It gives me great pleasure to celebrate this special observance of World Tourism Day under the theme, “Sustainable Tourism, a tool for development.” Internationally and locally, the tourism industry contributes millions to the economy, creates livelihoods and facilitates a rich cultural exchange. In Grenada, the Tourism Industry provides direct and indirect employment for approx. 11,000 people and in 2015 visitors spent 392 million EC dollars in the economy.
The benefits are tremendous; however, we find ourselves at a crossroads. How do we maximize the benefits from this industry to promote sustainable development and a brighter future for generations to come? How do we as Governments, industry contributors and citizens play our part in making our countries and the world a better place. This means sustainable economic growth, decent jobs, preserving the environment and addressing climate change, celebrating and preserving diversity and culture and promoting peace.
Pure Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is well on its way to making its contribution in creating a better world by preserving our natural environment. Already, many of our hotels have implemented energy saving measures to their businesses while some have stopped using Styrofoam products. The Government of Grenada has also pledged to table legislation banning the importation of Styrofoam and plastic as part of a proper waste management strategy. The effects of Styrofoam are well known as it is non-biodegradable and its link to cancer has been explored. This ban on Styrofoam and plastic will be a priority going forward.
Our brand Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean reminds us that we should all aspire to do our part to ensure that our island gems remain clean and beautiful. I encourage you to support this brand by incorporating sustainable practices in your lives to achieve this goal whether it’s by conducting a community cleanup, encouraging friends and family to properly dispose of waste or implementing energy saving measures in your homes. Take the pledge today to keep Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique Pure.
As we observe World Tourism Day, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai reminds us that whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to: Respect Nature, Respect Culture and Respect your host. Together, our efforts can be the catalyst for meaningful and sustained change through Tourism.
Happy World Tourism Day!