St. Kitts Launches Interagency Council for Sustainable Destination Management
26 November 2013
The St. Kitts & Nevis Ministry of Tourism & International Transport officially launched the Interagency Sustainable Destination Management Council (IASDMC) on Wednesday November 20, 2013. The first council of its kind in the Caribbean region, the IASDMC is a progressive special advisory body to the Ministry of Tourism & International Transport, founded on the idea that sustainable destination management requires commitment and close collaboration in sustainability across all sectors.
The Council will be a driving force for policies and practices that promote local economic growth and community benefits, safeguard and enhance local culture and heritage, and institute overall management systems to protect these valuable community assets and ensure St. Kitts is a thriving destination to both live and visit for many years to come.
The Council is a special advisory body to the Ministry of Tourism & International Transport, and advances the Government’s stated goal of St. Kitts & Nevis “becoming a green economy.” At a brief launching ceremony, Minister Ricky Skerritt told participants that, “It takes a village to build a green economy, and it takes all Government agencies and NGOs working together on the same page in order to support the sustainability needs of that village.”
The Council’s key objectives, developed during its inaugural meeting, are to:
- Instill sustainable destination management understanding across government departments and ministries;
- Build public sector capacity to incorporate sustainable destination management concerns into their daily operations; and
- Improve communication and coordination among government departments on destination sustainability projects.
To advance their understanding and capacity building objectives, Council members and other destination stakeholders are participating in Sustainable Travel International’s Sustainable Tourism Professionals (STP) Training for Destinations. The STP program’s cutting-edge curriculum features sustainable destination management content developed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The George Washington University, and Sustainable Travel International.
In addition to completing STP courses online, IASDMC members along with other destination stakeholders, participated in a full-day training session in Basseterre on sustainable destination management, delivered by Sustainable Travel International. The training featured a special module on sustainability issues in cruise tourism and marine conservation, sponsored by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Ocean Fund. The Council is part of an ongoing partnership between the Ministry of Tourism & International Transport and the NGO Sustainable Travel International.
Last year, St. Kitts & Nevis became one of the first destinations selected to participate in the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) Early Adopter program. In November 2012, the Ministry of Tourism & International Transport held a stakeholder-driven sustainable tourism action-planning forum, validating GSTC recommendations and identifying priority action projects. In October 2013, St. Kitts also became a founding partner of the Sustainable Destination Leadership Network (SDLN), a network facilitated by Sustainable Travel International, designed for forward-thinking destinations to share best practices and benefit from the latest research on sustainable destination management.
About Sustainable Travel International (www.sustainabletravel.org)
Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization with a purpose. They have been collaborating with destinations, businesses and travelers to implement innovative sustainable tourism development and conservation solutions since 2002. They combine the mission and transparency of a non-profit NGO with the business acumen and expertise of the private sector, ensuring Their partners achieve their desired results and receive a strong return on investment.
About the Sustainable Destination Leadership Network
The Sustainable Destination Leadership Network is the first global collaboration of its kind.
The network is designed to facilitate peer learning and information exchange. Participants work together to tackle salient challenges and embed sustainability into their policies, strategies, day-to-day management, and marketing.
About St. Kitts
Most recently, the destination ranked #3 on a list of the 10 Best Islands in the Worldby US News & World Report following its ranking as #1 on the publication’s list of the 16 Best Caribbean Vacations in summer 2011. On February 9, 2012, St. Kitts was named one of “5 Caribbean Islands to Discover Now” by MSNBC. It was also named one of the “Top 12 Spots that should be on your list for 2012” by Caribbean Travel + Life magazine and the island’s Brimstone Hill Fortress was named one of “10 Great Places To Explore The World's Best-Kept Secrets” by USA Today. Last year, St. Kitts was named a top destination for 2011 by both AOL Travel and British Airways.
Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and more traditional vacation pastimes such as watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on one of the island’s sandy beaches. Accommodations range from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels and resorts.
Select Resorts Properties currently have a number of sustainable holiday homes available for sale in St. Kitts, click here to view them.