New innings for CMEx in St Lucia

Journalists, editors and tourism industry officials will meet in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia June 24-28, 2004 for the sixth biannual innings of the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx VI) set to examine the theme: “Exploring Tourism: Widening the Boundaries of Caribbean Sustainability,” and with a special look at plans for the 2007 World Cricket Cup.

Following a planning visit to St. Lucia this month, organisers, including Counterpart International and the Caribbean Hotel Association, said the sixth conference will highlight less talked about, but still important aspects of the industry, such as sports, governance issues including stakeholder partnerships, villas, the yachting sector, investment, HIV/AIDS, renewable resources and the contribution of the region’s best and brightest - the youth - to sustainable tourism development.

“It’s time to re-explore the basics,” said Dr. Basil Springer, chairman of Counterpart Caribbean as he announced the theme of the sixth conference to be held in just two and a half years. Speaking to the St. Lucian press, Dr. Springer said organisers regard tourism as a main pillar of sustainability, and were preparing to publish a book on the principles of sustainable tourism, borrowing from the experiences and contributions of previous meetings in the Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica.

Dr. Springer said a highlight of CMEx VI will be scrutiny of the World Cricket Cup which the Caribbean will host for the first time, along with integrating perspectives from other Caribbean stakeholders such as taxi drivers, vendors, community-based organisations and the youth, whose contributions are integral to the future development of the industry.

“Evolving from CMEx,” said Counterpart President, Lelei LeLaulu, “we are happy to see the sharpening of skills within the press corps, the creation of freelance and training opportunities for Caribbean media in North America, smart partnerships between public and private sector organisations, and the implementation of sustainable tourism initiatives that safeguard the environment and enrich Caribbean communities.