STC-7 sets out comprehensive programme

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has unveiled a comprehensive and impressive programme for its Seventh Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development (STC-7) which takes place April 26-29, 2005 at the Hilton Tobago Golf & Spa Resort in Scarborough, Tobago.The programme includes general sessions at which participants will discuss pertinent sustainable tourism issues relating to the conference theme, Keeping the Right Balance - Sustainable Tourism Through Diversity; highly interactive and stimulating workshops to complement the general sessions; andÊ exciting study tours through which participants will explore the diversity of Tobago.

“The programme is designed to focus attention on the many initiatives taken in the Caribbean to contribute to the sustainable development of the tourism industry and the potential use of ecotourism as an instrument to achieve this goal,” said Mercedes Silva, CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist.

The general sessions will deal with the question of whether the Caribbean desires tourism growth or tourism development, Ms. Silva said.ÊShe added that conference participants will learn the economic benefits of creating a sustainable tourism product as well as how to develop, market and communicate the goals of developing as a destination that is committed to sustainability.

Issues to be covered at the general sessions include the need to develop quality service guidelines when creating a sustainable tourism product and revisiting ecotourism’s role in sustainable tourism development.

Simultaneous workshops, which were introduced at the STC-6 in Havana, Cuba last year to very positive responses, will again form part of the conference programme. Participants can look forward to workshops on business opportunities in the region and intersectoral planning among others.

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“The introduction of workshops to the Sustainable Tourism Conference proved to be a great success in Cuba because they allow for more dedicated discussions on particular issues related to the overall theme of the conference and they give all the delegates the opportunity to participate and contribute to the conference,” said Karen Ford-Warner, CTO’s acting secretary general. “We anticipate an equally enthusiastic response to this year’s workshops.”

Conference organisers have put together two special presentation sessions that will provide delegates with the opportunity to hear how two previous host countries are faring since hosting past STC conferences.

Representatives from St. Kitts and Cuba will share the advances each country has made since hosting the Sustainable Tourism Conferences in 2003 and 2004 respectively.Ê
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