CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas (18 September, 2014) – The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) has won the Caribbean Tourism Organization’ top sustainable tourism award, the Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism (CEST) Award, presented in collaboration with the online community for the travel and tourism industry, TravelMole.
This award is presented to a destination or tourism-related company in recognition of excellence in planning and managing a diversified tourism product using sustainable tourism concepts and core values.
Six forward-thinking sustainable tourism initiatives in the Caribbean were presented with awards at a ceremony during the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Resort.
“We started these awards to give our partners endorsements they can share with potential visitors so they can garner more business. There are persons keen on keeping their carbon footprint at a minimum during travel and through our award designations these properties and attractions can be easily identified,” said Gail Henry, the CTO’s sustainable tourism product specialist.
“Sustainable tourism initiatives like the ones being rewarded today do more than ensure the longevity of Caribbean tourism, they also increase the region’s global competitiveness,” she added.
The awards comprised six categories covering all aspects of sustainability, from overall excellence, to accommodation, community, heritage and biodiversity. They were judged by a panel of three tourism and environmental specialists: Lloyd Gardener, the president of the Foundation for Development Planning Inc. in the USVI; Jake Kheel, the environmental director at Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic and Gail Henry.
The full roster of recipients below signifies the diverse range of sustainable initiatives working in the Caribbean’s favour to enhance its desirability as a holiday destination:
Destination Stewardship Award:
- Special Mention: Rewa Village (Guyana)
- Winner: Ministry of Tourism and International Transport (St. Kitts & Nevis)
Sustainable Accommodation Award:
- Special Mention: Rosalie Bay Resort (Dominica) and Xanadu Island Resort (Belize)
- Winner: Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort (Belize)
Community Benefit Award:
- Special Mention: Tryall Club and Villas (Jamaica)
- Winner: Belmont Plantation Company/Belmont Estate (Grenada)
- Special Mention: Turks and Caicos National Trust (TCI)
- Winner: Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society (BVI)
Biodiversity Conservation Award:
- Special Mention: Atlantis Submarines (Barbados)
- Winner: Guana Island Hotel (BVI)
Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award:
- Special Mention: Compass Point Dive Resort (Cayman Islands)
- Winner: Puerto Rico Tourism Company
The CTO/TravelMole awards are aimed at identifying, recognizing and showcasing sustainable tourism best practices in the Caribbean, which embrace sustainable tourism concepts and core values, and which helps to enhance the tourism product offerings.