Antigua and Barbuda’s commitment to quality tourism to minimize the island’s carbon footprint.
The country has made several firsts within the Caribbean region, including banning single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam products. The government is also working with two major hoteliers on two reef restoration projects.
These initiatives may not significantly alter climate change on a global scale, but they demonstrate the country’s dedication to reducing negative environmental impacts on the landscape.
The tourism minister also mentioned a few notable projects, such as the Redonda Island restoration and the newly introduced LPG plant at Crabbs Peninsula, as steps towards sustainability.
The panelists called for the development of a regional Sustainable Tourism Plan by Caricom or the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) to ensure continuity despite administration changes.