Tourism Officials focus on Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — Participants at the recently concluded 23rd Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High Level Authorities of Tourism gained fresh insights into how community-based rural tourism can translate into opportunities for promoting social inclusion and sustainable development on a local level.

A two member team, including Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Carlene Henry-Morton and Assistant Secretary Diannille Taylor-Williams, attended the September 3rd -4th in Lima, Peru.

The event was held under the theme “Community-based Rural Tourism: Agenda for more competitive and sustainable development”. It examined successful models of people-centred best practices being implemented in several destinations, resulting in the implementation of poverty reduction strategies, improved standards of living, as well as cultural and environmental preservation in rural communities.

Mrs. Henry-Morton stated that Mrs. Taylor-Williams and herself welcomed the opportunity to interact with regional and international partners, agencies and stakeholders.

The acting permanent secretary also announced that at the congress, St. Kitts-Nevis and Ecuador were elected to serve as Vice-Chairs on the Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR), while Peru was elected President.

Over the next two years this three-member committee will guide and monitor the implementation of CITUR’s medium term strategy which focuses on enhancing tourism cooperation and competitiveness in the Americas and on areas such as sustainability, infrastructure, innovation and quality, tourism safety and security, travel and visa facilitation and marketing and promotion.

“To participate and serve at this level is indeed an honour for the Federation as it affords the OECS community- the smaller destinations in particular- a voice and a mechanism through which we can articulate our ideas, our successes and our challenges,” Mrs. Morton stated. With increased focus on our destinations come increased opportunities for closer collaboration and sharing of best practices to ensure sustainable growth and development of our tourism product. This translates into improved destinations, livelihoods and economies.”

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