Cruise and Yachting sector to be focus at STC conference in Havana

The environmental and social impact of the cruise and yachting sector will be among issues for discussion at one of a series of workshops during the sixth annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-6) in Havana, Cuba from April 27-30, 2004.
This year’s programme will see a few changes from previous conferences, including a number of simultaneous workshops to complement the plenary sessions. A workshop entitled: Floating Islands Visiting our Ports: Environmental and Social Issues in the Cruise and Yachting Sectors, will focus on the how to strike a delicate balance between the cruise and yachting industry and the sea ecosystems.

“The cruise and yachting sector plays a vital role in the Caribbean’s tourism development,” said Jean Holder, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), “and because this is a scientific effort focused on the preservation of the Caribbean Sea and the sustainability of the tourism industry, it is imperative that we focus on this sector which has a vested interest in the Caribbean Sea.”

Other issues to be discussed at these workshops include intersectoral planning in sustainable tourism development; building tourism facilities right at the border and alternatives for inland tourism development; the profitability of beach front properties; disaster management and preparedness; utilising marine species for recreational activities; development of standards and guidelines for tourism activities and community involvement, local entrepreneurship and the management of natural resources for tourism.

“These workshops will allow for more dedicated discussions on particular issues related to the overall theme of the conference and we believe that because of the smaller scale of the discussion groups all the delegates will have the opportunity to participate and contribute to the conference,” added Karen Ford-Warner, CTO’s deputy secretary general.