St. Kitts Relaunches Sustainability Charter Program
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (20th April, 2021): St. Kitts is relaunching its Heart of St. Kitts Sustainability Charter program in an effort to promote a responsible restart of tourism on the island. The Sustainability Charter provides a framework of best practices for the local tourism industry and is led by the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council in partnership with the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to update the program which was originally developed in 2017. Over the past few months, the Charter was revised with support from the global NGO Sustainable Travel International and input from more than 30 local businesses. The Charter outlines key areas of sustainability, such as waste management and community development, and lists concrete actions that businesses can take to improve their performance within each. The revised Charter addresses new best practices and pressing issues – such as the climate crisis, equity and inclusion, and health and safety – to pave the way for a sustainable recovery of tourism. The program was also expanded to offer more robust benefits and resources for participating businesses that will help them implement sustainability practices and showcase their unique sustainability story.
St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the most tourism dependent nations in the world: in 2019, the industry directly contributed over 25% of the country’s GDP and employed one in four residents. As the island gradually reopens its borders to tourists, St. Kitts’ is focused on bolstering its resilience to future disruptions by enhancing the sustainability of its tourism industry.
“Visitors come from all over the world to explore our island’s natural beauty and immerse themselves in our vibrant Kittitian culture. The success of our tourism industry depends on the quality and authenticity of the visitor experience.” said Diannille Taylor-Williams, Chairperson of the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council (SDC). “Going forward, we must prioritize sustainable tourism practices that preserve the integrity of our beaches, waters, heritage sites, cultural traditions, and other tourism assets. In doing so we can strengthen the competitiveness of our beautiful destination, ensure the prosperity of our tourism industry, and augment community satisfaction.”
“In recent years, we’ve witnessed a shift in consumer preferences and an increasing demand for responsible travel experiences.” said Paloma Zapata, CEO of Sustainable Travel International. “By participating in the Sustainability Charter, and strengthening their sustainability practices, businesses can cater to this expanding market of conscious travelers. At the same time, this commitment to sustainability will preserve the natural and cultural resources their business depends on and improve the quality of life for all residents.”
Tourism businesses of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to sign on to the Sustainability Charter, including but not limited to hotels, tour operators, transport providers, attractions, vendors, and food and beverage providers. To date, more than five businesses have signed on to the revised Sustainability Charter, including: Ital Creations, Blue Water Safaris Limited, Creative Cultured Creations (3Cs), Digital Print Plus and St. Kitts Eco-Park.
To learn more about the Heart of St. Kitts Sustainability Charter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.