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St Kitts earns top honours from World Travel and Tourism Council

Published:Wednesday | May 1, 2019 | 12:27 AM

Carlene Henry-Morton, St Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, addressing delegates at the WTTC meeting recently.
Carlene Henry-Morton, St Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, addressing delegates at the WTTC meeting recently.

The St Kitts Ministry of Tourism and the St Kitts Tourism Authority are delighted to announce that St Kitts and its Sustainable Development Council has won a prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Award from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), presented at their Global Summit in Seville, Spain, held from April 3 to 4. The keynote speaker was former US President Barack Obama. Taking home the Destination Stewardship Award for 2019, St Kitts is now officially recognized as a global leader in sustainable tourism.

“It is a great honour to be recognised by the WTTC alongside organisations pursuing leading practices in sustainable development,” said the Hon Lindsay F.P. Grant, minister of tourism for St Kitts & Nevis. “Our Sustainable Development Council facilitates partnerships and relationships among public and private sectors, as well as among all people in St Kitts, to ensure that development in our destination preserves and benefits our environment, culture, heritage and community livelihoods. We hope this preservation will lead to long-term tourism growth and allow people to enjoy our beautiful island for many years to come.”

WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow (T4T) Awards are the world’s top accolade in sustainable tourism; they recognise the highest ethical standards in the sector and are respected by industry leaders, governments and international media alike. The awards are aimed at recognising best practices in sustainable tourism within the industry globally, based upon the principles of environmentally friendly operations; support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage; and direct benefits to the social and economic well-being of local people in travel destinations around the world.

special ceremony

Now in their 15th year, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards took place at a special ceremony during the WTTC Global Summit in Seville to celebrate inspirational, world-changing tourism initiatives from around the globe. The Destination Stewardship Award recognises organisations helping a place to thrive and bring forward its unique identity for the benefit of its residents and tourists. Accepting the award for St Kitts was permanent secretary (Ag) in the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs Carlene Henry-Morton, and Assistant Secretary Mrs Diannille Taylor-Williams.

Permanent Secretary Morton noted, “In accepting the award on behalf of St Kitts, it is important to acknowledge the team whose hard work laid the foundation for our sustainability programme. Particular recognition goes to the Sustainable Development Council, chaired by assistant secretary Diannille Taylor-Williams the Department of Marine Resources, the St Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, the Heart of St Kitts Foundation, the staff of the Ministry of Tourism and the St Kitts Tourism Authority.” The 2019 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award winners are highly commended and recognised for business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within the travel and tourism sector. Award winners promote inclusive growth and illustrate a strong commitment to supporting change and transformation in business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more environmentally conscious sector.

The awards are judged by a panel of independent experts, including academics, business leaders, NGO and governmental representatives, who narrowed down the list of 183 applications to just 15 finalists. The three-stage judging process included a thorough review of all applications, followed by on-site evaluations of the finalists and their initiative. The winner of each category was determined by the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2019 Winners’ Selection Committee. WTTC represents the global private sector of travel and tourism. Its Global Summit is the most important event in the sector worldwide each year.