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CARIBBEAN’S FIRST SYMPOSIUM ON COASTAL TOURISM KICKS OFF IN GRENADA
By Melissa Noel
ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA- International innovators in coastal tourism were officially welcomed to the spice island on July 9th. Over 100 delegates from all over the United States, Canada and the Caribbean gathered at the Rex Grenadian Hotel, located near Grenada’s capital of St. George’s for the opening ceremony of the “Third Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism”.
The three-day symposium is a joint effort of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), the Grenada Tourism Authority and the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA). It is designed to highlight the vital role that innovators play in developing sustainable models for coastal tourism and provide opportunities for them to do more going forward.
This is the first time that the symposium is being held in the Caribbean. The first two conferences were held in Stanford, California and Los Cabos, Mexico respectively. Grenada was chosen as the site for this symposium because the island has taken the lead in several sustainable innovations, including recently launching a new destination-marketing brand “Pure Grenada”.
“Welcome to Pure Grenada, The Spice of the Caribbean,” said Grenada’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Alexandra Otway-Noel. I feel honored to be here with you today at the “Third Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism” because as minister for tourism and civil aviation I am pleased that Grenada’s tourism industry is an emerging success story for innovative tourism. So relax and enjoy!”
Otway-Noel said the new Grenada marketing initiative is becoming a rallying cry for the nation. Getting the Caribbean region to rally behind sustainability is something Gail Henry of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is dedicated to doing as the organization’s sustainable tourism product specialist.
“The Caribbean Tourism Organization is committed to the vision of positioning the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round warm weather destination by 2017 and leading sustainable tourism in the Caribbean,” she said. “We share one sea, should speak with one voice and we are one Caribbean.”
Henry went onto to say that events like the symposium help people to realize that
Caribbean countries and other coastal locations have similar challenges. The key to success is to share those experiences and best practices in the quest to find innovative solutions.
That’s exactly what delegates including real estate developers, operators, investors, and other business executives are at the conference to do. They are committed to new sustainable models of marine, coastland island tourism and vacation home development.
Over 40 regional and international tourism experts will speak on various aspects of sustainable coastal and marine tourism over the course of the symposium, which will feature 16 workshops and five plenary sessions as well as opportunities to explore the island of Grenada.“We are innovators and want to set the standard,” said Otway-Noel
“We are confident that your presence here with us will motivate us to keep achieving as well as help us to continue to learn how to manage our fragile environment,” she said..