The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) held a special meeting with their key UK industry partners in London to discuss and debate climate change and the environment and its relationship to tourism in the Caribbean - the single largest contributor to the region’s GDP.
The recent doubling of APD at UK airports - which will have a dramatic impact on the cost of travelling to long-haul destinations, such as the Caribbean, particularly for families - was also discussed at length.
Representatives at the meeting included Senator the Honourable Allen Chastenet, the Chairman of the CTO and Minister of Tourism for St Lucia, members of the Caribbean Council, the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, The Travel Foundation, tour operators, airlines, cruise operators and travel associations. In addition a representative from HM Treasury, Dimitri Zenghelis, discussed the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.
Feedback from the meeting will assist in the development of the Caribbean tourism industry’s longer term thinking about what it must do to mitigate the impact of climate change and build on its credentials as an environmentally friendly region.
Julia Hendry, UK and European Marketing Director of the CTO, comments: “The Caribbean tourism industry recognises that we need to closely monitor and respond to the issues driving policy on climate change and the environment in Europe. We recognise that the UK and European markets are vital for the Caribbean and so both the CHA and the CTO are eager to work with the UK government and the travel industry where possible to form a co-ordinated response to new challenges facing us all as a result of climate change and related policy developments.”