Antigua and Barbuda joins the rest of the world in commemorating 2017 as the year of sustainable tourism for development.
The Ministry of Tourism via its Sustainable Tourism Unit on Thursday officially launched it calendar of activities all geared towards recognizing the aims of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
According to a release, these aims are to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to national development, mobilize stakeholders in making the sector a catalyst for positive change, and to foster change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior in tourism.
Senior Tourism Officer and Head of the Sustainable Tourism Unit Mrs. Vashti Casimir, in outlining Antigua and Barbuda’s plans stated that all activities were organized with the intent of highlighting Tourism’s role in economic growth, social inclusiveness, resource efficiency, cultural values, and mutual understanding.
Minister of Tourism the Hon. Asot A. Michael who declared the year launched, spoke extensively of his Ministry’s commitment to keeping the very vital industry sustainable. “It will not be business as usual; nor will we be so myopic as to confront our national development through single lenses. In this year that is dedicated to tourism for sustainable development, we will see more focus on a change in policy, practices in business, and behavior of consumers to achieving a more sustainable sector,” stated Minister Michael.
According to the UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, “This is a unique opportunity to build a more responsible and committed tourism sector that can capitalize its immense potential and to this the Hon. Minister of Tourism and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda concurs.
Head of the Sustainable Tourism Unit in Antigua and Barbuda Mrs. Casimir has relayed that by actively participating in the International Year designation, Antigua and Barbuda stands to benefit from world-wide visibility and association with the values of the United Nations in a global initiative with unique networking opportunities.