Netclues of Cayman has been entered for a special sustainable tourism award.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization said that it had received a record number of entries for the sustainable tourism awards programme, which it organises in collaboration with TravelMole, the online community for the travel and tourism industry.
Nearly 30 projects and programmes were submitted from 10 member countries, spanning all four language groups. As well as Cayman, countries included Aruba, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Jay Mehta of Netclues said that his company had been helping many regional bodies, including the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, with their digital offerings.
“That ranges from developing their websites to going online, developing marketing, fixing their marketing concepts overall,” he said.
Mr. Mehta is hoping to be able to attend the event.
The winners will be announced and awards presented during a special luncheon on Thursday, 18 April, at the 14th annual Sustainable Tourism Conference in Trinidad.
Among the awards to be presented is the inaugural Destination Stewardship Award which will go to a member destination that is making solid strides toward sustainable tourism management at the destination level through a number of integrated initiatives and programmes. In addition, the organisation will present the Sustainable Accommodation Award, Community Benefit Award, Heritage Protection Award and Biodiversity Conservation Award, as well as the marquis Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award.
“We are really pleased with the enthusiasm that both our member countries and our partners are showing for this award programme, evidenced by the fact that we received a record 29 entries this year,” said Gail Henry, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s sustainable tourism product specialist. “Many of the submissions are extremely strong and compelling, an encouraging sign that the Caribbean tourism sector is placing increasing attention on sustainability.”
The submissions are being judged by a panel of tourism specialists that includes Ena Harvey, the hemispheric specialist for agro-tourism at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture; Seleni Matus, the senior adviser on destinations at Sustainable Travel International and Ms Henry.
In 2012, Guyana won the Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award, the Community Benefit Award and the Biodiversity Conservation Award. Accra Beach Hotel & Spa in Barbados walked away with the Sustainable Accommodation Award and Dominica’s Kalinago Barana Aute copped the Heritage Protection award.
The CTO-TravelMole annual Sustainable Tourism Awards are aimed at identifying and showcasing sustainable tourism good practices in the Caribbean. The awards recognise individuals, groups, organisations or companies in any of the member countries which have developed unique and attractive tourism products or are engaged in implementing sustainable tourism-related initiatives which embrace sustainable tourism concepts and core values.